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. RPS in STL

    Lisa July 5th, 2009 11:29 am ET

    Puhlese! This narcissist will blame her problems on everybody but herself. She's the one who's a joke, who can't speak coherently and doesn't have a clue about the real world. She thinks the media has been unfair to her? HA! Every single time she opens her mouth, the media doesn't have to do a single thing to show what an idiot this woman is. She does it herself and does the media's work for her.

    Alaska and America will be much better off if she were out of politics altogether and out of the public eye. She's an embarrassment not only to any politician but to women in general. She gives the rest of us a bad name.

    Hey Lisa:

    How does Sarah Palin give the rest of women a bad name? How is she an embarrassment to women in general?

    Doesn't have a clue about the real world? What is your real world experience that you speak so knowledgeably from?

    Can you tell us Lisa? We are all waiting your reply.

    July 5, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. Champly

    To the Obamot running CNN – where is Rove's "slam" ?

    July 5, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Mac

    You're a joke Palin! Voting for McCain WAS NOT a vote for you. You're so "wishy-washy", a term as corny as you are. Honestly, you're a detriment to the GOP and a detriment to Alaska. Thanks but no thanks!

    July 5, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. Kevin in Ohio

    The left-wing hate machine is out in full force today.

    No one can be sure what Sarah palin's intentions, or non-intentions, are. All I can say is that it may be genius.... and that once the Obama Depression becomes full blown, we may see.......

    July 5, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Dave

    haha.
    who was it, The Tin Man? who was 'if i only had a brain'?
    That's Palin to a 'T'. She realized that to be a contender for President (with the notable exception of W Bush) that you have to have a brain...and she is on a year and a half search to find one before she runs...please , please...let Palin, Limbaugh, Cheney, Gingrich, and Sanford continue to be the face of the Republican Party hahahahahahahaha

    July 5, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. GE

    She is a bafoon, why does it matter? Probably taking time off to learn english.

    July 5, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. nystrome

    so so sad this world has a no place for a women who thinks she can
    do better then a man. well she does have a nice shape, shes not a blonde but reallly does act like one.

    July 5, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. NVa Native

    The Repubs will let Palin get away with anything.
    The men all lust for her and the women see a woman who can say what ever she likes, and even though she rarely makes sense, their men seem to be listening to her.
    Possibly what is lacking in their own homes maybe?

    July 5, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Rob P.

    Pfft. The same Sarah Palin who went out of her way to get national news coverage after the idiocy that marked her as a potential VP candidate? The same Sarah Palin that seems to feel threatening legal action whenever something unflatterring (oh, but there is so much to choose from) is reported about her? Great way to support constitutional rights there.

    So, not even a 1 term governor, and half of that was spent campaigning for VPOTUS. I'm quite sure Alaska will remember you as an absentee governor. And those times you charged the State for staying at home. Such petty graft will also be remembered.

    Sorry Sarah, go put on your buckskins and disappear into the tundra.

    July 5, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Jimmy

    Having read the Vanity Fair article i can fully understand why this coward left office. She is an embarrasment to Alaska and is running scared. I now hear there may be a Federal charge against her for embezzlement. I hope it is persued and lets get rid of her for once and for all. Alaska and in fact America cannot afford her lunacy any more. Good riddance Sarah. Go to your higher calling and run with the rest of your family – they need you more than we do.

    July 5, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Katie

    I'm appalled at the amount of criticism that Gov. Palin is taking. I am not saying her decision is the correct one, but how many have you have been in her position? Wow....I'm sure everything is clear from where you sit...but this is her life, her family and her happiness at stake! The media has no concern for that! Suppose your dirty laundry was aired and relived by millions over and over again! People can only take so much before they break! Walk a mile in her shoes before you're so judgmental.

    July 5, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. mark from NY

    Let me tell tou the truth, people. Sarah was going to loose in 2010 in Alaska, So she resigned before it happened. what a looser.

    July 5, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. Jim in Indinana

    First George W. now Sarah. What is it with the conservatives and there love affairs with stupid people. You would think they would have learned by now.

    July 5, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. Carla

    @ SKIPALASKA50 – maybe u can become her speechwriter! Which speech did you hear that the rest of the world didn't.

    Please take off the blinders and see for yourself – Palin is a fraud and she got by because of her looks in AK – and it almost worked in the lower 48 because McCain and crew was protecting her from during interviews b/c they knew if she was exposed to the media by giving interviews this was going to happen. Please get with it......Sarah was way over her head. Tell me one thing she has said besides attack and complain on a policy level. Just one Thing please....

    July 5, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. Carolyn of RC

    Carlos – some of the most hateful comments come out of the mouths of Republicans (like Limbaugh and his followers).

    July 5, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. Welcome to Rome

    People like to hide their heads in the sand when the walls are falling in.

    July 5, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. eaca

    Go get'em Sarah! For all you liberals out there, remember this. Obama is occupying the highest seat of the land, even though we're still not sure he is even a citizen. He won't fess up to being born in Kenya where his paternal grandmother remembers his birth. The gangster government now running under this potential illegal president doesn't get any criticism from CNN. However, Sarah Palin, who has been vindicated of ethics charges, comes under intense scrutiny every time she makes a move. How much can one person take?

    One day our children are going to wake up and ask their parents, "What happened to the United States of America?" We used to be the land that the world envied, because we stood for what was right, not convenient. I feel so sorry for the young in this country. Washington is doing such a disservice to them.

    Sarah, hurry up and rescue us!

    July 5, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. andre

    Palin is desperate for attention. Her little drama with Letterman is over so she must create more attention for herself. There will be continued acts like this.

    July 5, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Peace

    No one with the right thinking gets the sounding reason of her quitting the job.
    A woman without being extraordinary tough "iron lady", can not make it at the highest level in politics.

    July 5, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. alana s

    I agree that Rove is setting the bar low for her in the media to try to make her not look so ridiculous – But that is all she knows how to do – To make herself look RIDICULOUS!

    July 5, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  21. Seattle-ite

    she is....... Queen Quitter......

    She wlll get some of the media spotlight from quitting since the media cant find interesting things to write about.. Who the heck cares about what Dickless Cheney or Newt Gangreech has to say these days...

    The American People are way too smart and will remember at the next polls what she did to the great people of Alaska... Quit....

    She is and always be Queen Quitter...

    July 5, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. floydfix69

    off the wall here if you see a veteran of war today give them thanks freedom rocks and they do too.

    July 5, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. Trish

    Quitters never win.

    July 5, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Alan

    Her paranoia is distrubing. Her continuing 'bunker mentality' that everyone is out to get her and that no one understands her and no one can obey her orders, plus the fact that she's got a persecution complex the size of New York is very disturbing. She really sounds like someone from history (*coughhitlercough*). Maybe he got reincarnated as a silly woman from Alaska (now wouldn't that be irony). Luckily though, people can clearly see that Palin is a complete loser and she can fool nobody.

    July 5, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  25. EcoAZ

    I do not understand the dumb, zero class incivility that reads more like high school bathroom graffiti than adults expressing opinions.

    This is flat out defamation and to me, regardless of political party, is unacceptable and beneath contempt. People with minds like this deserve the shake down and scam artists that are clamoring for public office.

    Genuine public servants focused on the public good are sure to remain in the private sector rather than subject their children to public stonings like yours, and as administered by the MSM.

    July 5, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
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