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. HonestMistake

    And Begala is a complete hack. He's what you call a "channel changer" anytime he's on CNN.

    August 14, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  2. Jeff

    Begala has got it about half right.

    August 14, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  3. He's right..

    Mr Begala is so correct. Now CNN IF you would just let her go, it would make us all happy..

    August 14, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  4. ib

    The far left wingnuts cannot keep from putting Palin down and while they are doing that she rises in power. Keep it up wingnuts you are to stupid to realize you are playing right into Palin's hands.

    August 14, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  5. Dennis

    "Lightweight?" Interesting arguement coming from a Liberal who's only measure of success on political theory is the former Soviet Union. Ya–that system worked out so well! Freedom is only a serious conversation to those willing to defend it. For those who believe in kings, Progressive Democracy, additional gun control legislation, and other such folly–serious discussion only comes down to the amount of legal stealing the government can do from the public (taxes).

    August 14, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  6. Rebecca

    Palin is as transparent as Casper the Ghost. She has NO business being in the political arena. She must be someones ideal of a diversion tatic. Bring out the clown now. It is very embarrassing for our country when she say's the hatefull and stupid things that keep coming out of her mouth.

    August 14, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  7. Think for yourself

    Paul was wrong. She isn't a half wack job. She is a total wack job!!

    August 14, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  8. Independent

    Couldn't of said it any better....thanks Paul

    August 14, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  9. Jonathan

    Yes. . . and?
    We all know she is.
    The only group Palin has divided are the Republicans.
    NO ONE else is divided or unsure about what a whack job she is.

    August 14, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  10. Rightsaid

    Toe to toe with Pres. Obama?

    She's unarmed in a battle of wits.

    August 14, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  11. EC

    Begala is RIGHT. Sarah Palin is a WHACKED JOB, she needs to stay her butt in Alaska or be prepared for another ass whopping messing with the BIG DOGS!!!

    The BIG DOGS in Washington think she's a nut job too! Bottom line.

    August 14, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  12. Mariann Pepitone

    I believe Palin knows what she is talking about but the democrats like Begala fear people will start listening to her and will continue to protest Health Care which Obama is trying so hard to push. That makes me wonder why is he pushing it. Murtha disagrees with Obama and that should tell you something is not right. I do not believe what Obama is saying about health care. To me it is a farce.

    August 14, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  13. bsmith171

    did he mean Biden the 5 time draft dodger with an IQ of 80?

    August 14, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  14. Ken

    Spot on, Paul!

    August 14, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  15. George

    Sort of a wack job is way too kind. You don't have to be a democrat to know she s bazarre. A normal republican would also know she is in the outer limits. She is a Rush Limbaugh egg, that hopefully won't hatch.

    August 14, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  16. Alicia

    This is news? We all know this.

    August 14, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  17. JR

    "defended Palin for having "rock solid principles."

    would those be evident in the ethics violations she routinely commiited before quitting her job in Alaska?

    August 14, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  18. Stephen Cooper

    Palin is nothing but trailer trash!

    August 14, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  19. Kish from Britain

    Begala is the man!!! I just love it when intellectual heavyweights call a spade what it is ....a spade!!! Fight for Obama's cause, the Good Lord would help him succed. Amen

    August 14, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  20. Hotdog

    He's absolutely correct. She does not have the debt to hold a constructive conversation on our existing political issues. That was clearly demonstrated in the interviews that she had with the media as a vice presidential candidate. I think it is pathetic for a person to put themselves on display the way she does.

    August 14, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  21. evman

    Everybody knows already that Palin is wasted and can't articulate her thoughts in a coherent fashion.

    I don't think she could run Sesame Street.

    August 14, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  22. Preston

    Begala thinks she is "about half a whack job"? Well, he's about half right.

    August 14, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  23. PUMA

    Begala, your a wackjob

    August 14, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  24. Jo

    Half a whack job is one of the nicest things I have heard about her. Seriously, why on earth is anyone giving her the time of day. I think my dog may be more intelligent than she is.

    August 14, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  25. rick

    I just wish a smart educated republican would have the wisdom to say that.

    August 14, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
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