July 5th, 2009
01:09 PM ET
5 years ago

Rove: Palin's resignation lacks clear strategy

Republican strategist Karl Rove said Sunday that Gov. Sarah Palin's decision to step down risky and not clear.
Republican strategist Karl Rove said Sunday that Gov. Sarah Palin's decision to step down risky and not clear.

(CNN) - The "architect" of George W. Bush's successful presidential campaigns has questions about Sarah Palin's resignation as governor.

"It's a risky strategy," Republican campaign mastermind Karl Rove told "Fox News Sunday."

Palin's unexpected announcement Friday that she will step down with 18 months left in her first term has left many in her party "a little perplexed," said Rove, whom Bush dubbed "The Architect" for managing his two victorious campaigns in 2000 and 2004.

Palin, who was John McCain's surprise vice presidential candidate in the 2008 election, said she already knew she would not seek a second term, and decided against being a lame duck governor for the next 18 months.

She also complained that too much time and taxpayer expense was going toward fighting ethics investigations, and that the mainstream media continued with unfair attacks on her and her family.

Some analysts believe Palin will seek the 2012 Republican nomination, and that her resignation is intended to free her to prepare.

Rove said stepping down now won't lessen the media spotlight, and in fact takes away her platform as governor for controlling her agenda and message.

"The media, if she wants to run for president, is going to be following her for the next 3-1/2 years," Rove said.

He called her move unclear and therefore a potentially harmful strategy for a politician.

"Effective strategies in politics are ones that are so clear and obvious that people can grasp," Rove said. "It's not clear what she's doing and why."

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska criticized Palin's decision as abandoning the state's voters. Palin defeated Murkowski's father in winning the gubernatorial election in 2006.

But Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, also on the Fox program, said Sunday that Murkowski's statement disappointed him because it failed to recognize all that Palin has accomplished in her 2-1/2 years in office.

"She doesn't need a title to effect change and bring some hope to people who need it," said Parnell, a Republican who stands to become governor with Palin's resignation.

In an Independence Day message to supporters, Palin said she was leaving office for a "higher calling."

"How sad that Washington and the media will never understand; it's about country," Palin said in a statement attributed to her on her Facebook page. "And though it's honorable for countless others to leave their positions for a higher calling and without finishing a term, of course we know by now, for some reason a different standard applies for the decisions I make. But every American understands what it takes to make a decision because it's right for all, including your family."

Palin said her administration had "accomplished more during this one term than most governors do in two."

"We have accomplished so much and there's much more to do, but my family and I determined after prayerful consideration that sacrificing my title helps Alaska most," she said. "And once I decided not to run for re-election, my decision was that much easier - I've never been one to waste time or resources."

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, noted that Palin will remain in the media spotlight regardless of whether she is governor.

"The challenge that she's going to have is that there will be people who will say, look, if they chased you out of this, it won't get any easier at other levels," Huckabee said. "It could be a brilliant strategy. The point is we don't know."

Huckabee called a presidential campaign "brutal," and said a Republican primary will ratchet up the pressure on Palin.

"When your opponents within your own team spend millions of dollars to redefine you, it's very very difficult," Huckabee said.


Filed under: Karl Rove • Mike Huckabee • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. daniel

    She got out because the oil based economy of the State is about to tank and she does not want that stink to stick to her. The expression is rats leaving a sinking ship.

    July 5, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. Champly

    Dear Barking Republican – I agree, the racists should reveal themselves, however the biggest racist in the U.S is a coward and will not do it. It would require him to step out from behind the Presidential Seal and humble himself before the American people. He aint going to do it. He doesn't have the time. He has a politburo to build.

    July 5, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. Stephen

    Palin is taking time off to go to see the wizzard to get some smarts. That has to be the higher calling that she's referring to. She probably got the higher calling message delivered to her by her former pastor. Hopefully the higher calling message also advises her to quit shooting moose from helicopters!!!!

