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. VegasGurl

    At least have enough decency and respect for your family and all it's problems to tend to them rather than your own selfish desires. It would be different if the younger ones were older and the youngest didn't need special attention. Perhaps the light finally went on...

    July 5, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. JWS3

    "Palin needs some time to study elementary and middle -school textbooks. She needs to learn where Africa is"

    Or maybe learn there are not 57 states, there is no Austrian language. If Obama had been placed under the same media microscope as Palin, he would not be in the Whitehouse today!

    July 5, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Vern

    Tarheel states: "The sad thing is that even though Sarah Palin may not be the best person to be President, she would still be a huge improvement over the joke we have now as President".
    If this is what you really think, then you are a bigger idioit! No matter what your stand is on Palin it was obvious then and more obvious now that Palin is not president material. We need to start thinking clearly and along partisan lines.
    Anyway, the subject line is about Palin..why drag President Obama in this?!

    July 5, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Libertarian

    Rove needs to understand how IRRELEVANT he is. He should follow Palin into the sunset. Rove is a pig and the poster child of what WAS wrong with America. We're fixing that Rove so get used to it.

    July 5, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. Bizarro

    I'm a conservative, and there is no way I could support this flaky woman. I hope this means she will drop out of the spot light for good. We need to continue the purge of the miscreants in the Republican party, and hope that someone of substance and charisma emerges in time to push the current Marxist administration out of office in 2012!

    July 5, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. RS in STL

    Let's See, We have:

    Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Dick Durbin, Joe Biden, Henry Waxman, Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, Pat Leahy, Rahm Emanuel, and don't forget our newly appointed Al Franken! All the Socialists who never met a crisis they didn't like.

    Now there's some backbone and real leadership we can count on!

    Left unchecked, this group will take the United States of America to depths the likes of which have never been seen in this Country at any time in Her history!

    Here's hoping that people will wake up and not allow it to happen.

    July 5, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. Kimberly Bowen

    Sarah who?

    July 5, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. VegasGurl

    Waiting for the REAL, bright, talented, educated, qualified stars of the GOP/Republican Party to come out ...

    July 5, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. EcoAZ

    An entire generation of internet slammers and flamers will get the representation they deserve. Remember that political con artists will act just like the voters they want to corner to get elected, so don't feign shock and surprise when your favorites get caught with their hands in the piggy bank.

    No wonder Europeans look away in disgust. U.S. citizens look pretty moronic right now.

    July 5, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Mac

    As a supporter of McCain, I'll still say that Palin is only concerned for herself and her own self-gains. Why else would you run for the Executive office with a Down's child? Any politician that would get into a "catfight" with Letterman is too thin-skinned to be a mayor, much less a governor or president of anything. Anyone who would abandon their state for any reason, and then consider running for the highest office in this country is a quitter in my book. Nixon was a quitter.... JFK and Bobby Kennedy fought to the end (RIP). What is there to admire about Palin? The brightest of the female politicians are definitely not as attractive as her physically, but we're not voting for Miss America here.....

    July 5, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. Festivus Paul

    Truth Teller: You're funny, amazingly stupid, but funny

    July 5, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. JDB

    She won't even earn my consideration as a presidential candidate – she's a quitter plain and simple. Believe me, the demands and criticisms that come with the office would be much to much for the erratic ms palin, drama queen could handle. If she can't handle one term as governor in a lighty populated state, she most definitely can't handle the presidency.

    July 5, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. Fe

    Palin's not the only politician to resign–

    Croatia: Prime Minister Resigns Unexpectedly
    By REUTERS
    Published: July 1, 2009

    Prime Minister Ivo Sanader resigned unexpectedly on Wednesday in the middle of his second term, leaving his deputy to revive a stalled European Union application bid and deal with a sharp economic downturn. Mr. Sanader, 56, gave no reason for stepping down.

    July 5, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. Rob

    Let's see Obama took the oath of office for senator in January 2005 and a year later announced his intention to seek the democratic nomination for POTUS ... after only a year on the job in his first national political office with no prior executive level experience in political office. Hmmmm, but Palin isn't black, doesn't have Oprah's megamillions to image make her and doesn't have Oprah's influence on the media to contain her negatives and accentuate her positives. So who's Palin's Oprah? No one in America gets elected today unless they're worth several 100 million or have rich angels who're fronting them for influence later.

