July 5th, 2009
07:05 PM ET
5 years ago

State of the Union: Did Palin make the right move?


WASHINGTON (CNN) – Three of CNN's political contributors weighed in Sunday as pols and pundits alike continued to try to digest the implications of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's surprise announcement that will she will step down later this month.

In deciding to leave office early, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile said, on CNN's State of the Union, that Palin has made "a very risky decision."

"She's jumping out of the frying pan into the hot glare of the media spotlight, into the fire. And she has the potential of flaming out before 2012," Brazile said.

"She needs to manage her next 15 minutes of fame a lot better than she has done over the last year of being on [sic] the national spotlight," Brazile added, suggesting that Palin should take her newfound free time to write her book, to give public speeches and to "have an opportunity to learn a little bit more about foreign policy."

Republican strategist Ed Rollins, who supported Mike Huckabee's failed 2008 presidential bid, slammed Palin's resignation announcement.

"I think Friday was a disaster for her," Rollins told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, "both in the sense that she was very incoherent in articulating what it is – why she was quitting and what she wanted to do with it.

"As I always say, you call press conferences to answer questions – not to basically raise questions."

Rollins also said Sunday that without the benefit of finishing out term of governor, Palin will have "a partial record . . . that is very incomplete" should she mount a bid for the White House in 2012 as some suspect she is planning to do.

Conservative talk show host Bill Bennett disagreed with Rollins and Brazile about the wisdom of Palin's decision.

"To political pros this may be a problem. To the base, I'm not sure it's a problem at all," Bennett said, noting how difficult it would have been for Palin to run for president from Alaska while maintaining all of her gubernatorial duties in the state. "Well, she won't have that problem now."

"'Flame out,' 'disaster' – I think it's too early to say that," added Bennett.

But the three agreed on one thing – that Friday would've been a good opportunity for South Carolina's Republican Gov. Mark Sanford to bow out of office amid a seemingly never-ending scandal over his extramarital affair.

"You could argue this weekend the wrong governor resigned. You know, it should have been Sanford. She should have hung on for a number of reasons," Bennett told King.

Rollins said Sanford "has lost any effectiveness" in South Carolina.

"I have to agree with both gentlemen," added Brazile.

Updated: 7:05 p.m.


Filed under: Mark Sanford • Sarah Palin • State of the Union
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. KJL

    Palin is tabloid fodder, not someone who belongs in serious politics.

    July 5, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  2. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    Sanford should run away with palin and Bill bennet can be their love buddy .. but please please make them stay away from serving anything to do with y=the government . oh and take cheney and rove

    July 5, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  3. Peter E

    WHO CARES!!! Palin should fall into obscurity! She's a loser, and a negligent, failed governor!

    July 5, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  4. pricednc

    hopefully weve seen end of that fruitloop

    July 5, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  5. lucy2

    i don't get it. She only had about a year and half left of her term, right? Plenty of time to complete that, not run for re-election, and begin campaigning for president, if that's what she's after.
    I am very suspicious though, as none of theses reasons seem to be very clear or substantial. It makes me think there's a scandal about to it, or something else going on.
    Regardless of a person's politics, I would have a very difficult time voting for anyone who walked out before they finished a job they had been elected for. It just seems like a lack of committment to the people of Alaska and her own administration.

    July 5, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  6. Jason

    This is simple. Your either a Sarah Palin follower, or your not. Her followers think she can do no wrong, but everyone else in the world thinks she is old news and needs to move out of the spotlight. The bottom line is Sarah will never be able to cross over to another party's base and will never have a chance at a presidential bid with the dwindling conservative base. She made the right move by stepping down, I hope she just takes some time off and quits being the Paris Hilton of politics and keeps out of the spotlight.

    July 5, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  7. ti

    The 2012 question for Sarah P...guest or replacement host for Jerry Springer?

    July 5, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  8. Curious George

    Let me state unequivically, noone ever steps aside a political office "for the greater good" of the people. This can only be that someone has enough "dirt" on her that she's afraid that the risks outweigh the benefits of staying there. Nobody gives up a promising career, let alone in the first term, and quitting before she can even complete one term...one commitment she has made to the people. She is bailing on us. She realized to coin an old phrase, if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. And, she's getting the heck out of the proverbial kitchen real quick like. Someone must have some terrible dirt on her. I know she's not a quitter. Someone has something really bad, that she doesn't want exposed. As if ALL of the political embroilments that she has gotten herself into thus far wasn't enough, there must be even more that hasn't come to light yet...there must be some stuff that she is absolutely deftly scared and afraid of

    July 5, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  9. abraxis

    Palin is that kid when we were younger who couldn't get the rules of the game to go her way, so she is going home. Good RIDDANCE!

