Steve Schmidt: Palin Debate Was Nearly 'Debacle,' Kept Calling Rival 'O'Biden' (VIDEO)
On CBS's "60 Minutes" Thursday night, Republican strategist Steve Schmidt revealed some of the behind-the-scenes wrangling that went into Sarah Palin's debate against then-Sen. Joe Biden.
Schmidt says that a campaign staffer prepping Palin made a desperate call to the chief McCain campaign strategist. "He told us the debate was going to be a debacle of historic and epic proportions," Schmidt told Anderson Cooper."She was not focused, not engaged. She was not really participating in the prep." Schmidt confronted Palin and "she said, 'You know, I think that's right.'" Schmidt took over the preparation and said she "more than held her own" in the final debate.
Palin had a reflexive tendency to refer to Biden as "O'Biden," Schmidt revealed. He says other people on the campaign staff came up with a solution. "It was multiple people -- and I wasn't one of them-- who all said at the same time, 'Just say, 'Can I call you Joe?'' which she did."
In fact, Palin did accidentally call the senator "O'Biden" once during the debate.