July 6th, 2009
06:03 PM ET
13 years ago

Palin's strength lies in the grassroots

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/06/art.palinclap0706.gi.jpg caption="The co-founder of a pro-Palin online movement says there was an enormous surge in interest over the weekend after the Alaska governor's surprise announcement on Friday."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – While Marjorie Dannenfelser acknowledges that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's decision to resign from office "defies conventional wisdom," it hasn't dampened the enthusiasm this mother of five has for Palin to run for president in 2012.

"One thing we have learned about Sarah Palin is that conventional wisdom is just that," said Dannenfelser, co-founder of Team Sarah, a 70,000 person strong on-line movement dedicated to promoting all-things Palin. "She is not a conventional campaigner. She is not a conventional model of women in politics. And it is that very lack of conventionality is what attracts grassroots supporters to her."

If Palin wants to increase her influence in the Republican Party or run a serious campaign for president in 2012, she is going to need the backing of grassroots activists, as it now appears the GOP establishment is distancing itself from the soon-to-be former Alaska governor. Very few GOP strategists have described Palin's decision to resign from office with 18 months remaining as a political wise move, and many have even suggested that her decision was so irrational that she can no longer be considered a serious contender for the GOP nomination.

But Dannenfelser understands the grassroots, specifically social conservatives - an influential Republican constituency. She is the president of the "Susan B. Anthony List" and "Team Sarah" is under the umbrella of this anti-abortion rights organization.

Over the weekend, Dannenfelser said that she saw "an enormous surge of support for" Palin and noted that membership at "Team Sarah," alone, has grown by 1,000 people.

"There is just a sense of trust for her motives and authenticity that these folks have been looking for, for so long," Dannenfelser said. "And they are not listening to the Op-Ed writers … and the cable shows. She really has got something that no candidate can buy. She has got charisma."

"Team Sarah definitely wants her to run," Dannenfelser added. "There is no question they want her to run."

So far, it looks like Palin is maintaining support with the grassroots and only time will tell if she is able to convince others to join her to "rebuild and help our nation achieve greatness," as she stated in her open letter posted July 4 on Facebook.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (14 Responses)

    BOO HOO somebody attacked me. I quit.

    July 6, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    cut and run palin

    July 6, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  3. really? she has support?

    want to see this

    how could so many people support her?

    in a way it makes the U.S. more interesting, but why would you support her? they must not be listening to what she has to say

    July 6, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  4. Sick -n- Tired

    That does it, I'm officaily going to open a feed store and sell only sheep food! The blind sheep, Palin supporters will make me a very rich man in no time at all! They seem to gobble that stuff up like someone's gonna steal it! Hmm, This could turn out to be quite a lucrative venture indeed...........Stay tuned!

    July 6, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  5. 60's survivor

    good luck ok that. what kind of grass roots are we talking about here? there are many grass roots groups. and sarah's name ain't on all of them. she is a divider not a united, Sarah serves self above all others.

    July 6, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  6. Anna

    Palin's grassroots is different from other grassroots. To know who her supporters are one only has to remember the ugly tone of the rally's during the campagin. This woman is divissive, unstable and scary. She will divide this country by race, class and culture, and some will never see it coming. This playing the victim of the media gets old fast especially when she uses the media to get attention when she wants it. She's a world class drama queen and the media should stop playing these games with her. We have a war, the economy, Russia, Iran, Iraq, China-oh I get it! She's the comic relief!

    July 6, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  7. MJ

    Wow, 70 thousand members. Only about 60 million to go.

    July 6, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  8. ulrik remy

    In your headline, you could easily ommit the part "in the grassroots" – "Palin's Strength Lies" would certainly do.

    July 6, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  9. Limbaugh is a liberal

    She's a negligent and failed governor who tried to prematurely campaign for president, constantly calling the media every time she had an opinion about something. She neglected her state, she failed at her job, and she even has the galls to blame the media for her attention hunger! Let her fall into obscurity!

    July 6, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  10. Marie

    Palin is no different now as when she was MCCain running mate for the highest office of the US. Maybe she tired of looking at Russian and cannot figure whatelse to do.

    Palin do not want to be gov ernor for how long? Is there too much pressure there that she herself started? She will not finish anything she start, just look at her background. She speak one thing and do the opposite. The one thing she do know is that she can start riots and try to back out. If she had her way the only people that would be in the US would be Alaskans and forget about the rest of the world. That includes the 70,000 women who she have crying over her.

    There probable is a lot of reason that she wantto get out of being governor, but we will not know until years from now.

    July 6, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  11. David

    WOW, she's not even able to get all the right wing nut jobs under her tent. Only 71,000??? There's got to be more people in the back woods throughout the country than that.

    But then again, these people wouldn't have internet access, electricity, running water, indoor plumbing or be able to spell but will be using all available 'social' services.

    Go Palin! Go Far Away!

    July 6, 2009 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  12. George Bush's Long Lost Illegitimate Stepchild

    She gave up her job so that she could sign a mega-million $ book deal.

    July 6, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  13. greg

    Facebook: 609,000 and growing by the minute. A 67,000 increase in just the last few days.

    Twitter: 78,000, also growing by the minute. A 38,000 increase just since Friday.

    Pam Pryor who runs SarahPAC also reports an upsurge in donations since Friday.

    The talking heads, and the gop "strategists" (some stragegists they are, losing 2 election cycles in a row) can shove it. The grassroots grow and vote.

    July 6, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  14. jack

    Yeah, she can run but running is not the same as winning. Big difference.

    July 7, 2009 12:43 am at 12:43 am |