July 5th, 2009
01:09 PM ET
9 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. Moody

    I love how some women say us men treat Palin with disrespect because she is a women.

    Thats not true at all. Its because she is dumb.

    Most men respect Hillary Clinton because she is intelligent.

    July 5, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Denna

    Shut up Karl. You and other nosy people are probably part of the problem. Besides being the 'architect of the Bush regime' pretty much disqualifies you from making a statement about anyone else. Go hide your fat, ugly face somewhere.

    July 5, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. kishen c.rao

    what strategy? Do you know the meaning of strategy...it is a stupidity...to sink the state to play the drama....American people are very clever to understand....she is a stupid lady....she would not even come close to getting elected to US presidency...ok...

    July 5, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. New England ground zero of pedophiles and Obamots

    Sarah needs to sit down and shut up.

    July 5, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. AZ Gal

    Sarah thank you for stepping down. Now I hope your higher calling is being at home with your other daughters and trying to instill morality in them so they don't turn to a young man for the love you and Todd put into yourselves rather than your children.

    And maybe you can be an extra special mother to Trig who really needs extra special attention.

    Stay out of the limelight. And thus your family can live in peace and quiet.

    Find a different calling than politics because all you were doing was setting women back 50 years with your views and ignorance.

    July 5, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. Icnino

    Sarah, you COULD be a presidential candidate, you COULD be a great governor, you COULD be a lot of things if....
    you just STOP WHINING about how you are mistreated! Did it ever occur to you that a great presidential candidate is proactive about the inequities of political life? Did it ever occur to you to stop crying about 'poor, pitiful me'? Look around – the media isn't fair to anyone, politician or otherwise. They're sharks on a feeding frenzy over anything newsworthy and they are always sniffing the ground to find something. Their so-called mistreatment of you doesn't make you special.

    I would love to have a strong female presidential candidate to vote for, but you are not her. You won't even do until the real thing comes along. Face it, if you can't deal with the media now, you certainly wouldn't be able to handle it as president. You're not presidential, Sarah, you're a big crybaby. Grow up and maybe I will vote for you one day.

    July 5, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  7. adam

    Never liked her and never will, Good bye !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 5, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. JohnBalto

    GE July 5th, 2009 11:59 am ET Writes:

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

    Why don't you do the same genius...or at least purchase a dictionary.

    Typical CNN.. Rove "Slams" Palin. I fail to see where he slams her???
    questions maybe, but slams? Man, the pure hate by the left is nothing short of comical.

    How about giving her a couple of days to explain what she intends to do before passing judgement?

    obtw...What say you hypocrite liberals about Obama? Did he not effectively quit the Senate and the people of Illinois by running for President just a few short months after entering office? He spent most of his time campaigning and voted "present" (no stand or decision) more often than not...when he bothered to show up.

    Obama's Senate term was to end in 2012. Who is the quitter again????

    Ok for him to seek a "higher calling", but not Palin?

    July 5, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. Starling

    There are quite a few posts that I've read about her political agenda about her stepping down. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say she wants to go back taking pictures in skimpy swim wear holding guns. Ladies and gentle meet our new pin up girl for the republican party! (Ok I don't actually feel that way. Her decision is her decision and she doesn't have to explain her reasoning to anyone.)

    July 5, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. Buddy Gilmour

    Palin is a prima donna. That means she's not a team player and doesn't consult with Rove, and so he doesn't watch her back. Palin decided that her prospects are better, at least right now, outside of politics. She might someday decide to re-enter politics, but I doubt it. I see her as more of a pop-celebrity talking-head. Perhaps she'll have a right-wing morning show on Fox?

    July 5, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  11. LMC

    Palin likes to play the victim. She has been "victimized" by ethics probes, there is a double standard, etc. She becomes a victim anytime someone says anything contrary to her beliefs or against her. She has no trouble slinging mud against others though. She is a living double standard. I have a hard time believing anyone could want her in our highest office. She was practically clueless in the last election. Pretty much all she did was sling mud. Her reasons for leaving office as stated seem extremely shallow. She has plenty of time to finish her commitment and still run for other offices if she wants to. I don't hate her, but I can't stand her. She puts me off every time she opens her mouth.

