October 28th, 2009
08:18 PM ET
4 years ago

Analysis: Palin's high-risk, high-reward strategy

Washington (CNN) - When Sarah Palin weighed in last week on the contentious special congressional election in New York, she did so in her trademark way: unconventionally.

While other potential 2012 presidential contenders largely stayed quiet on the divisive congressional race that has exposed fault lines in the party, Palin delivered a slap in the face to Republican Party leadership in Washington when she offered a full-throated endorsement of third-party conservative Doug Hoffman over the GOP's anointed candidate, Dede Scozzafava.

Palin's surprise backing - not even Hoffman's press secretary knew it was coming until it popped up on his Google reader - left some political observers scratching their heads, wondering why Sen. John McCain's running mate would risk alienating her party's establishment for a long-shot candidate in a race with little national visibility.

Palin's credibility with the conservative wing of her party is already solid, unlike other potential 2012 candidates who are either largely unknown to conservatives or appear too moderate, like possible 2012 contenders Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty or Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Instead, some strategists say Palin should begin to court less partisan-charged voters, or at least avoid alienating them, if she's serious about being a viable presidential candidate.

Follow Alex Mooney on Twitter @awmooneycnn

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Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Bob in Pa

    Why are you so threatened by Ms. Palin ?

    October 28, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  2. Steve from Oregon

    I told you; this woman is a joke to politics. She doesn't have a clue.

    Obama till 2016!

    October 28, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  3. A. Goodwin

    PLEASE run for the office of the president, Sarah Palin! Nothing would help us Democrats more to secure a second term for our beloved President Obama!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!

    October 28, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  4. Jay

    Please run for 2012 Ms Palin, I so hope you win the Republican nomination. I'm beaming at the prospect of watching you try to debate President Obama. I enjoyed the laughs at your expense in 2008. I'm so relishing the opportunity. If the Republican supporters are stupid enough to elect you as their nominee it should be an easy victory for President Obama. Looking forward to the laughs.....

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 28, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I bet Mr. Hoffman doesn't want her support. She just cost him the election. It's not like a republican was going to win in the first place anyhow.

    October 28, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. DianeR PCFL

    Sarah Palin's manichean approach to politics will boost her base of ignorant white trash, but will do little to win her support among the rest of rational America. She's very much like George W. Bush. She doesn't do nuanced.

    October 28, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. TangledThorns

    Sarah Palin is fighting for the conservative principles that make this country great. Gallup just had a poll showing a vast majority of Americans are conservative. Sarah is a true leader and will be a great President after she defeats Obama in 2012!!

    October 28, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. James Crew

    Come on, it's almost been a year since the election, who really cares about Sarah Palin, do we still need a news update every day on her? What's the obession, unless some people are really scared of her, which I am beginning to believe since this is yet another news story about her, what about Rommey, Huckabee, etc etc? Palin seems to be the darling of CNN

    October 28, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  9. Judy

    I don't understand why Sarah Palin is still written about in the media as a viable and serious candidate for the GOP in 2012. She is obviously not a smart person, and NO WHERE qualified to be president. To compete in this world we need a president who is super intelligent as well as politically savvy, neither of which Sarah Palin is.

    I had really hoped that when she resigned as Governor of Alaska, I would never have to hear about this pinhead again, but some boneheads in the media still seem to think she has relevance. This just goes to show how ignorant the media has become.

    We need some smart people in the media who will cover serious candidates for a serious office.

    Stop the tabloid nonsense, and discuss people who are really qualified to be president. It's a sad day in the US if the best we have to offer for president is someone like Sarah Palin!

    October 28, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. inofritzn

    Like her or not. It's unbelievable how obsessed the media is with her.

    October 28, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. Billy in VA

    She's probably just sticking to her guns of being a conservative. Man I can't stand her.

    October 28, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. Manuel TX

    Why is the left (and CNN) so obsessed with this woman?

