Though the polls haven't closed in South Carolina, Democrat Party house organ The Washington Post is already trying to downplay the impact of Sarah Palin's endorsement and steadfast support of gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley.
In an entry on its Obamacentric "44" blog, the Post's Philip Rucker shamelessly quotes an anonymous "Haley staffer":
"Haley's rise preceded the Palin endorsement," said a Haley adviser who discussed the race only on the condition of anonymity. "But no question it was helpful."No internal poll result from the Haley campaign or other corroborating evidence is furnished by Rucker to support the staffer's remark, not does he appear to have asked for any. Furthermore, apparently based on this one unattributed comment, Rucker writes:
"Yet despite the attention Palin's endorsement received, Republican operatives in South Carolina said Haley's surge was as much -- if not more -- a result of her conservative-reformer message and support from tea party groups."The only other "operative" quoted by Rucker is -- again -- an anonymous one, this time a "national Republican official":
South Carolina is a small enough state that many Republican primary voters have had a chance to see the candidates in person. Haley began taking the lead, GOP operatives said, in part because she is a polished campaigner with a message that is resonating in this conservative state.According to Rasmussen Reports polling, a survey taken in March, prior to Gov. Palin's endorsement, Haley was in fourth place at 12 percent, trailing McMaster (21 percent), Bauer (17 percent), and Barrett (14 percent). The first Rasmussen poll conducted after Sarah Palin's endorsement shows that Haley had vaulted from last place to way out in front with 30 percent, followed by McMaster (19 percent), Barrett (17 percent) and Bauer (12 percent).
"She's someone who can communicate well, who has a brain and, most importantly, has a real agenda of cleaning house," said a national Republican official watching the race closely who spoke only on condition of anonymity.
Not to take a thing away from Nikki Haley. She's a great candidate, and Gov. Palin would not have endorsed her were she any lesser of a person or politician. And she has demonstrated remarkable courage in light of the worst kind of personal attacks on her. Not to take anything away from the local Tea Party groups in South Carolins who endorsed Haley, either.
But for the Washington Post to attempt to minimize the force of Sarah Palin's support of Nikki Haley, without providing a shred of evidence, and by quoting two people who were not willing to put their names where their mouths allegedly are, seems to us to be just par for the course for the lamestream, pro-Obama, anti-Palin media.
Update: The questionable WaPo piece and its writers' vague "sources" are contradicted by this Politico report by Andy Barr, in which he quotes a named source inside the Haley campaign:
Perhaps Palin’s most powerful demonstration came in South Carolina, where her endorsement propelled a major swing in the polls for Haley’s primary campaign for governor and sustained the state representative through accusations of two separate affairs.- JP
"Her decision to get - and stay - involved in the race here in South Carolina was a huge boon to our campaign, because it caused a lot of South Carolinians to take a second look at a rising in the polls but once-little known state legislator who was fighting to give them back their government,” Haley spokesman Tim Pearson said of Palin.
Palin was quick to defend Haley from blogger Will Folks, who claimed to have had an “inappropriate physical relationship” with Haley, writing on her Facebook page that Folks was trying to “make things up.”
Palin recorded a robocall for Haley in the closing days, urging South Carolinians to ignore the “made-up nonsense.”