Bitter infighting between advisers to John McCain and his running-mate, Sarah Palin, has exploded into public view, with McCain supporters accusing her of being a "diva" and her own faction warning that they would not let her take the blame if the campaign suffers a heavy defeat.
Anonymous briefing and counter-briefing yesterday suggested Governor Palin is "going rogue" and blaming many of the campaign's senior advisers for her own plummeting poll ratings. The internecine warfare threatened to overwhelm the Republican effort to close the gap with rival Barack Obama in the final days before the election.
"She is a diva," one McCain loyalist told CNN last night. "She takes no advice from anyone. Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party."
The Alaska governor was reported by friends to have been frustrated at being denied day-to-day contact with the media, being forced instead into high-profile TV interviews where her garbled answers have been the stuff of comedy routines ever since.