    July 5, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Pat in Melbourne

    You can't have a democracy without educated people. Reading half the posts on this page (the half that support this nut job) its easy to see why bush stayed in office so long. People that don't know any better are fast to yell "Socialist", "Communist", whatever else they can come up with. Its funny to see how these idiots would support there messiah "Palin" for office. If she can't handle being govenor of alaska for another 16 months do you really think she is going to last that long in the whitehouse?? Whatever, I hope the right wing on this page does vote for Palin, it will be easier win for Obama in 2012. You guys don't have a clue, except what you see on Fox News.

    July 5, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. Liberals lack honesty

    I just wish the dishonest media wrote one tenth the negative stories on Obama the liar as they write about Palin.

    July 5, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  6. Caroline

    I'm glad the Republican party is going through this PURGE. Perhaps real, competents adults will be left to remake the party into something relevant to all Americans.

    July 5, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  7. Katherine

    It's not about a "higher calliing," per se. But, she certainly doesn't have a prayer of becoming president. It seems to be about money and attention. If she wants to be president, she needs to take the media crap about not only her, but her kids, as well. I don't trust her. She's out for herself. She's not articulate, a cartoon, someone who is looking for approval...she needs to go back to school and learn about politics, geography, and history. Maybe she could ask McCain to be her VP. Or, maybe she might change her mind and want to be a ballerina or astronaut. By the way, who helped her and her family build the house of hers? Was state money used?

    July 5, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. CenterRight

    Reading this thread and some of the commentaries from our so called "news" organizations just makes me sad for America. I wish both parties would stop force feeding us candidates and agendas from the far left and the far right.

    Most of America sits somewhere close to the center. If the leaders of both parties could sideline their nutjobs (and weren't nutjobs themselves) to work from the middle, we could find common ground on all sorts of issues including foreign policy, fiscal responsibility, and environmentally responsible energy independence.

    July 5, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. I laugh at Limbaugh daily

    Sarah wont be running for any office.She will get a job with Faux News.Bet on it.Champly.South Carolina is looking for someone as hatefilled as you.

    July 5, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. martin wnuk

    There is nothing in Sarah Palin's background, education, intellect, character or performance as a vp candidate to indicate she could be capable of leading the greatest country on the planet, even in normal times.

    And the fact that so many conservatives are willing to accept this and forgive the completely erratic behavior she exhibited by quitting her job indicates how low the conservative movement is sitting in the water.

    July 5, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. RS in STL

    This Country could desperately use another Ronald Reagan at this moment to steer us out of the Socialist road the present Administration wants to take us down.

    What ever happened to the values and principles this Country was founded on and made it what it was; independence and self-reliance.

    Not Of the Government, By the Government, and for the Government.

    Most of the people on this board have no idea what it means thanks to our left-wing public education system!

    July 5, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Paula

    PLEASE calling all angels..do not let this flake run for anything! My goodness..if Americans thought George Bush was an embarrassment, Palin will make him look like a Rhodes Scholar.. what a hack she is. Palin can't string a paragraph together..she quotes magnets from her parents fridge!! Oh gee gosh golly get out of the media's face because frankly.. most of us are tired of your lame presentation.. yes we are you betcha! ick..

    July 5, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  13. Once You Vote Black

    Why do people always compare her to Obama. Obama aside this women has 2 terms as Mayor and a 1/2 term as Gov. She does not know African is not a nation. Give me a break already.

    July 5, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. TC

    To call this move a "strategy" is being generous.

    July 5, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Emma

    One of you said, "Sarah, hurry up and rescue us." How? By trying to impose extreme right ideology into our daily lives? Do you really think Congress would let her do that?

    alana s, you sensed that her speech was abrasive and angry. I perceived that too. Her elocution showed intense emotion which she was trying to manage. She will always be a public figure and be in the spotlight frequently. The things she perceives as insults and character injuries could flood her emotionally and make her life a torture unless she develops new coping strategies.

    July 5, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  16. Cynthia MN

    No matter what she does or did, the media and haters will do whatever they can to try to destroy her. No one really here knows what she is going to do. even if she does run in 2012 and had she stayed in office and ran for re-election people would critize her and say she used her office. Perhaps she is resigning simply to be with her family and be a part of other worthy causes.

