Did McCain Camp Check Palin’s Background?

What constitutes “great lengths”? What comprises “a careful, meticulous vetting process”? These are questions that the Republican Party must face as the media frenzy surrounding Sarah Palin’s VP candidacy intensifies.

And, at this point, any oversight ain’t a good thing for Team McCain.

The McCain campaign has gone to great lengths to present the selection of Sarah Palin as one made after a careful, meticulous vetting process. But evidence continues to suggest that the Arizona Republican made his VP choice with surprising haste.

On Saturday, a Democrat tasked with opposition research contacted the Huffington Post with this piece of information: as of this weekend, the McCain campaign had not gone through old newspaper articles from the Valley Frontiersman, Palin’s hometown newspaper.

How does he know? The paper’s (massive) archives are not online. And when he went to research past content, he was told he was the first to inquire.

“No one else had requested access before,” said the source. “It’s unbelievable. We were the only people to do that, which means the McCain camp didn’t.”

The Frontiersman did not immediately confirm the revelation. And there is no indication from the Democratic source that anything nefarious or problematic will be found in the archives. But officials with the paper did not recall inquiries by the McCain campaign.

“I cannot confirm that information at this time,” said publisher Kari Sleight. “I am not aware of the McCain campaign researching our archives, but archive requests do not usually go through me.”

If true, the failure of the Arizona Republican to access the newspaper clippings becomes another in a growing list of revelations that calls into question just how and why he made his decision to choose Palin. A rudimentary clip search, such as this, is presidential politics 101 as campaigns not only look for the majority of background information on any high-level appointee, but also try to prepare themselves from future attacks.

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