(CNN)– Gov. Sarah Palin will now spend two and a half days near Sedona, Arizona, to prepare for Thursday’s debate, instead of prepping in St Louis, as originally planned.
Sarah Palin will be at John McCain’s rustic creek side home outside Sedona for what a top aide calls “debate camp.”
[An] aide said “John McCain himself came up with the idea after thinking it would be great before his next debate.
Pailin has already been hunkered down for four days in a Philadelphia hotel for debate prep with advisers.
From the Telegraph:
The Alaska governor picked by Mr McCain as his White House running mate has been assigned a group of senior aides and advisers whose background is at odds with her carefully honed image as a maverick anti-Washington reformer.
Mrs Palin’s chief coach for the sole vice-presidential debate against Joe Biden, the veteran senator who is her Democratic counterpart, is Mark Wallace, who was Mr Bush’s deputy campaign manger in 2004 and later the US deputy ambassador to the United Nations.
Her chief of staff and permanent companion on the campaign trail is Tucker Eskew, a senior Republican strategist who was at the forefront of Mr Bush’s ugly primary battle against Mr McCain in 2000.
They have been drafted into the team as Steve Schmidt, another old Bush-Cheney hand who is now running Mr McCain’s team, has instilled a “take-no-prisoners” approach in place of the previously more relaxed, but less disciplined, approach.
The appointment of Mr Eskew as Mrs Palin’s chief handler raised the most eyebrows. For as Mr Bush’s top advisor in South Carolina in 2000, he was closely associated with what Mr McCain viewed as a vicious smear campaign that derailed his previous run for his party’s nomination.
As The Sunday Telegraph has reported previously, prominent neoconservative thinkers are seeking to shape the foreign policy views of Mrs Palin, whom they regarded as largely a “blank page” on international affairs.
Her aides will now have their work cut out before Thursday when she will face the full glare of publicity in St Louis, Missouri, as she confronts Mr Biden in the only televised debate between the vice-presidential candidates.
Mr Wallace, a lawyer who played a key role working for the Bush legal team in the decisive Florida recount in 2000 before helping run the 2004 re-election campaign and then being appointed to the UN, is leading the team prepping her for that showdown.
Mrs Palin is also receiving advice on delivering her message from Mr Wallace’s wife Nicolle, a former White House communications director, while Steve Biegun, a long-time member of Mr Bush’s National Security Council, has been briefing her on foreign policy.