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A lone Republican leader defends Sarah Palin while McCain is mum

November 8, 2008 |  2:45 am

Yes, it's shocking, we know here at the Ticket. But there is at least one prominent Republican sticking up for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Go figure. Her presidential running mate sure isn't.

The 44-year-old working mom singlehandedly energized the party's base with an electrifying speech and refreshing personality at the Republican National Convention and after.

Between her selection Aug. 29 and the Nov. 4 election,Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential Sarah Palin mobbed by fans Palin did 132 political events in 105 cities in 25 states. That's not exactly dogging it.

And who's heard any leaks from Palin's camp about the awful mishandling of her media rollout in September?

But in the, what-is-it-now, four days since American voters decisively opted for the younger guy from Illinois, one or two of John McCain's brave aides have been anonymously leaking uncorroborated charges about Palin's personality, knowledge, spending habits, etc., which the media gobbles up, in an apparent attempt to pin the defeat on the female half of the GOP ticket.

Good luck with that. Anyone who saw McCain and Palin work together, saw as the partisan crowds chanted her name during his speech.

Back home in her Anchorage governor's office, Palin defends herself, as The Times' Seema Mehta and Maeve Reston describe in an article this morning.

This issue isn't going away immediately. Love her or leave....

...her, win or lose, the media knows there's a voracious public hunger for almost anything about the Alaska hockey mom still. Especially in the complete absence of any other viable Republican Party leaders.

Palin will spend a chunk of this weekend talking to Fox News' Greta Van Susteren for a long broadcast interview Monday evening. And Tuesday night, Veterans Day, McCain will chat with Jay Leno on NBC.

Now, amid the deafening silence of other prominent GOP leaders, including Mike Duncan, the party's alleged national chair, at least the state chair of the South Carolina Republican Party is speaking out. Katon Dawson issued a statement Friday bemoaning the anonymous attacks:

"The disappointment felt by many Republicans following Tuesday’s election is certainly understandable. However, the attacks on Gov. Sarah Palin made by a disgruntled handful of political insiders are unacceptable. Their claims, made under the veil of anonymity, can never be verified and only serve as fodder for our opposition.

A late Florida campaign sign supporting Alaska Governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin without mentioning the top of the GOP ticket, John McCain

"The media has already demonstrated its propensity to discredit Gov. Palin, and the Democrats are undoubtedly rejoicing at the sight of this Republican cannibalism. 

"Now is the time for our Party to unite –- not behind any one individual, but behind our time-tested principles of limited government, opportunity for working Americans, traditional values, and individual responsibility.

"I respectfully ask my fellow Republicans to join me in condemning these divisive attacks so that we can focus on the task at hand -– moving forward as a Party and moving forward as a nation.”

While most attention is naturally focused on the presidential winner, let's see if any other Republican leaders speak out from one of their vacation homes.

Leno is no Tom Brokaw, but he might ask the Arizona senator, about the intramural post-game defamation of the running mate he himself so enthusiastically chose out of the blue.

Why can't McCain even seem to control a couple members of his own Apple Dumpling Gang?

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos: Associated Press

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