Scheunemann has a temper tantrum

SCHEUNEMANN HAS A TEMPER TANTRUM…. Randy Scheunemann may be John McCain’s top foreign policy advisor, but it appears he has the kind of temperament usually found in his boss.

Yesterday morning, the Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder noted the “internal dissension” at McCain campaign headquarters, including a faction that has “begun to whisper about Gov. Sarah Palin to reporters.” This faction, Ambinder explained, believes Palin, “perhaps unwittingly,” keeps saying things that take the campaign off message, including her ridiculous attack on Obama “palling around with terrorists” — a line that the campaign had reportedly not cleared in advance.

Soon after, Scheunemann contacted Ambinder via email.

Just read your post. This is on the record. This is cleared by HQ. It is a fact that Barack Obama was palling around with terrorists. It was a fact before Governor Palin said it in a fully vetted speech and it is fact today. It is bullshit to claim or write anything else.

Temper, temper, Randy. Keep this up and people might start wondering about the erratic and intemperate nature of the McCain campaign, which doesn’t seem to keep its cool under pressure.

First, it’s kind of odd that Scheunemann believes it’s a campaign-approved “fact” that Obama “palled around with terrorists.” For one thing, Obama never “palled around with” Bill Ayers, who presumably is the basis for this absurd smear. If the McCain gang has evidence to the contrary, it’s hiding it well. For another, note the “s” at the end of “terrorists.” Scheunemann believes it’s a “fact” that there are multiple terrorists that Obama keeps on speed-dial?

Second, if the volatile Scheunemann really wants to play this game, it’s worth taking a moment to consider his close associations with some strikingly unsavory characters.

It is a fact that Randy Scheunemann was a stooge for Ahmad Chalabi. It was a fact before the McCain campaign launched ridiculous smears and it is a fact today. It is, to borrow a phrase, “bullshit to claim or write anything else.”

Remember, we are talking about a man who would, in a McCain administration, have a key role in shaping U.S. foreign policy. Something to keep in mind.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.