The Nation‘s Christopher Hayes has dug up a 1999 AP dispatch detailing a Wasilla, Alaska rally during Pat Buchanan’s 2000 presidential campaign which Palin attended, sporting a Buchanan button. Curious as to what this meant, Hayes called Buchanan for comment on McCain’s selection. “It’s great for the base. I’m pretty sure she’s a Buchananite!” Buchanan said.
This would be disturbing, if it were true. At the time, Ben Smith reports, Palin wrote a letter to editor of the local newspaper explaining that “the article may have left your readers with the perception that I am endorsing this candidate, as opposed to welcoming his visit to Wasilla. As mayor, I will welcome all the candidates in Wasilla.” Palin officially supported Steve Forbes. Smith produces a press release from Buchanan’s 1996 campaign listing his Alaska supporters, on which Palin does not appear. Nor has she ever contributed money to his campaigns, Smith reports.
Palin’s ties to Buchanan, however deep, are newsworthy, and no doubt they will be investigated in the coming days. I have trouble believing that the McCain campaign would knowingly choose for him a running mate who supported a third-party presidential candidate in recent elections, especially one who’s such an infamous bigot. We’ll see.
But what also interests me is that someone from The Nation would at all protest that John McCain’s VP pick might be a crypto-Buchananite. On foreign policy, Pat Buchanan and The Nation magazine are near indistinguishable.