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. Carramea

    I respectfully disagree. Palin is a 100% whack job. I am so glad I am not her

    August 14, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  2. I Am The Great And Powerful Rush Of Oz

    Palin passes gas and CNN is there to bring you the latest.

    August 14, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. Keith in Austin

    Coming from a Liberal Lap Dog like Begalia, his insult on Palin doesn't hold much water.

    This guyis like a persistant crybaby and obnoxious! He is a creepy little worm! The Dems are obviously getting desperate and their current reaction has stooped to personal attacks.

    August 14, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  4. HJA

    "rock solid principles." ???????? She has no principles, that rock is in her head. Actually I think she has a lot of rocks in her head.

    August 14, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  5. Yolanda

    Sarah Palin has to hide behind Face Book. She is not capable in a public appereance.

    John McCain, I no longer have respect for you. Thanks so much!

    August 14, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  6. marcus2

    Palin is definitely half a whack job. She is also a divider with a real talent at inflaming a culture war. She's like a mean-spirited high school kid.

    August 14, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  7. Bill in Cali

    Takes a full whack job to know the difference.

    August 14, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  8. T'SAH from Virginia

    Actually, she's a FULL NUT JOB!!!
    A few French Fries short in a Happy Meal!!!

    Jeez – get her out of the NEWS!!!

    August 14, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  9. Sam I Am

    Begala is about 1/2 right. She's 100% whack job. Newt Gingrich is a very intelligent guy, but his judgement is obviously lacking. He's wasting his time with Palin. Once a politician like her starts to go down in flames there's nothing to stop her decent but the big bang at the bottom. Any chance she had of running for meaningful political office has evaporated in the past weeks, mainly due to the fact that she cannot keep her mouth shut, and she just keeps reminding us how dumb she really is.

    August 14, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  10. Julia

    How is this news? All he did was restate the obvious.

    August 14, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  11. travis_bdboy

    Tell the truth Begala,,,PALIN'S A COMPLETE NIMWHIT

    August 14, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  12. T'SAH from Virginia

    Ms. Sarah WHACK WHACK WHACK!!!
    All dressed in BLACK BLACK BLACK!!
    Don't come to her DEFENSE FENSE FENSE!!!
    'Cause she has no SENSE SENSE SENSE!!!

    LOL – she continues to be in the news and she does not realize YET that she should go home and raise the rest of her family!!!

    August 14, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  13. Libertarian

    As long as Palin hides behind Facebook like a teenager lobbing untruths she will not be taken seriously. Why won't she come let herself be interviewed? Maybe because a Katie Couric tore her up so bad she is shudders at the thought of being asked even semi-tough questions again. A 5th grader could have answered some of those questions!! LOL!!!

    August 14, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  14. Annie

    Sadly, Paul Begala is a "totally full whack job!"

    Palin is smarter and more qualified than Obama, and the liberals and their shills in the press are terrified of her.

    BTW, Maybe what's bothering Begala, is he knows that a hot woman like Palin wouldn't look twice at a half-man liberal dweeb like him.

    August 14, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  15. Joe, St. Louis, MO

    Ok, Paul. Let's start using our big-boy voices now and argue the way you used to in the Clinton Administration.

    August 14, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  16. Clint Lynnwood Wa.

    She is about half a whack job.

    GREAT, I love it.

    August 14, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. Thomas McKirdy.Sr

    With repect to Mr. Begala Ex-Gov Palin is a full wack job and nothing she says can be taken seriously.

    August 14, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  18. C. Bass

    Thank you Paul for calling it like it is and not letting "political correctness" or or false cries of "sexism" deter you from speaking the truth. Palin can never be half the President Bush was even with all his faults.

    August 14, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  19. Dennis

    Well done everybody now that

    August 14, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  20. Dave

    Someone at CNN Political Ticker is pathalogically drawn to Palin stories...Please give us a break!

    August 14, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  21. Diana Carstairs

    Good ! Honest talk finally bursts the fantasy balloon that Sarah Palin can even pretend to intelligence. Her disgusting comment about death panels could instigate violence, and appears to be seriously treacherous.

    August 14, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  22. Dave

    hahahahahahaha.... I like how he really get it... She is so intellectual lightweight... poor Palin, she couldn't even able to finish her first term...

    August 14, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  23. Mark

    Begala is the WHACK JOB. He's an elitist who thinks he knows everything. Palin looks out for all of us, NOT just the elitists.

    August 14, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  24. Deanna

    Little beagal will do anything to boost his ego, even bite the ankles of women...Sarah Palin & Katy Abrams are the mutt's latest. Pathetic.

    August 14, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
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