August 15th, 2009
09:44 AM ET
10 years ago

Begala calls Palin 'about half a whack job'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Longtime Democratic strategist Paul Begala hammered former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Friday - calling her "flaky and an intellectual lightweight."

Begala was asked on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" to respond to a Politico story in which former House Speaker Newt Gingrich outlined several ways for Palin to repair her image.

Although Begala called Gingrich "a brilliant political strategist," he said giving advice to Palin is an exercise in futility.

"Here's the problem," said Begala, a CNN contributor. "He is trying to treat her like a serious person. She is not. OK? She is about half a whack job. She does not have the intellectual heft of Newt Gingrich or almost anyone else in the Republican Party, and I think she has proved that."

He continued: "I admire Newt Gingrich for pretending that she is a serious person. But Sarah Palin has proven herself to be flaky and an intellectual lightweight."

Conservative journalist Terry Jeffrey, appearing alongside Begala, defended Palin for having "rock solid principles." But he said Palin needs to be more aggressive in opposing the president's policies. At this point, Jeffrey said, "I think it's not proven" she can go toe-to-toe with President Obama.

Filed under: Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. Jim Jones

    This is news?

    August 15, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. katiec

    He was being kind. She is a complete whack job who does anything and everything she can to get the headlines. Truth, integrity, honor are immaterial to her.
    And the media glorifies and supports her 100%. Especially Fox
    and CNN.

    August 15, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |

    Funny how a lot of poeple are speaking there minds now that she is not Gov. goes to show u what they were really thinking about her when she was Gov. and they really couldn't speak how they felt..

    August 15, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  4. riteaidbob

    At least we (Rep.) don't have the trifecta of "Wack Job's" Harry Reid, Nancy (I am the dumbest women in America" Pelosi, and the messiah Barack "I lie through my teeth every time I speak" Obama.
    Oh yeah...then there's Murtha and Barney and Crissy Dodd...and and and and and...

    August 15, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. birdy

    well.. he's just stating the obvious. she's a whack job, all right

    August 15, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. jay

    Democrats should hold fire on blasting Palin for a number of reasons. She is quite possibly preparing to run for president and this definitely a good sign for dems to see her try to go toe to toe against obama in 2012. Let her become the front runner for the GOP as romney and others are greater threats in any election cycle. Once she takes them down, let the dogs loose. She may be able to win a republican primary but there is not way independents and moderates will flock to her radical religious right ideas.
    Additionally, if she is indeed an intellectual lightweight, (which she is) let her point that out herself with her actions and words. There is no need for democrats to point it out. Let the republicans figure it out themselves.

    August 15, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Anee

    Begalia is a typical Dem, when things get tough and you're losing just call everyone names who disagrees with you.
    Yeah, right Palin is such a whack job that she was the reason "death panels" are now out of Obamacare, sounds like she's quite a heavy weight.
    The more the dems hate her, the more the public loves her. Because the dems hate the american people, call them names and think we are stupid, we have a lot in common with Pailn.

    August 15, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. Denine

    Thank you, Paul, for speaking for intelligent America.

    August 15, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. Roscoelette

    Paul Begala's comments about Sarah Palin reveal much more about him than they do about her.

    August 15, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  10. gary

    begala is the typical whiny liberal if he wants to talk whack job pelosi is a real head case pick up and take your marbles paul you crybaby

    August 15, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. Just Me

    Well, she is not a "half a wack job". She is a total wack job. Get it right Paul.

    August 15, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Loup Garou 782

    Paul Begala is not fit to speak the name of Sara Palin. Paul Begala like Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin, and others in the obama administration all lean in the direction of nazi style governing and would not hesitate to get rid of Mrs. Palin. I think back to the Vincent Foster incident during the Clinton fiasco, things never change with these democrats.

    August 15, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. scott

    I have nev er heard one Idea or Plan from her....its all about Negativity and being devisive, merely Opposing everying the Obama administration tries to achieve. This like most of the GOP. However, I think we saw the Dangers of a Palin or Cheny personality during the Presidential campaign. Pure Hate being spewed and just purposely misleading statements being said just like her latest Death Panel lies. She's a dangerous person and so are those alligned with her

    August 15, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  14. ron

    Paul Begala is a great man and is bang on. When has palin gone toe to toe with the President? Another right wing lie.

    August 15, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  15. Dave

    It's about time someone in the media tell the truth about Palin. Not only is she a whack job she is danerous.

    August 15, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  16. jim

    Sarah Palin: modern day cultist.

    August 15, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  17. Amy B

    She's not half a whack job. She is a whack job through and through.

    August 15, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. ER

    Does anyone really think think she's not a whacko? That's like trying to prove the world is flat! Adherence to principles in spite of reality isn't a virtue, it's a mental illness.

    August 15, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. bruce

    to call Resigned ex Gov. S. Palin and intellectual anything is an insult to those who strive for knowledge and rational thinking.

    August 15, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. gfranklin

    Not a fan of her but Begala is a turd.

    August 15, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. Willy Brown

    And this is coming from another" Whack Job" on TV.

    August 15, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. Rumsfeld

    Just watch. You should be able to predict the outcome of the "Sarah Story". I agree that judgement should be withheld. Let her think she is capable of running for office. Sensible people regardless of political party recognize that she is narcissistic and naive. As long as she keeps speaking, she guarantees her own failure. Keep up the effort Sarah and make yourself the leading prospect for the dying GOP.


    August 15, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. Shumyal

    she is the biggest idiot alive..Begala is being too nice..

    August 15, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. Roger

    haha Palin supporters....most of them if given the choice would prefer to live under a military or religious dictatorship. Seriously, Palin has shown herself time and time again to be a complete moron on every issue imaginable. Calling her an "intellectual lightweight" is generous because it implies some level of intellect in the political arena. The reality is, a high school student could probably outwit her on most political issues. The idea that she could win the GOP nomation is so laughable....i am sure even among serious Republicans.

    August 15, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. The real Mike in MN

    Well anyone who can take a provision that allows for reimbursement via medicare for end of life counseling on such things as living wills and medical proxies so that families and medical practitioners can know a persons wishes should something happen and then say with a straight face that it's a death panel with the government deciding who gets to live or die is a whack job. Guess what, we already have death panels, they are called medical insurance companies. Honestly, how people can think the current system where insurance companies make money on denying your claims and dropping you from the system as soon as you get sick is a great system and better than one where such things can't happen is beyond me.

    August 15, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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