    July 5, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. patrick

    Smart move by Sarah. Now she can accumulate the resources to fight back at the liberal spending spree that will bankrupt our nation. They keep promising every voter more and more benefits that we can't afford to pay for- it's insane! It's time for older Americans (voters) to stop milking the system at the expense of our children. Do we really want to beg the Chinese to finance our out-of-control spending and then live with the consequences that the Chinese will be able to control our future? Should we give up our independence for a few more luxuries today? Don't we have enough stuff! Let's do with less today so that our future can be bright! Look at how excessive personal debt has led to the housing and banking mess. Excessive Government debt will bring down our nation. The interest costs on this massive debt will swallow a very large portion of our yearly budget. What a waste of money!

    July 5, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  18. Johnathan S.

    Something "stink's" about this whole resignation.
    There's something just waiting to come to the surface.
    We'll all find out soon enough.Stay tuned.............

    July 5, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. ERP

    Sarah Palin is behaving in character as the airhead she is and always will be. Sadly enough, there are still enough narrow-minded, misguided Americans who will continue to waste time and money on this wasteland from Alaska.

    July 5, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  20. Champly

    Dear I Hand Out – so what your saying is that if someone disagrees with you, presents you with facts you can not or will not dispute, you accuse them of being serial killers ? Is that how it works Dear ?

    July 5, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  21. Bill Sampson

    So Rove believes her strategy is unclear. Well, from his perspective, that must make her presidential material!

    July 5, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. MK

    I get so sick of people talking about "socialism" when discussing our Government! Here is what it is......"Socialism: noun 1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole. "

    Now, lets talk about the local level of Gov. How many choices do we have in this capitalist society? I have one choice of a cable company, one choice of an electric company, one choice of a gas comapny and I live in a big midwestern city (Indianapolis). Where is the capitalism there?

    How about the Patriot Act and the rights we lost because of it?? How about the NSA spying on us?

    How about the government paying th farmers of the country to NOT GROW crops?

    If this is "socilaism" we have been here for a long time.

    So all you "Rush" talkers out there I say to you, switch your chanel while you can because if it is true we are going to be sliding into socialism and communism Rush and his big fat mouth won't be on the air for long.

    July 5, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. mary

    First & foremost – she is an individual. Able to make a decision for her own life. Whether we agree should not even be important. She has done good for her state and probably not so good, like all governors.

    If she runs in '012 good for her, but even though I would consider her
    I doubt she will win. Running behind Obama will be difficult for anyone. Mainly because he is different from the other presidents and still we are not clear on what will happen in the next 4 years.
    His platform has to become clearer or those who just wanted change
    and are truly able to compare economic past presidencies will realize
    this is worse than the last 16 years.

    Security for our country is first for me and for the first time in over 8 years I am afraid. A strong military is the only way to allow the economy to grow. At least she believes in that and for that she is a bigger "man than Obama. I wish her luck.

    July 5, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  24. Joshua Fletcher

    Wow, Champly. Wow. You are mentally subnormal not unlike Trigg Palin, perhaps this is where your sympathies for this Diva Trollop stems from. You sound like a character living in a trailer park with three teeth eating a mayonaise sandwhich, banging your sister and listening to John Kruger Mellencamp records. I dont know where you learned your definition of marxist and marxism, but if you think President Obama fits that bill, you are truely beyond hope. His name is Barack ass wipe. That must reallly piss a redneck like you off. President Barack Hussein Obama, nice ring eh Champly? Also, when did being left wing and liberal become a bad thing in the United States. Liberal is derived from the latin Libre, which means freedom. To me, trying to "conserve" the status quo is a far more indefensible view, since the status quo is not all that great. You poor ultra conservative wankers need to dig your heads out of your overlarge arses and take a look at the new world. There's no room in it for for ignorant, poorly worded, hateful and repetative arguments. Calling someone a socialist goes back to McCarthyism, find a new scare tactic and move on.

    July 5, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. johnny

    Hahaha. She already looks older. She's soft around the jawline, and wears so much makeup (and pantyhose with shorts) to cover the fact that she's aging. She is, you know, and less attractive (if you ever thought so, I never did, I like a smart woman) every single day.

    July 5, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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