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.

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Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Matthew

    CNN and democrats LOVE to HATE Sarah Palin. There are, and will be, all kinds of comments on how dumb she is, why she's not qualified to be president (unlike BO and Biden), plus the handful of silly lies and slanderous blubs.

    Hey libs, take a second and think. What has she done to injure you? Nothing. Why is your opinion on an issue so much more noble or valuable than hers? It's not. And last, why are you wasting so much energy on a human being that isn't even holding office or affecting your life?

    Move on.

    October 28, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. J.Crobuzon

    She's a rogue. She's a pit bull with lipstick on. She's a moose shooter. But she's not very smart.

    October 28, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  3. Mike

    Governor Palin is absolutely correct, the GOP candidate is really a tax and spend demorat and the one she endorsed is a conservative. She stands up for her beliefs and that is something the liberal media does not like, does not understand and that is why she is popular.

    October 28, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. A wised up Democrat who is now an Independant

    See. She uses her head not Party lines to make dicisions. SHE IS DEFINITLY PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL AND WE NEED HER FOR TAKING OUR NATION BACK IN 2012. What people that can't understand unlike ERKEL is she has a BRAIN and knows how to use it.

    October 28, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. Mike B.

    Sarah Palin – Dick Cheney – Rush Limbaugh – the Axis of Stupidity

    October 28, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  6. Susan in NC

    Silly Sarah "a viable presidential contender" - oh, tooooo funny! Not in this lifetime!

    October 28, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. JWN

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    October 28, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. D in Cali

    One explanation. She is an idiot. But we all knew that all along.

    October 28, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Palin's much-touted unpredictability comes from the fact that she has no values to ground her one way or another. Palin goes where it is best for Palin and palin ONLY. There is a certain amount of responsibility that most of us adhere to when we have values that we will not deviate from no matter how profiatable, or convenient it may be to do so. Palin has no such restraints on her. She's provenly amoral and selfish; telling you one thing YOU should do while SHE switches course midstream and does another completely opposite. It's ALL ABOUT PALIN folks! Not the American people, not what's best for God and country, but what's best and in it for Sarah. Roll with her if you want to but don't expect her to tell you when she's ditching you and her preachings for greener pastures.

    October 28, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. Joanne Buck

    Those that "be" simply won't stop denigrating Palin.
    The reason for the gutter moves?
    THEY ARE JEALOUS AND SCARED OF HER. Watch what happens next yr.
    Joanne
    Mn

    October 28, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. John

    7 in 10 may think she is unqualified to be president, but she is still more qualified than Obama.

    October 28, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. Carole

    No kidding?! Get out!? Do you think that the voter turnout in 2008 was a tad bit motivated by fear of Senator McCain's age and who would step in the job?

    Scared the dickens outta me that is for sure. 2008 was the first year I ever donated to a campaign and actually campaigned for a candidate. Mine won thank goodness!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 28, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. Marie in California

    Palin is her own person. Unlike almost every other politician I can think of, she is not a puppet of her party bosses. In that sense, she is a true American, which is more than I can say for almost all of our elected officials who obediently tap-dance to their party's tune, regardless of what their constituents at home might want.

    While she may never run for president, Palin will be a very strong standard-bearer in all forthcoming elections....and a force to reckon with.

    October 28, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  14. Big John

    She's definately not qualified to be a dog catcher supervisor let alone president. She should go back to Bristol Bay and pull fish from the nets, apparently she does that well.
    Just wait for the reviews on her book, no doubt that will send her back to Bristol Bay

    October 28, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  15. Mark L.

    Sarah Palin, Dear – Don't be overly upset if you fail to win the 2012 GOP Presidential bid. Worse case scenario, you could always move to Russia, and hey, just maybe you'll be able to see Alaska from there ?? WOW !!...LOL...{:o) Also, why don't you take Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Tim Pawlenty, Bobby Jindal & Jeb Bush with you ?? The GOP party and it's candidates are WORTHLESS and NOTHING MORE than a BUNCH of CROOKS !! Heaven help this GREAT Nation of Ours if the GOP takes over again. You think the Great Depression was bad, let the Republicans take over and you'll see what the definition of bad is via the economy.

    October 28, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  16. FAYE, NV

    The world knows this woman is not or ever be president of the USA. She's not politics material nor have the brian to run this great country.

    Forget Repugs she's not your pick, well let her run and be the GOP pick.

    October 28, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. Thomas

    It's all about the MONEY !
    Palin could never win a presidential election . However she could become a higher paid lobbyist then Republican Newt Gingridge !

    October 28, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  18. Lois Cantrell

    I think Palin should stay in Alaska and take care of her grandchild. She quite the Job the people of Alaska voted her too and now she is thinking about running for President. She is a JOKE

    October 28, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. Joseph B

    I think she sees that she cannot be a viable presidential candidate at this point. However, if she continues with her streak, she can be a viable force that the media will cover and that can lead to a very lucrative life in the public eye.

    October 28, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  20. Allen, ND

    Last I checked Sarah Palin was not running for an elected office and had resigned the as Governor of Alaska. What is this obsession with demonizing her when she is not relevant to today? Perhaps more attention on the issues affecting the citizens and the actions of the leadership in Congress and the Administration is warranted. To date, CNN has covered up or ignored there threats to the individual freedoms in this country.

    October 28, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  21. Ron

    Another story here about Palin says "7 in 10 say Palin not qualified to be President". Why are you not reporting on Mr. Obama's qualifications or lack thereof to hold the office of President? There is an awful lot of evidence that shows questions about whether he is constitutionally eligible in addition to his horrible lack of experience.

    October 28, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  22. Joe

    Who is taking care of her kids and family while she jets all around the country?

    What happened to the hockey mom?

    October 28, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  23. Marry

    Please CNN, if you have to give Ms. Palin any notice and room, do it in the entertainment section! I know, it is all about response and you can always be sure to get lots of attention with Ms. Palin. But it does nothing for a good reputation to report on such a person in a “serious” way. With “FOX” it’s the same: To repeat and spread the lies and distortions that come from there (especially if you do not point them out for what they are!) should be way below your standard!

    October 28, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  24. djb

    of course 52% of republicans think she is qualified. they elected george bush twice didn't they? hey those who refuse to learn lessons from their past mistakes are destined to repeat them.

    October 28, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  25. Steve

    CNN's painting the recent poll that 7 out of 10 Americans don't think Palin's qualified to be president as bad news for her. All things considered, I think it's great news for her that she's still managing to fool 3 out of 10, given all the proof of incompetence she's been displaying!

    October 28, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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