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. Annie, Atlanta

    For those of us who can actually think on our own, how is she ever going to be able to court us after dividing us with hateful rhetoric for months last year. That's not easy to forget. She represents everything that's wrong with us. I'll take what she did to us to my grave, it was so disturbing and so toxic.

    October 28, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. Ha Ha Ha Ha

    Ha Ha Ha Ha...... :)
    What a Joke.......

    Only in America, after one loses in Semi-Finals, and still you want to Play in the Finals......
    Plain lost the V.P. elections because she is unfit for a V.P. position.......
    Now she thinks she is Qualified for the President, and wants to run for President.......

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha......... :P

    She is in a great illusion about herself.......... What a Mockery is the Republican Party........

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha......... :|

    October 28, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Independent Senior in Bandon, Oregon

    Sarah Palin sure in hell is NOT a role model for women!

    CNN, you are hooked on this girl-woman. Why?????

    October 28, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. coffic

    Palin is backing the candidates who have her basic values. Why is that so difficult for many to understand? Judge Judy keeps saying that if you tell the truth, you don't have to always worry about covering your lies. So, if you back the person with your values, you won't always have to worry about having to apologize or justify your endorsement. It really isn't that complicated. Palin seems willing to show us her philosophy and let the chips fall where they may. Like her philosophy or not, it is refreshing. Hopefully she will never get caught up in the cesspool called politics.

    October 28, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. cjr

    please please run Sarah! It will so much fun! We need you!!

    October 28, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. BKrause

    Quayle in a skirt, only this one's so academically, politically, spiritually, historically, and culturally illiterate, that it's astonishing that she gets any traction. Are we all that dumb? She still hasn't revealed how it was that she managed to squeak through three minor colleges with such a low GPA. She hardly passed.

    October 28, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. Emma

    She is certainly not a Thomas Jefferson, an Abraham Lincoln or for that matter, a Barack Obama. It is hard to think of her as a leader our country wants and needs. Living with Conservatism has taught us much about its flaws and obsolescence in today's world.

    October 28, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  8. T'SAH from Virginia

    Ms. PA'IN is not "...serious about being a viable presidential candidate..." because she is a QUITTER and only concerned about selling her book!! She would NEVER be president and she knows that so she is using her 15 minutes of FAME to say what she wants, do what she want and at the same time, make a complete FOOL OF HERSELF!!!

    October 28, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. mjm

    7 out of 10 people are wrong.

    Any legal natural born citizen over the age of 35 who has lived in the states for 14-15 years is qualified. So she is qualified.

    Is she the best candidate for the job? Who knows? She isn't running for office today.

    However, a GOVENOR has more experience in office than a JIONOR SENATOR / COMMUNITY ORGANIZER from Chicago. We are learning that the hard way.

    If we were going off of experience as a qualification, Obama would never have run in the first place.

    October 28, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. D.

    Palin can take her time, she is young enough, and will stay long enough to remind many of her current critics of their own mistakes and failings!

    October 28, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  11. Debby

    By the time Obama finish's destroying our country Palin will be welcomed with open arms down the road in any part of politics.

    October 28, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  12. Steve

    I would say that Palin knows what a lot of people already know and that is there will be a substancial 3rd party bid and this party walking away with the Congressional elections in 2010 and the Presidency in 2012.
    People are tired of the same old political balony from both the Republicans and Democrats

    October 28, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  13. Jeanne H.

    Shes' just a loose cannon. But all the publicity (good or bad) certainly helps keep her name in the headlines so she has great name recognition, as compared to other GOP potential candidates.

    October 28, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    On the other hand.....her prevaricating is easier to take than most because she is a very good looking woman, and I'm straight! Amazing the stuff that a 'looker' can get away with isn't it?

    October 28, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. Lynne

    Not only does Palin have to overcome her low ratings as being qualified or ready to occupy the White House, she will also have to defend her quitting her job as Governor primarily for her own financial welfare rather than the welfare of Alaskans as he stated.

    October 28, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. Rich in Az

    what a maverick!

    October 28, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  17. ThinkAgain

    Palin is the Madonna of politics: Marginally talented, but willing to be provocative just to get attention.

    Shallow, narcissistic, self-centered, in love with celebrity and themselves – not qualified for much except the tabloids.

    October 28, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Charlotte

    Strategy has nothing to do with this. She saw a fello neocon who shares her trailer trash values and backed him. Palin is not smart enough to grasp any sort of strategy; she careens from one bad decision to another, following up with incomprehensible babble that is intended as 'spin.' Please, just make her go away. She's a discrace to women everywhere.

    October 28, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Charlotte

    Strategy has nothing to do with this. She saw a fellow bible-thumping neocon who shares her trailer trash values and backed him. Palin is not smart enough to grasp any sort of strategy; she careens from one bad decision to another, following up with incomprehensible babble that is intended as 'spin.' Please, just make her go away. She's a discrace to women everywhere.

    October 28, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. Perusing-through

    DUHHH!!! . . . . WHY DO PALIN'S "EXTREME RIGHT-WING" ACTIONS CONTINUE TO SURPRISE THE MEDIA? :-(

    Have you idiots out there forgotten that Palin's husband Todd was a full-throated member of the radical and threatening AIP (Alaskan Independence Party)? For years AIP has publicly advocated separation from the U.S. and BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. Palin frequently attended and spoke at AIP meetings, and provided behind the scenes support as a Wasilla, Alaska mayor. So it should be no surprise that Palin sides with the "extreme, gun-toting, religious-right crusader" wing of the Republican Party.

    October 28, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. phyllis

    I think that, Sarah Palin is a nut, and will always be a nut. I would never vote for someone like her, she is to far to the right. she does not have an open mind, unwilling to listen to other point of view. We donot need any one like that, back in White House, we just put up with 8 years of that, with GWB. AND DICK I CAN'T KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT CHENEY. Thank you.

    October 28, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. Fools and their freedoms are soon parted

    Palin is a free agent at this point...she can support who or whatever she likes....

    October 28, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Palin's lack of political analysis which requires research and reading always shows up in her decision making. Quitting her job as governor again shows that she believes she is more qualified than those who are well read and more politically educated than her constituents who have worked hard to get where they are. John McCain made a poor decision with Palin and the GOP will fall victim to the same.

    October 28, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. Fellow Republican

    So Palin should endorse a candidate just because he is a Republican even though she does not believe the principles that the Republican candidate stands for. Sounds like "politics as usual" to me.

    October 28, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. Rob

    How about a path to oblivion? The Republican party is in a sorry state of affairs that this woman gets all of their press.

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