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. Chuck

    Hey, Pat M.

    Have you ever had any hate for Bill Clinton while he was in office and now? Maybe, a whole lot of people had the same reciprocal hate for the "CheneyBush" administration while they were in office.

    July 5, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. Glenn

    I don't think Ms. Palin will run for president. I trully feel she is sick and tired of the left bent so called news geeks desperately trying to destroy her family. Dave what do you know about igloos since you obviously live under a rock. Maybe you can get some stimulus money and move to a cave.

    July 5, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. Jeff - Austin, TX

    I take great pleasure in seeing the Rupublicans eating their young.

    July 5, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Gonzo in Houston

    "Lacks a clear strategy"? I think it's pretty obvious. She's quitting her day job to concentrate on making money from her new-found fame and laying the groundwork for her 2012 race for the GOP presidential nomination.

    Sarah doesn't know much about government, but she's a natural expert at generating and profiting from attention.

    July 5, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. klondike

    She quit to in order to rake in millions, what's the big mystery? She'll need to "write" and promote her book deal, take large checks from the idiots who want to listen to her speak, and who knows what else? Maybe a porno or two???

    July 5, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Denine

    Here's her strategy, mark my words – She will become the radical right's "Oprah" until 2011 at which time she will throw her hat into the ring for the Republican nomination. The sad part is she is too blinded by her own pride to see how the story ends. She will go down in flames and take the evangelical base with her. Yippee!

    July 5, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  7. Peter Q. George

    Sarah Palin must have some over-inflated sense of self-worth regarding her "15 minutes of fame", which ended in last November. Why doesn't she finish her State job in Alaska and take it at that. She's HARDLY "Alaska's gift to the United States" as one Alaska politician recently said. She hardly Presidental in any way shape or form. She should do all of us a favor and stay at home in the 49th State.

    July 5, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. Ken, Arizona

    If Sarah wants the media to get off her back she should keep her mouth closed and stop saying stupid crap. This is the most unaware person I have ever seen. My third grade grandaughter knows more about domestic and foreighn issues of the day than Sarah does. But this is who the republicans will select to represent them, and that should scare the hell out of everyone. And by the way, what were her accomplishments during her tenure as governor?

    July 5, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. LCN

    She sounded dumber than a box of rocks during the announcement she gave the other day. Sara Palin can not even string together a coherent sentence, let alone paragraph. And this woman has a degree in journalism? She needs to go back to Wasilla AND STAY THERE!!!

    July 5, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. jaye

    Finally, a republican speaking out against her and her antics.
    If she's the "future" of the republican party then they're doomed.

    July 5, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  11. Avi Shlomo

    Karl, there goes away another potential job for you to handle a dumb politician. This is what our party has brought forward to us from Regan to Bush, Idiots for CEOs of the country and handlers like you who ruled and screwed the people. Wake up America from your slumber party

    July 5, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. ColdSweat

    All for the country? Please Sarah, we know Palin does whatever will benefit Palin the most. It's always country first, country first. If she really put country first she would have declined McCain's misguided invitation last fall and told him she would love to, but is nowhere nearly the best qualified, and please choose someone qualifed. She opted for the ego trip instead and it was disastrous. For 32 years I have been a Republican – this woman's got to go before she adds to the enourmous damage she already inflicted on us.

    July 5, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. She's a Fool

    I'm surprise she didn't blame Obama...she hates him b/c she just knew she was a shoe in if she screams sexism and mistreatment of the media and bloggers. Apparently, AK must have been very Desperate to put a person in office as Gov. and didn't realize she was dumb as a Pea!

    This is turning into a side show and I'm really sick of this ladies theatrics. She really didn't like that the world was in true mourning for MJ so she had to step in the spotlight.

    July 5, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Tom

    It was just gibberish and worse. According to Sarah, George W., Reagen and at IKE were all dead fish who "milked" their offices as lame ducks! That is exactly what she said and of course, it is just stupid.

    It appears that what really is happening is that Sarah is writing her own speeches and this is the result. Incoherent gibberish.

    Bottom line: she is a quitter and if she thinks she can spin that for 2012, then she is only fooling herself.

    July 5, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  15. Dianne IL

    While I don't put her quitting in the same category of corruption as Rod Blagojevich, if I were an Alaskan citizen I would be pretty upset. (This is assuming that she did nothing illegal.) Why did she run for governor? Why did she run for Vice President? She is not fulfilling her obigations to her state. Also, as a typical politician, she is spinning this decision as something that is good for the state of Alaska. I guess it is because it seems apparent that she's been wanting to take care of Sarah Palin and not Alaska. Once again, she is proving that she is not qualified to be a leader anywhere.

    July 5, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  16. Chris W

    If Karl Rove gets on to her presidential campaign, we'll all be hearing from him how unAmerican anyone is for questioning the the early ressignation.

    Yabetcha!

    July 5, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. The other Bev

    Well stated @Gracie in MD. Thank you!

    July 5, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. I Can See Russia

    Politics and thin-skinned politicians don't work.

    I am not a 'W' fan, but if you recall all of the heat he took and continues to take from his 'arrogant puffiness', he didn't feel the need to constantly defend himself as Palin does, on what seems to be on a daily basis.

    Silly Sarah, politics are for grown ups and non-narcissistic people.

    July 5, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. john dicaro

    Palin says she intends to avoid being a "lame duck". But she will never avoid being a "lame brain"!

    July 5, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  20. graphx

    The strategy is really pretty simple. In 2010 she will go around and campaign for Republican candidates across the country (as she does have drawing power). If the republicans she campaigns for do good they will owe her in 2012. She can't do all that campaigning as Alaska's governor. It's that simple.

    July 5, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. Texan

    Palin may become a preacher and rake in millions to finance her run for prez in 2012.

    July 5, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. republicans hate america

    its because republicans cut and run

    July 5, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. Tom from Wheaton, IL

    I fear the "Thrilla in Wasilla" is not over yet. The Devine Miss P has another trick or two up her sleeve. We need to insist that people get a license to use a microphone. Even the most lax requirements would include being able to pronounce words ending in "ing" and being able to tell stories that have a beginning, a middle and an end. Our society has effectively quelled the Neo-Nazi "party" by refusing to look at them. We should do the same for nut-job public figures.

    July 5, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. John

    Let's see if Palin runs for president, wins, and then quits midway because the pressure is too hot. Palin is not a multi-tasker.

    July 5, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  25. milllie alf

    Will the wolves of Alaska be given a reprieve? One can only hope.

    July 5, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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