August 14th, 2009
09:10 PM ET
13 years ago

Begala calls Palin 'about half a whack job'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Longtime Democratic strategist Paul Begala hammered former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Friday - calling her "flaky and an intellectual lightweight."

Begala was asked on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" to respond to a Politico story in which former House Speaker Newt Gingrich outlined several ways for Palin to repair her image.

Although Begala called Gingrich "a brilliant political strategist," he said giving advice to Palin is an exercise in futility.

"Here's the problem," said Begala, a CNN contributor. "He is trying to treat her like a serious person. She is not. OK? She is about half a whack job. She does not have the intellectual heft of Newt Gingrich or almost anyone else in the Republican Party, and I think she has proved that."

He continued: "I admire Newt Gingrich for pretending that she is a serious person. But Sarah Palin has proven herself to be flaky and an intellectual lightweight."

Conservative journalist Terry Jeffrey, appearing alongside Begala, defended Palin for having "rock solid principles." But he said Palin needs to be more aggressive in opposing the president's policies. At this point, Jeffrey said, "I think it's not proven" she can go toe-to-toe with President Obama.

Filed under: Extra • Sarah Palin
soundoff (305 Responses)
  1. JohnnyofTexas

    why are people still even listening to her or giving her media coverage she's basically a nut job like her older daughter.

    August 14, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  2. bozo the obama

    why would the forehead call anyone names?? he's a democratic slime machine !

    August 14, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  3. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Palin is the Boob of the Century

    August 14, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  4. Georgette

    Thank you, THANK YOU, Mr. Begala, for someone FINALLY having the kahoonas to tell it like it is regarding the distinguished airhead moron from Alaska!

    August 14, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  5. John in Tampa

    It is not proven she can go toe-to-toe with Barack Obama? Could she go toe-to-toe with Mickey Mouse?

    August 14, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  6. Alfred E. Neumann

    Paul, take a peek in the mirror and see what a real whack job looks like!

    August 14, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  7. Joseph Wolfe

    A light weight???....more like a truck stop waitress or maybe a pole dancer

    August 14, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  8. Bill

    Palin may be half a whack job, but that Clinton sycophant, Begala, is a total whack job.

    August 14, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  9. Jon

    She CAN'T go toe to toe with President Obama. That is the whole point.

    August 14, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  10. Doe Hall

    Calling Sarah Palin about "half a whack job" is giving her to little credit. Clearly, she is a "Whole Whack job"!

    August 14, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  11. FIghtTheSmears

    Gee, Paul. Where was your hatred and outrage when Palin was running for Governor back in 2006? Oh, that's right, she wasn't a political threat to the left then. I see.

    August 14, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  12. Suzan

    Yes Yes Yes finally someone came out and called Palin exactly what she is........Thank you Paul.......all the other Republicans are afraid to call her what she is........the men of the GOP don't have the guts to call her out and tell her she ain't got what it takes........she can't do toe to toe with Katie Couic with out complaining she can't go toe to toe with the media without whinning that she is being miss treated.....she could never go toe to toe with Obama.....

    August 14, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  13. Jon

    I believe she is FULL ON whack job. Not just half.

    August 14, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  14. Doug

    This is the same contributor that gave the President an A- on the show for his report card. If, Sarah Palin is not really news, why is he trying to destroy her once and for all? Is it because she will soon be coming to replace the current status quo commentators on shows like this on the airwaves? As an Obama democrat, I want to hear what she has to say and make up my own mind about my future.

    August 14, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  15. Claudia in Houson

    Palin over and over again has proven to be an embarrassment to the Republican party. Something is seriously wrong with this woman who can't take a hint from her own party that she just isn't qualified. You'd think she'd be spending her days preparing herself by going back to school to get a law degree or something but she appears to be intellectually lazy and thinks she can just talk and walk her way into Washington. Palin may have done it in Alaska, which was proven to be a mistake, but she can't do it in Washington there's just too many scholars with intellectual achievements who don't want an uneducated Palin or her high school diploma husband around.

    August 14, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. Jason

    Paul Begala is DA MAN! Love ya bro 🙂

    August 14, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  17. Edgar

    If she is so irrelevant or crazy, why are the Dems so scared of Sarah Palin? And I disagree, this week she proved that she can go toe-to-toe with anyone–and that includes Obama! (ie. health care debate)

    August 14, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  18. WHAAA??

    I love it that Repubs have been brain-washed to think she has got what it takes. It's just plain ole funny. She's a quitter when it comes to the real job.

    August 14, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  19. MJ

    Sarah Palin go toe to toe with Obama is the funniest thing I've ever heard. When comedians don't have to make up material to make fun of you...they just repeat yours that's a sign that you are kinda dumb. Conservatives need to get an agenda that involves solutions instead of lies and misdirection. They have no real solutions....just Sarah Palin

    August 14, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  20. hahahaha!

    Even the conservative journalist lauded Palin's "principles," not her intellect. The emperor has no clothes and everyone knows it.

    August 14, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  21. deercreek4444

    Looks to me Paul Begala is the whack job!!!!She has more common sense in her little finger than Begala has in that brain of his...

    August 14, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  22. carowe

    "Rock solid principles?" I suppose if you exclude honesty (which she lacks, as shown by the lies she continues to cling to in the face of facts), integrity (as demonstrated by all the questionable spending she did at the expense of the State of Alaska), judgement (as shown by her dragging her offspring onto the political stage and airing the family's issues only then to complain about their place in the spotlight) and commitment (as shown by her unwillingness to finish the job she was elected to do, once it became clear that her book deals and 'speaking' engagments would be more lucrative), then – yeah, if you exclude these things perhaps she has some kind of principles, but none that are relevant to someone trying to masquerade as a leadership candidate. We already know intelligence isn't a factor but then that isn't really a principle per se, it's just one of the qualities she lacks.

    August 14, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  23. m smith

    Sahra couldn't go toe to toe with a bowl of jello. Get real

    August 14, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  24. Juan

    Pot meet kettle.

    August 14, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  25. Idiot_Pelosi

    So what, I call OBAMA a TOTAL WHACK JOB......

    Paul, you're such a sissy. It would be funny to watch Sarah kick your rear end.

    August 14, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
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