The in-depth profile, which describes Palin as the "sexiest and the riskiest brand in the Republican Party," raises questions about McCain's decision to pick the Alaska governor as his running mate and her "disastrous" performance in the 2008 campaign -- sparking a vicious back-and-forth between former advisers to the GOP ticket.
"Perhaps most painful, how could John McCain, one of the cagiest survivors in contemporary politics...ever have picked a person whose utter shortage of qualification for her proposed job all but disqualified him for his?" author Todd Purdum writes in his article published Tuesday.
The article also claims that top aides worried about Palin's "mental state" during the campaign -- with some suggesting Palin was suffering from postpartum depression following the recent birth of her son, Trig.
On Tuesday, editor of The Weekly Standard Bill Kristol -- who once served as an informal adviser to McCain -- accused former campaign manager Steve Schmidt of spreading the idea to other campaign aides.
"In fact, one aide who raised this possibility in the course of trashing Palin's mental state to others in the McCain-Palin campaign was Steve Schmidt," Kristol wrote in his magazine blog posted Tuesday.
But Schmidt vehemently denied the charge Tuesday and lambasted Kristol for his work as chief of staff to former Vice President Dan Quayle.
"I'm sure John McCain would be president today if only Bill Kristol had been in charge of the campaign," Schmit reportedly wrote in an e-mail to Politico.
"After all, his management of [former Vice President] Dan Quayle's public image as his chief of staff is still something that takes your breath away," Schmidt continued.
"His attack on me is categorically false," the e-mail said.