He met Palin when a conservative pundit-stocked luxury cruise ship pulled into Juneau harbor on June 18, 2007. A meetup, scheduled by a Palin staffer, with the help of Alaska Federation of Republican Women leader Paulette Simpson, blew Kristol away. Afterward, he called her "My heart throb."
Kristol pimped for Palin behind the scenes almost nonstop over the winter of 2007-2008. By the late spring of 2008, he was the first person to not only go public endorsing her, but was hilariously over the top. Soon after Obama got the votes to beat Sen. Clinton in the Democratic primary, Kristol told a Sunday pundit show, "She [Palin] could beat Obama one-on-one on the basketball court."
Here is Kristol on the June 29, 2008 session of Fox News Sunday:
The New York Times has decided to let Kristol go. Here's an insider's statement:
The source makes clear that the decision not to renew Kristol’s contract is not related to his neoconservative ideology—Kristol’s proximity to key Washington players ranging from Bush and Cheney to John McCain (whom he supported in 2000) was considered a distinct plus. His leading advocacy of the Iraq War also added to his appeal. Kristol was viewed as a mover and shaker whose ideas had ready impact on the political firmament in Washington. The problems that emerged were more fundamental. Kristol’s writing wasn’t compelling or even very careful.
He either lacked a talent for solid opinion journalism or wasn’t putting his heart into it.
A give-away came in the form of four corrections the newspaper was forced to run over factual mistakes in the columns, creating an impression that they were rushed out without due diligence or attention to factual claims.
A senior writer at Time magazine recounted to me a similar experience with Kristol following his stint in 2006-07. “His conservative ideas were cutting edge and influential,” I was told. “But his sloppy writing and failure to fact check what he wrote made us queasy.”
As part of the June 2007, Juneau visit by the right-wing pundits, there was a mine tour:
According to a former Alaska official who attended the lunch, the visitors wanted to do something “touristy,” so a “flight-seeing” trip was arranged. Their destination was a gold mine in Berners Bay, some forty-five miles north of Juneau.
For Palin and several staff members, the state leased two helicopters from a private company, Coastal, for two and a half hours, at a cost of four thousand dollars.
(The pundits paid for their own aircraft.)
Palin explained that environmentalists had invoked the Clean Water Act to oppose a plan by a mining company, Coeur Alaska, to dump waste from the extraction of gold into a pristine lake in the Tongass National Forest. Palin rejected the environmentalists’ claims. (The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Coeur Alaska, and the dispute is now before the Supreme Court.)
Why did Alaskans have to pay for Palin's grandstanding?
Well, at least William Kristol will have more time now for ocean cruises.
I hear Team Sarah may be looking for a publicist. Surely, "never being right" won't bar Kristol from employment there.
images: top: driftglass, bottom - New Yorker