    July 5, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. Saint Stephen

    She is a quitter. She couldn't take the heat. So she quit. How could she be President of the US. If things got too tuff on her (and they'll be a lot tougher as President) what's she going to do? Quit? I can't wait till Letterman does "The Top Ten Reasons Why Sarah Palin Quit". That should be very funny.

    July 5, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. esteban

    Sarah Palin is a very polarizing figure who has 0 chance of winning the GOP nomination for president. The only place she had high marks was Alaska and even those have declined when people saw her actions on a national stage in the not ready for prime time run for VP. The woman is a "climber" with few credentials. Unfortunately, McCain added to her illusions of grandier. What could Sarah put in a book that we don't already know? What could she say differently that we would believe it this time?

    July 5, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Billy J

    She wants to get a TV show before her light dims. She is willing to walk away from the contract with Alaska that she spent so much of her political supporters money obtaining. She is and has been a prima-donna all along. She and Edwards both deserve any bad karma they get coming to them.

    July 5, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. Champly

    Dearest GOP = The POTUS is a racist and a Marxist and you call discussion of it a "red herring". Wake up, quit smoking the barryweed, and do something constructive with your life. Geee.

    July 5, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. Chuck

    Hey, Champly @ 12:14:

    So much hate coming from you..... how can President Obama be guilty of all that you just've spouted....he's been in office for just a few months, and, already, you are accusing him of all those thngs.....how can Obama have done all these things in so little time.

    Accept the face that he's really, really, making an honest and intelligent atttempt at fixing the mess that the "Cheney/Bush" adminstration created the last eight years. Give him a chance, be patient and most of all LEARN TO LIVE WITH IT.

    July 5, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  20. quarterback

    She can't take the heat?

    You want this lightweight making decisions for this country??

    Go away for good. You can't run a state you sure as hell can't run for national office.

    Good riddance hillbillies!

    July 5, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  21. BOB

    its all about money. She wants to make as much as possible and she cant as the Gov of Alaska.

    July 5, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  22. Steve

    You cannot blame McCain's loss of the Presidency on Palin . McCain accomplished this all by himself. There are almost 4 million websites on the internet dealing with the fact that he is not a natural born citizen. A naturalized citizen automatically but not a natural born
    citizen.
    Yes, this fact was a mistake by Congress in not allowing children of the military born overseas to be declared natural born citizens but it was never a problem until basically the start of the Cold War with the single exception of the Panama Canal.
    Children born overseas military or non military through out the history of the United States were only automatically naturalized citizens. Panama was the first case of children of the military being born overseas and there were many many cases when the Cold War started but still Congress did not attack the issue because it would have required a Constitutional amendment due to 14th amendment which declared a citizen is someone born in a State of the United States of a naturalized citizen.
    One reason Congress was reluctant to take up the issue through out the history of the United States was the problems presented by Dual citizenship. It drove the State Department nuts and it still drives them nuts today.

    July 5, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  23. FloridaJeff

    This is pretty simple. This woman cannot articulate even something as simple as a resignation statement. Does any voter in this country want to vote for someone who has never issued a coherent answer to any substantive question? More importantly, have we as a country become so uneducated or apathetic that we could consider, even half-heartedly, a person who never finishes anything they start - check her history folks - and is unable to give succinct answers to very pointed questions? At least with Obama we know what he is doing with our money. Let's ask Todd what he thinks about it. (Oops, was that an unfair attack on her family???).

    GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!

    July 5, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. Roland-St George, UT

    Rove has always been power hungry, that has always been the only thing he ever wanted, and now he is enjoying his status as power-broker. He just wants to be able to play god of the system and destroy whom he will and/or build up whom he will. He is the antichrist. How much longer are the Republicans going to let him (and others like him) destroy the party? Take a cue from Pat Buchanan and those with any integrity left should clean those scoundrels out...or leave the party for good.

    July 5, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  25. Champly

    Obama is not an illegal alien. He just will not release his Hawaiian birth certificate because it shows his race as "white". He hates the concept. He is actually about 50% white, 30% African, and 20% Arab.

    July 5, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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