WASHINGTON (CNN) – It looks like Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may have one less fan.
On the same day that Palin is set to transfer power to her lieutenant governor, Republican strategist Alex Castellanos said her prospects for national office looked grim.
“’I’ve been a supporter of Sarah Palin - at times,” Castellanos said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “She gave the McCain campaign its best two weeks. But, you know, if we’re going to be critical of Democrats when they shirk their responsibilities, we have do the same within our own house. She abandoned her state in the middle of a term.”
On the national political stage, Castellanos, who worked as a political consultant for Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential bid, likened Palin to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The Arkansas Republican’s long shot bid for the White House in the last election cycle gained traction when he pulled out a surprise win in Iowa’s Republican caucus but then Huckabee lost steam when he could not follow through with wins in other key primaries.
“We’re going to have a division in the Right in the Republican Party,” Castellanos told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King, “We now have two Mike Huckabees – people who have a powerful force in the party but can’t get out of the party in a general election and win.”
Conservative radio talk show host Bill Bennett was noncommittal about Palin’s prospects.
“I have no opinion about this. I really don’t know what’s going to happen with Sarah Palin,” Bennett told King.
Also on State of the Union Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested Palin has a bright future within the Republican Party.
“Boy, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Sarah Palin,” McConnell told King, “She excites an awful lot of members of my party. They’re anxious to see what she’s going to do next and so am I.”
“I hope, as a Democrat, Mitch McConnell is right,” Democratic strategist Paul Begala told King. “I hope she’s their nominee because I think she’s the easiest to beat.”
Begala, Bennett, and Castellanos are all CNN Political Contributors.
Updated: 4:24 p.m.