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. Marc

    Sarah Palin = disaster. She isn't bright enough or political enough to ever get more than the Republican base to vote for her.

    She's told too many lies and too many skeletons in her closet.



    October 29, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  2. Bubba

    Populist leaders are nothing new; they appeal to the "common man" and the "real American" by drumming up fear of outsiders. They are able to rule over small areas but generally fail to appeal to a majority. Google up "Huey Long" if you want a good example, or "Lester Maddox."
    There won't be much left of the GOP after Palin if they go her direction, and that's dangerous. A new party will emerge, and they could be pretty crazy. Don't do it, GOP. Stay good.

    October 29, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  3. go vote

    Corve... Just because someone shares your values - does not mean they are the Right Values.

    My values for my own life/family lean conservative. However, I believe that goverment must not dictate to citizens what they should and should not be allowed to do in their own life and private matters.

    It is clear that portions of this country are very closed minded and unwilling to compromise... these are scary times.

    October 29, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  4. Glenn Doty, Columbia, SC

    I personally hope that the republicans make her the standard bearer after McCain loses.

    That would be great. There would be virtually no competition for the democrats until 2014.

    Palin is a joke. I can say without hyperbole and without doubt that I am much more qualified to be president... and I would never even consider voting for myself.

    You have to be both smart and knowlegeable, among many other traits, to be in charge of the entire country. Palin is neither... Bush of course was also neither, but look how poorly he ran things. Palin is both dumber and less informed than even Bush.

    It would be great if the reps put her forward as their little mascot. "Vote republican, because republicans are even more stupid than you – however dumb you may be!"

    October 29, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. Confused by the lack of judgement by so many

    First, let me make this clear that I am a registered Independent that has voted more often just to the side of conservative. That trend is also that of the majority of citizens in this country. Yet, in this election I am voting for the stronger, more intelligent, leader that wants to unite American in it's time of need. Obama is not going at this election with a divide-and-conquer approach, like McCain has. It's an ignorant approach of weighing heavily on uneducated voters (listen to some of them being interviewed at his rallies, and if you think otherwise, it's because you're one of them) and striking fear (even if that means through lies) in voters.

    Secondly, I do believe Palin could have a future in the GOP, but she needs to be polished a lot before she can do so. That doesn't mean pulled away from her roots, which do help her relate to people, but she needs to be educated and trained to handle herself a little better in many situations (off the cuff questions and interviews, issues that are effecting the country and not just Alaska, handling herself without just attacking....this is politics and not a fight club). She is charismatic and also needs to understand that at times there is a need for a little give-and-take because this is such a diverse country (her individual idealistic ideas are not right all of the time).

    Third, there's been a comment or two in here about her having the right values or virtues for office. This is weak point of hers, but strict evangelical christians believe she has those virtues because she is an open christian. Virtuals and morals don't just come from going to church every Sunday. This is the same woman who has (read above) centered her appearences around the theme of "attack, attack, attack" and has been found to have performed "unethical" actions while in office. Does that sounds like proper values and/or virtues for a politician? Do those that open their eyes, want to see the truth, and not just what they want to see......No.

    October 29, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |

    Intelligence is appealing, the ability to speak coherently is appealing
    the ability to think of a question or problem and respond to it in a
    way that shows ability to reason is appealing... and dare I say necessary to survive in the real world...

    She is appealing in only the most, shall I say, basic way a woman is appealing to a man. I can't believe she is appealing to women.

    Go for it GOP the brand is toast so whats a little wink...!!

    Yup its that old(69yrs)-retired-white guy from Ma. former Republican

    P.S. Grey on top but still with the fire burning...

    October 29, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  7. Tim, Coronado, CA

    Thank Bush-McCain for that one; promoting ignorance, decrying education as elitism. Goodmorning Republicans, have another steaming, hot cup of stupid??

    October 29, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  8. JM

    Where are Obama's medical records and not just the one page note he submitted from his doctor.

    October 29, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  9. Sue from KC

    Why has CNN become so republican = what is up with Campbell Brown – she seems obsessed with Palin. It's laughable to call yourself a news station any longer. It's all spin.