    It's funny and sad.

    |||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

    October 28, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  13. John

    Palin is right supporting her Conservative base. The country is fast turning to the right to find solutions to its domestic and international challenges. Energy independence from Middle East oil is a top priority. Spending the $700 billion a year in America is better for Americans than pouring it into the pockets of Islamist states in the Middle East.

    October 28, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. ERP

    Give Sarah Palin credit for one thing: thanks to John McCain's poor jugement, she learned how to exploit her 15 minutes of fame to make a fast buck without ever having to do any real work or becoming accountable again. She is finished as a serious national politician but, thanks to the trash tabloid culture in this country, she will continue raking it in, and she and her white trash family will continue to amuse us for many years to come.

    October 28, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  15. ross berg-buffalo ny

    With the new poll out showing that 71% of voters think she is unqualified for national office, her being on the '012 Republican ticket in either slot has got to be the Dems fondest hope!!!

    I'd guess if that were to happen that the Dems could sit out the campaign season and just let Palin self-destruct as she seems so capable of doing!!

    October 28, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. Dan in AZ

    Gotta love it – ending quote in story –

    "Instead, some strategists say Palin should begin to court less partisan-charged voters, or at least avoid alienating them, if she's serious about being a viable presidential candidate."

    Followed by Headline of next story –

    "CNN Poll: 7 in 10 say Palin not qualified to be president"

    Seems the american people are smarter than 'some strategists'. This venom spewing moron will never be elected president. Thanks again John McCain. I used to have a little respect for you. Now you're just another politician, putting yourself ahead of the country.

    October 28, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Corporate Fascists have taken over our country

    Shes trying to play it like shes an outsider,but we know she is the mouthpiece for the Corporate Fascists,like ExxonMobil.Every hooker has her price,and shes hit the big time now.We can see right through this Halloween costume.

    October 28, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Lacrosse Mama not for Obama from Bad Newz, VA

    Anyone want to still question her credibility as an influence? Doug Hoffman has gone from 3rd place to the leader in this race following Palin's endorsment. Instead of bashing Palin, which most of these comments will do, spend a little bit of time researching the candidates. Scozzafava lost the conservative base of the republican party with her liberal views to a majority of the issues. The people of her district wanted a conservative voice and they are going to get it. Congratulations and thank you Sarah Palin and good luck to Doug Hoffman next week!

    October 28, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. Matt

    I think Sarah realizes that the 2012 Presidential race will include a third party. Tea Party activists offer a libertarian type of viewpoint, and I believe that they will not abide by a moderate Republican platform. Palin and Ron Paul might represent the roots of that movement.

    I'm not a Palin fan, but I think she has the foresight to realize that the Republican Party will not attract Tea Party activists and Palin loyalists in 2012.

    October 28, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  20. Clint

    This woman is dangerously delusional. Al Sharpton has a better chance at the presidency than her. Save your book money and go back to Alaska and give us all a break.

    October 28, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. Ohio Man

    Yep..i'm still shaking my head also.. as to why people really think she will be the first female Prez.. or even the Prez in the future.. lol .. i guess.. like i always say " Tell YourSelf what You Need To Hear" ...

    October 28, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. LacrosseMom

    Palin again.......... gag me!

    October 28, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. RealityKing

    Why do liberals hate self made women?

    October 28, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. Four and The Door

    More and more every day we are seeing that Washington needs Sarah Palin. The Federal Government has become paralyzed as the politicians get more and more caught up in themselves and their political agendas. They forgot that there are another 300 million people outside of Washington who depend on them to actually run the government. They have taken their eye off of the economy as unemployment continues without bound. In a single-minded focus on their own political agenda they have driven national debt to obscene levels. All of this is just accelerating with no end in sight. Americans need Sarah Palin who understands that the government works for the people and for the country instead of the politicians.

    October 28, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. Russ

    Let me repeat.......Sarah Palin is just a political gold digger. She is out for the self serving glory of being well known. She could care less about people and going to the white house. She is a "hey look at me, look at me" person. Fortunately the majority of the people see her for what she really is and would never elect her for higher office. If she ran for governor of Alaska today she would lose. Please continue to fade away.

    October 28, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
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