The Back Stabber's Campaign

Newsweek, December 5, 2011 | Go to article overview

The Back Stabber's Campaign


With a year's worth of jabs and parries remaining, this season's political contest has already seen its share of betrayals. A guide to the most significant attacks.

Roger Ailes / Sarah Palin (knife)

Woe is she who double-crosses the king of conservative media. Fox News boss Roger Ailes was reportedly "furious" with the Belle of Alaska for making the final announcement that she wouldn't run for president not on his channel but on Mark Levin's talk-radio show. Sarah Palin has a $1 million contract with Fox, and Ailes considered pulling her off the air as punishment.

Barack Obama / Jon Huntsman (knife)

There's no bigger turncoat in this election than the onetime ambassador to China, whose entire campaign is a giant bird-flip to his old boss. Barack Obama appointed Jon Huntsman, a former governor of Utah, to the ambassador post in August 2009. Not two years later, he quit and announced his candidacy for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Ed Rollins (knife) / Michelle Bachmann

Ed Rollins, the longtime Republican operative, is known for sticking a dart or two into his ex-boss's back. After ditching Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign, which Rollins managed, the bearded adviser couldn't help saying a few bad words about the Minnesota Republican. Rollins taunted that Bachmann had "run out of money and ideas." "There's no substance," Rollins added for good measure.

Rick Perry (knife) / Herman Cain

When you spend too much time finger-pointing, you can end up poking yourself in the eye. After Politico reported allegations that the former Godfather's Pizza chief sexually harassed a battery of women during his time at the National Restaurant Association, Herman Cain accused a former consultant to his 2004 Senate campaign--now an adviser to Rick Perry--of leaking. …

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