    October 29, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. Mr Brown

    Palin is the face of the GOP whether they want to admit it or not. While she has been Kryptonite for McCin, she is Superwoman for herself and I can easily see Palin-Romney in 2012 and the Mega Fight Palin-Clinton in 2016

    October 29, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  11. Craig a Texas Democrat

    The far right conservative religious nut jobs are the same people who raped and murdered Native American and Africans and forced Chinese to work in camps all while preaching a religion that was changed to suit their agendas. America is made up of many people and religions and not one of those could truly claim to be the true religion of man. I think we are all the same and we will be judged by our deeds as individuals and i dont want a government of wanna be elitist telling me anything.

    October 29, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  12. CM in AR

    BRAVO!! Wayne from Greenville TX!

    October 29, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  13. Raymond


    October 29, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  14. 2008 Elec Supporter

    It's unbelievable the attacks on this woman. I, personally, do not know her to call her vile names. Obama's supporters complain of the all the negative attacks. What is all this that is happening? She's a human, first. Then, a politician. It is so American to do something like this.

    October 29, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  15. Tom Berry,Murray, Ky.

    HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, add infinitum

    October 29, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  16. ScottC543

    If Palin is the face of the conservatives moving forward, they will only have themselves to blame for their further slide from power. They are and will be Failin' with Palin.

    October 29, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  17. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    One as shallow, self-centered, divisive, and "good ol' boy" as she should have no future in government at all. For she is, just like George W. Bush, a consumate politician and not a public servant.

    October 29, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  18. Jeff in Chicago

    I think the GOP has a much larger issue on their hands going forward than worrying about Palin's future role. If you look at their rallies, one thing is apparent; they seem to appeal to a very specific demographic group. For the sake of comparison, the Democratic rallies are far more diverse in just about every demographic area that is tracked.

    I bring this up because census projections have this country becoming much more diverse (the tanning of America, if you will) in the coming years, and unless there is some significant change within the GOP, I could see the party going the way of the Whigs and the Tories.

    As bad as a 'civil war' within the party ranks may seem, it may be the best for the party in the long run if it hopes to remain relevant to an ever-changing nation.

    October 29, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  19. Rorschach

    Palin clearly has appeal to "the base". Problem is that the Repub base is too far to the right to have much appeal to mainstream voters. She lights up the evangelicals but moderate Republicans don't have much use for her and she drives away independents.

    The Repubs are going to have to rethink who they are and how they want to position themselves, or it's going to be a long, cold season away from political relevance for them.

    October 29, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  20. Will the Real Maverick Please Stand Up?

    This evil, corrupt, socially divisive, religious extremist should never hold a public office...plus she's very ignorant.

    Prepare for the book burnings, book bans, evolution banned from being taught in schools, witch trials and this country would become even more of a laughing stock in the world...if McCain wins.

    October 29, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  21. Neal

    Keep this feather brain out. McCain exercised very poor judgement in picking Palin.

    October 29, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  22. Grace Needed

    If Governor Palin was a genuine Christian conservative and an authentic person of integrity, she could be the Republican Party's future. She has consistently given evidence to the contrary on both counts, so why would the Republicans want to make her the face of their party? Heck, she didn't even trust our gov. system and our country's laws to resolve a personal problem, let alone the many and much more complex challenges we face as a nation. As an Independent intellect (not elite), I would disengage myself from this disingenuous phony as soon as possible, if I were the G.O.P.

    October 29, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  23. simmerdownow

    What is really scary is if Senator Stevens gets re-elected, he would most likley bet booted from the Senate...that would leave Governor Palin the person to select his successor. She COULD resign her position as Governor and have the Lt. Governor (who would become Governor) select Palin as the Junior Senator from Alaska. Now THAT is scary!

    October 29, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  24. Joe

    Palin is a direct threat to our national security. Anyone voting for her
    would be aiding and abetting the destruction of our country.

    October 29, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  25. thankful cara

    thank you McCain for picking Ms. Palin... you made the right choice...

    Obama/Biden 08/12

    October 29, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
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