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Veteran Republican Political Strategists Split On Sarah Palin's High Risk Gamble

Two veteran political strategists, Ed Rollins and Mary Matalin are split on their assessment of the high risk political gamble of Sarah Palin to quit her office of governor before even completing a single full term. Ed Rollins' view was expressed on the CBS EARLY SHOW, in which he seems to think that Palin never really established herself as a genuine national figure on her own, but it was John McCain placing her on his ill-fated ticket that gave her national exposure. In Rollins' view, a more genuine political leader needs to really establish themselves on their own with their own platform, policies and issues.ed-rollins.jpg

Rollins also believes that Palin will now get tagged with the label of a "quitter" which will sink her in states such as Texas in which Rollins referred to many still having a fighting "Alamo" never give up, never quit spirit.

On the other hand, Mary Matalin takes the opposite view, that Palin's move was somehow "brilliant". Matalin believes that since Mitt Romney is no longer the governor of Massachusetts, he has the luxury to spend all of his time building an organization for a very serious 2012 run. Palin can now compete. Yet, Matalin didn't address how Palin can possiby avoid being labeled a "quitter" which may hurt her among many voters.

However, neither Rollins or Matalin offered opinions on some questions that a number of ongoing ethics issues, her continued publicity antics, family problems, and her major book deal were all creating enough friction in her own home state, forcing Palin to quit her office before an issue could possiby blow up. The fact of the matter is that Palin might have been on the political decline in Alaska ever since losing her bid to become vice president. Much the same thing happened to the once popular South Dakota Senator George McGovern or even New York Congressman woman Geraldine Ferraro. Both of their of their political lives only began to spiral downward after their election losses. The presidential campaigns of both failed candidates only opened up too many personal shortcoming for their voters in both states.

Palin is also very prone to gross exaggerations when she speaks. During the 2008 campaign, Palin started the absurd claim that presidential candidate Barack Obama "pals around with terrorists" which was a far cry from the truth that Obama merely served on a school board with a number of persons, including a former 1960's political radical , William Ayers, who mellowed out and now works within the system as an educator. Palin also recently exaggerated that late night comic David Letterman somehow told a "rape" joke about their 14 daughter, when a writer for the program simply mistook the younger daughter for the older one when the Palins attended a NY Yankees baseball game. The fact of the matter is that both Palin girls, the 18 and the 14 year old both have long dark hair, look a little similar, and the younger one wore dark sunglasses that day, only adding to the identity confusion. However, because Palin is a constant publicity seeker, she exaggerated the botched joke into a major incident and a political stunt, and likely part of the reason that Palin quit her job, and not Letterman, was partially because of some problems at home in Alaska only stirred up by this and other silly Sarah Palin antics.

Maybe with so many swirling ethics questions and public fatigue with Palin only growing at home, Palin decided to quit her Alaska job before she might be formally challenged with some ethics charge, or even face possible political defeat at home in 2010. Either way, Sarah Palin is likely a rapidly declining force in GOP politics. I think veteran Republican strategist Ed Rollins best states that view as well. Probably, Sarah Palin fatigue is starting to set in with too many voters for her to ever have a decent chance at any office, nationally or in Alaska. Palin is likely a declining political entity. And further, Palin's move is yet another blow to the GOP national image in the wake of the Senator John Ensign and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford bad publicity scandals. Palin only giives voters one more good reason to doubt the GOP, which does that party no favors at all.


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Comments (3)

Mac Lorry:
Palin started the absurd claim that presidential candidate Barack Obama "pals around with terrorists" which was a far cry from the truth that Obama merely served on a school board with a number of persons, including a former 1960's political radical , William Ayers, who mellowed out and now works within the system as an educator.

It wasn't just the school board. Ayers also started a foundation with government grant money. Guess what, out of the blue (pun intended) Ayers picked Barack Obama to head that foundation. Ayers was unrepeated about his crimes in an interview a few years before the election and stated that he whished he had done more bombings. By serving as the head of Ayers' foundation, Obama associated himself with an admitted felon who escaped justice on a technicality. Saying Barack Obama pals around with terrorists was not at all an absurd claim.

Palin also recently exaggerated that late night comic David Letterman somehow told a "rape" joke about their 14 daughter, when a writer for the program simply mistook the younger daughter for the older one when the Palins attended a NY Yankees baseball game.

If that were true then Letterman would have sincerely apologized as soon as he was told that it was the 14 year-old daughter who was at the game. The fact that Letterman defended his statement for days after he knew or should have known the facts proves the above excuse is a lie. Letterman only apologized when left leaning organizations realized that Palin's complaint about raping her 14 year-old daughter was not a joke started to gain traction with the public and they criticized Letterman to cover their own behinds.

Maybe with so many swirling ethics questions and public fatigue with Palin only growing at home, Palin decided to quit her Alaska job before she might be formally challenged with some ethics charge. . .

Only two ethics questions of 15 haven't been resolved. Of those that have, only one required Palin to pay about $8,400 to the state for taking her kids along on an official trip. The rest have all been resolved in her favor. Nevertheless, Palin has had to pay $500,000 in legal fees to defend herself from these baseless attacks. It's not just the Democrats who have been piling on, it's also Republican members of the corrupt old guard she put out of power who are looking for a way to regain their power. Palin realized she had become the issue and had insufficient support to move forward the agenda she cared about. By passing power to the Lt. governor she has derailed the opposition to her agenda.

. . .or even face possible political defeat at home in 2010.

That would explain not seeking reelection, but not resigning with 18 months to go.

Lee Ward:

An independent Alaska legislative investigation found that Sarah Palin was guilty of ethics violations last October.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin violated ethics laws and abused her power as governor in pressing to have her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper, an independent legislative investigation concluded today.

In a report whose release was the subject of a high-stakes political showdown that went all the way to the Alaska Supreme Court, investigator Stephen Branchflower concluded that Palin communicated her displeasure with the trooper, Mike Wooten, and allowed her husband to apply pressure to have Wooten fired.

She was also caught lining her pockets with taxpayer money by charging off 'expenses' which weren't in fact legitimate expenses (my recollection is that she paid back those expenses that were illegitimate -- a tacit admission of guilt.)

Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.

The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.

In all, Palin has charged the state $21,012 for her three daughters' 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since she took office in December 2006. In some other cases, she has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls.

Rumor has it that Palin is under criminal investigation in Alaska. That, plus her apparent need for medication, would explain her sudden resignation.

Mac Lorry:
An independent Alaska legislative investigation found that Sarah Palin was guilty of ethics violations last October.

While a legislative investigation can look into any topic, it's findings carry no legal weight in this case for more than one reason. Primarily because under Alaska's Constitution and laws only the Alaska Personnel Board has the legal authority to adjudicate such a case, which it did and issued it's ruling Nov 3, 2008. Here's an excerpt from the Ruters report about that ruling.

The investigation concluded there was no "probable cause" that Palin violated the state's executive ethics act in dismissing Walt Monegan as public safety commissioner.

It also cleared her of ethics violations in respect to her dealings regarding Michael Wooten, the trooper involved in a contentious divorce and custody battle with the governor's sister.

I'm sure you know the legislative investigation was overruled by the properly constituted authority, so why continue to pretend otherwise?

She was also caught lining her pockets with taxpayer money by charging off 'expenses' which weren't in fact legitimate expenses (my recollection is that she paid back those expenses that were illegitimate -- a tacit admission of guilt.)

I mention that in my post #1, and it's a gray area under Alaska law. The ruling was split in that of the about $21,000 in expenses she only had to pay back about $8,400. Hardly a significant offense considering the Obama nominees who didn't pay their taxes.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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