    July 5, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  12. Daniel

    If she can't handle the pressures of life and be an effective governor of Alaska then how can she possibly even consider trying to be President where the pressures are a thousand times worse? No matter how much the Republicans sugar coat this Palin has truly failed the Alaskans and I feel bad for them.

    July 5, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. GOP = 21st century dodo


    "Wonder what Barry Obama's spirtual advisor, the most Reverend Wright, says about all of this ? Maybe CNN could interview him."

    Thanks for the red herring. As far as the actual subject of the article, I think this clearly underscores that Palin's move was extremely erratic, since members of BOTH parties are baffled by it. I can only hope that wherever Sarah Palin goes she takes the GOP base with her, along with the neocons willing to exploit the base as useful idiots.

    Those two factions need to be removed from the Republican party before it can once again be a functioning party representing conservative principles.

    July 5, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. joe blough

    "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……."

    Obama Depression? Are you NUTS? What planet are you on? If you had a brain you'd know that 1) this started way before Obama took office and 2) anyone occupying the White House is faced with an almost impossible task of an "immediate" turnaround. It's not an "Obama Depression", fool. It's an American Tragedy caused by Wall Street, greedy lenders, and politicians paying too much attention on international affairs.

    And I'm a Republican, fed up with the last eight years. I am appalled by your statements and anyone else who love to twist this around and blame the current president. Give me a break. Yes, it may get worse before it gets better, but that was set in motion long before Obama took office. You think McCain would have done better? Or anyone? You're in la-la land.

    July 5, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Thomas

    When will Ms Palin realize that she was used as a tool by the GOP. When the tool did not work out, they dumped her.

    Ms Palin, You are a "C"-list politician who was invited to sit at the "A"-list table once. Don't think that suddenly you are an "A"-lister.

    I wish you well and your family well. But you have no place in public office.

    July 5, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. Champly

    Rob P – you are such an intellectual. I am really impressed ;O

    July 5, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. TruthTeller

    You scumbag liberals will regret everything you said about her. When your messiah is exposed as the illegal alien fraud, your democrap party will be toast.

    July 5, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. Yobee

    Poor Sarah, picked on and misunderstood by the evil, faceless mass of the liberal media assassins.

    This latest freaky move firmly establishes this air-headed dilettante as the lightweight high school drama queen she's been all along to anyone cynical enough to see through her cloying, manipulative reactionary persona.

    Is it true that this will end up being her national stage swansong?

    You betcha!

    July 5, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. chris3dog

    Sarah is resigning because her kids threatened to run off and join the circus if she didn't stop making a fool of herself on national TV.

    July 5, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. Alexa

    Kevin in Ohio, can you please explain how KARL ROVE is part of the "left-wing hate machine" you just referred to?

    July 5, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. scott

    Sounds like the 'pitbull with lipstick' is skipping out on her responsibilities to become a community organizer for the Republican party. Oh, the irony!

    July 5, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. floydfix69

    two friends came home over the weekend both from iraq ,one male and female and yes women are special indeed so proud of them.

    July 5, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. Dos Equis Guy

    There is something else going on here that will probably surface in the very near future and probably worse than anyone can imagine because she wouldn't just quit for no reason being the attention hound that she is. Also, after being forced to endure 8 years of a retard in the white house, none of the actions from the moron republicans are surprising.

    The basketball analogy was especially stupid.... only idiots dribble the ball right into a full-court press; that's exactly what the defense wants you to do, it's called a trap. At least now she will have plenty of time to go chase witches in Africa, bone Levi, torture animals, and get cheered on by a bunch of mindless GOP zombies waving their bibles and tea-bagging each other.

    July 5, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. Tammy

    Pam M writes: "Not that fools will understand wisdom… Liberals and Media have been tough on her"

    Wisdom and Palin in the same sentence?! can you say oxymoron? would you know what oxymoron means?

    July 5, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. Billy J

    Wow .... sounds like 'truthteller' must be really lonely

    July 5, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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