October 29th, 2008
07:57 AM ET
14 years ago

Palin's future causes GOP rift

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/10/29/palin.gop/art.palin.jpg caption=" Gov. Sarah Palin speaks at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday."]
(CNN) - Election Day is still days away, but Republicans are already caught up in a heated debate about Sarah Palin's future role in the party should the GOP ticket fail to win the White House.

In one corner are some conservatives who believe the Alaska governor has been a detriment to John McCain's presidential bid and threatens to lead the party astray for the foreseeable future.

Another faction says Palin's core-conservative beliefs, demonstrated political acumen, and compelling frontier biography position her to reshape the face of a party now viewed by many voters as out of touch.

It's a debate,somewhat ugly at times, that is beginning to play out in public view as Republicans brace themselves for the possibility of losing the White House and a significant number of seats in Congress come Election Day. And that may leave the party in shambles with drastically reduced influence in Washington.

Should that happen, political observers say, the party will face its biggest identity crisis in more than a generation, and Palin may well be caught squarely in the middle of it.

"A civil war that is simmering will break out into the open if McCain loses, and the party will have to decide what they want to be in the post-Reagan world," said Gloria Borger, a senior political analyst for CNN.

Full story

Filed under: John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (232 Responses)
  1. petbarber

    Is this a joke? This woman is not even qualified to be governor of the most backward state in GOP entertain considering her to be a leader in any way?

    October 29, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  2. C A

    Oh by all means keep her around. That would ensure continuous Dem victories in the future.

    October 29, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  3. Grog in Ohio

    I soundly disagree. After 8 years of being in the decided minority, the Republicans will regain their collective senses and Gov. "Thanks but no thanks" will be relegated to the Dan Quayle waste bin of history.

    83 days till the end of the Bush administration.

    October 29, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  4. JD in Moraga

    This is the wrong time for such discussions to become public. In essence, the GOP is declaring their current candidate (McCain) to be irrelevant and expendable – not the message to send to voters in the week before the general election.

    October 29, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  5. arc, Lugano CH

    It was too soon for Jeb Bush to run. Jeb Bush, by far the more intelligent son will be the future of the GOP. The party of Reagan cannot be led by Palin.

    October 29, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  6. Sissy

    She would set this country back 80yrs, if she gets in control of the GOP. She would love to have things the way they used to be when white conservative people were in control. The minorities would suffer.

    October 29, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  7. Rick from Illinois

    Please spare us any more of that idiot! She has truly hurt the Republicans, send her home to the igloo she belongs in! John can visit her from time to time when he gets out of the retirement home! These two clowns have doomed the party!

    October 29, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  8. Chuck

    The part of the GOP that is asking that Palin be put in a position as the "New Republican Party", are really missing the point of what is happening in this election. The fact that Palin was picked by McCain and now the party is going down the tubes faster than Draino, would warrant that she not be held to such esteem. Her views and opinions are really not what the republican party needs to improve it's image. It needed the old John McCain before the fiasco started.

    October 29, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  9. renaldo

    Republican party like the Democrats of the Reagan era will be pushing toward the middle not toward the right...oherwise they will be in the wilderness for a long time. The votes are left center to right center not on the edges...

    October 29, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  10. Rae

    Values? Like being hateful and a liar?

    October 29, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  11. KJL

    The GOP is going to have to decide if the future of this country is intelligence or stupidity.

    Quite bluntly, Palin attracts fanatics, horny old men, and people who are dull enough to think "one of us" can run a country of over 300,000,000 million diverse people in an increasingly volatile, polluted, and mobile world. Since she is too egotistical to realize her own limitations, the Republican party must do it for her.

    October 29, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  12. Phoenix

    For what it's worth, I am not a Palin supporter, but I do feel that it is a cop out to point fingers at Palin. Does she have a bright future with a newer, younger GOP. The answer is NO. Palin represents the sort of hate mongering that has the GOP in a need of reform. With the rise in certain demographics such as people of color (this does not mean black only) the GOP has many bridges to mend. Especially since the last Bush administration, the Republicans have been able to run platforms that were really synonymous with white citizens, and not Americans as a whole. Catch phrases such as Patriotism, Elitist, Socialism will not be effective with the changing demographics. In addition, labels such as terrorist will not be effective, but just seen as what it is, racist. With Palin's failure to control crowds that screamed racial epitaphs, and the party's willingness to defend such behavior leaves the GOP more than vulnerable.

    October 29, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  13. Librarian for Obama/Biden

    How can they forecast what her political future will be when there are still several basic unknowns about Gov. Palin. The result of the 2nd Troopergate Personnel Board has yet to come out. Her constituents in Alaska are asking for an investigation into how she had her 1/2 million dollar home built for free. And, her medical records have still not been released, ( I, for one, want proof that she is mentally stable).

    October 29, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  14. Nebraskan

    She is now (becoming) the celebrity that the GOP (used to) chastise Obama for being. She is basically a Republican version of Barack Obama. Accept the Democrats may have more universal pride in Obama.....

    October 29, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  15. JDC // Ohio

    The conservatives are the most important vote block in the GOP, but a bunch of "moderates," which includes McCain, think they can win without us and are in for another loss.
    Enough said; they have to learn the had way.

    October 29, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  16. Sissy

    Come on people. We can't afford to have Dumb and Dumber (McCain/Palin) in the White House. Vote, Vote, Vote!

    October 29, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  17. Already Voted Obama

    If they're worried about their party seeming out of touch, Palin is hardly the one to rally behind. She may play to the base, but her "real America" gaffes and right-wing ideology alienate everyone else. She's certainly out of touch with Americans like me.

    October 29, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  18. HouseDiva

    Release those medical records Palin!!!

    October 29, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  19. CR in WI

    Familiarity breeds contempt.

    The more we learn about this woman the less we like her. Hence the policy of hiding Palin away from serious news interviews, due to her complete lack of competence.
    I'll give her this, she has grit and determination, but is lacking a fundamental intelligence necessary for true leadership. She is in way over her head.


    October 29, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  20. Tina B

    Keep her! Keep her!
    We love her.
    Obama 08

    October 29, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  21. Dennis

    It became transparently clear to me the other day as I was watching a portion of her speech that she's doing what she'd done historically... she's subtly stabbing people in her own party (note her "maverick status") to achieve her own agenda. It didn't occur to me as malicious, just instinctual. And dangerous.

    Of course she's trying to make it seem like McCain is the one who mishandled HER, to turn around the conversation (and polls) that show that SHE is the drag on the ticket (or at least an equal drag as the top)...

    2012. Please. How could we elect such an intellectually uninterested, self-serving, dangerously unaware politician to the highest office in the world? Oh, right...


    October 29, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  22. bill for barack

    Aren't they getting just a bit ahead of themselves ?
    Palin still faces serious ethics charges in her home state with the real possibility of impeachment and removal from office.

    October 29, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |


    October 29, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  24. peter

    It's too soon to say what her future will be in the GOP. A lot could happen if she isn't elected.

    Many people thought John Edwards was the future of the DNC, but look at him now. Newt Gingrich is another example. He may be a talking head, but he's not in the center of the party.

    I think that the GOP is going to go through a lot of backfighting for a short time and then some people will emerge to take it out and more to the center, like the DNC did when it was down and out. They need a comprehensive plan to connect to voters again.

    October 29, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  25. JohnBoy

    Palin will be a great VP.

    McCain will be a great President.

    Thanks President Bush for keeping us safe, will Obama?

    Vote Republicans, the news media is wrong, its not over.

    If McCain wins, we need a new news media.

    McCain / Palin 08

    October 29, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
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