    July 5, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  10. RUTY

    Please Sarah ____be quiet now and give the rest of us a rest.

    July 5, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  11. girlsouth

    I can't imagine she is remotely considering a run for the presidency.
    I can't imagine an intelligent person speculating that she would.

    July 5, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  12. bill

    thank god now maybe the wolves have a chance

    July 5, 2009 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  13. George

    If Palin is all you have, the GOP is in worse shape than I thought. She will have 2 years to study. Not near enough time to get her up to speed. Sorry!

    July 5, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  14. Drew

    Sarah Palin is such an idiot...she can't even finish one term of her gubernatorial duties because it's too hard to deal with....but there are those that think she is a credible candidate for President? I said on the day that McCain announced her as his running mate that the election was over...and I'm saying now that the day she resigned ended her chances to run for national office.

    July 5, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  15. Neilz

    Republicans can't be serious considering her as a candidate. There is no way her inconsistent positions and Reality Show lifestyle will play with the electorate in 2012. Republicans, if there are any left by 2012, are going to need viable Presidential material. A candidate that can hold up to personal scrutiny and political debate. She's going to need much more political acumen than she has ever displayed in the past.
    I think she'll be a shill, drawing crowds to raise cash and provide fodder for pundits to deflect attention from Sanford's past, (currently present).

    July 5, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  16. THE TRUTH

    This was a decision for her to make. Not the Media's, not the jackels who hounded, or the comedians who went way below the belt to abuse her children. The combination thereof would run anyone from public office. All you who think you know what is in the woman's mind and calling her a traitor to her state. She could do no good for her state with all the uncalled for harrassment she was receiving. iIdoubt very seriously now that the woman has any political ambitions. BUT FOR ALL THE TODO OVER HER BY THE HYENAS OF THIS WORLD YOU WERE DEFINITELY SCARED OF HER. I PERIOUSLY THINK SHE WOULD BENEFIT AMERICA FAR MORE THAN THE JERK WE GOT.

    July 5, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  17. lori

    i am thrilled sara will be running in 2012. The liberals are going to try and destroy sara but they will find out what a determined woman can actually do.

    July 5, 2009 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  18. educated

    One more unemployed American...

    July 5, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  19. brown777

    she already seemed very weak and now this, if this is the best that the RNC has than it is in danger of becoming extinct. if rush/hannity put a positive spin on this as some sort of master plan than they will be putting the wrecking ball in place. get over palin an lets right this ship.................

    July 5, 2009 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  20. mary,ohio

    Was she speaking in alaskan,or code,what did hear speach say other than she is a quitter for a higher purpose.

    July 5, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  21. DaBird

    Who cares! What matters is the 11.4 trillion dollar deficit.

    July 5, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  22. Belle1

    Why doesn't anyone put her resignation into context? An ethics complaint is similar to a lawsuit. Palin earns 150K a year. The state of Alaska has spent 2 Million dollars in research of the complaints, and Palin owes a half a million in defense of them.

    2 Million dollars is the salaries of 47 Teachers for one year. McLeod (who filed 5, from wearing a jacket with a logo, to what else...) and CREW for her wardrobe (over half was returned immediately for being the wrong sizes...which proves Palin did not do the shopping, by the way...common sense would dictate she knows her families clothing sizes) with promises of more filings. Another 4.5 Million of state money at the very least or another 102 Teachers' jobs.

    Perhaps if our House and Senate were as fiscally responsible, our country might have a surplus. My fellow Democrats has been in charge since 2006. Instead of cutting spending, they increased it under Bush and quadrupled it under Obama. This is not the kind of "hope and change" I signed up for. Did you?

    July 5, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  23. ironmen1987

    As a Repub and a Christian Conservative i believe Palin did the right thing. She had long since passed the point of being good or bad for Alaska with everything else she played with in the media. Once a person has abandoned the job they were elected to do (such as McCain, Palin, Kerry, etc), they should bow out gracefully and let someone else do the job. The people that elected them did so with the idea they would do what they promised, not follow their own agenda as so many do.....

    July 5, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  24. Bootsie07

    Who would vote for this woman???? Would you want a ditz like this in the White House running our country???? Why would anyone even consider her for President????? I don't get it.

    July 5, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  25. Tim

    From an old high school coach:

    "Winners never quit and quitters never win."

    Governor Palin just QUIT on her constituents in Alaska who had voted her in for a full term. She has not set the pattern for any other office she might seek.

    July 5, 2009 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
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