August 15th, 2009
09:44 AM 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: Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. C W

    If Sarah Palin and her supporters can dish out her lying about "death panels" and calling her opponents "un-American" and "socialist" and "siding with the terrorists," then they need to get used to having some flung back at them.

    Afterall, I thought you guys were just a bunch of pitbulls in lipstick ...

    August 15, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. Kenyan Wonder Kid

    I continue to be outraged by this Democratic political strategist and sleezeball hack being paid by state-run CNN to put the Dem party propoganda on their site. Anything he says should be immediately discredited and ignored as the deliberate smear campaign that it is.

    Begala knows that Palin has scored some huge, substantive points against Obama in recent weeks, especially on health care, arguing with powerful facts rather than rhetoric. Note that he can give NO specific examples. His only weapon is name calling and vicious personal attacks, which the loony libs seem to love. He is that nasty and petty little boy that we all hated on the playground, and who has never grown up. He should seek psychological counseling.

    August 15, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    Hmm, Sarah and the republican's don't want people to be reimbursed for Living Will consultations?

    I wonder why?

    August 15, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. Mike in Texas

    Palin is a hypocrital two faced talker. She supported advance directives in April 2008 but now she opposes it. Why? She should have to explain this 180 degree turn. Is she wishy washy? Flip flopping politician looking for political posturing? Anti-Obama? Palin is a typical politician. She is not special. The President could crap gold bricks and she would still come up with something to oppose it. Until people on both sides realize that you have to have a middle ground in alot of cases, nothing will be accomplished. No one is right 100% of the time and no one is wrong 100% of the time. I am a Democrat and I don't think Obama is right 100% of the time and I didn't think Bush was wrong 100% of the time. Take off the blinders people!!

    August 15, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  5. Larry Roo

    The name calling continues on both sides and the facts get lost in the emotions. Fact- The end of life counseling language is the same as what was supported by Republicans in the recent Medicare bill. Fact- Glen Beck condemmed the American health care system (after being one of its victims) before he said now that it is the best in the world. Fact- When judged by overall quality of care and mortality/morbidity the United States lags far behind other developed nations and costs far more. Fact- the Republicans offer no solutions, only fear mongering to maintain the status quo and the obscene profits of their real constituents, healthcare companies. Judeo-Christian values teach us to be our brother's keeper- that isn't Marxist, it's humanist. The country will not be destroyed as we contunue to care for each other!

    Human psycholgy being what it is we are often willing to stay with the devil we know, no matter how bad (why GWB got re-elected). There is a core group of Americans for whom change is a frightening prospect and some for whom a person of color as President is repugnant. Therein lies the emotion and susceptibility to the fear mongering.

    August 15, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  6. Wacko...Begala....!!!

    Hey man Begala have you taken a look at yourself in the mirror lately?

    How smart do think you are..? Not very just the way you look at things.

    Remember putting others down does not enhance your image..!!!!!!

    August 15, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  7. James

    54% Say Passing No Healthcare Reform Better Than Passing Congressional Plan

    Obama's nose continues to grow.

    CNN closed the latest Obama ticker after nine comments.

    I wonder why?

    August 15, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    America is about people who value their freedom, who believe in opportunity, who look to leaders for intelligence, forethought and endurance.

    Palin and her ilk want to dictate the most private aspects of our lives (religion, sexuality, reproduction), can't name a newspaper they read on a regular basis (and take 6 years and 5 colleges to graduate), open their mouths without thinking ("death panels" – hah!), and quit when they have 1.5 years left on their job.

    If my first paragraph describes "elitists" and the second "hockey moms," then I'll take the elitists any day.

    August 15, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    The provision that Grassley took out of the House bill simply said that living will consultations would be paid for; they are not mandated, and the government will not be telling the doctor what to say or recommend.

    I think you're confusing this provision with the gag order the Bush Administration pushed through regarding doctors and abortion.

    August 15, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  10. SteveO

    How will this end? Any takers? I'm voting for a cat-fight meltdown on stage at a political rally half-way through a babbling speech where she gets dizzy and disoriented from six different types of prescription meds and stops. Then, to the lady in the front row, "what? What did you call me? I'll kill you you (beep beep beep) Aaah!" and then the stage dive.

    August 15, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. Michael in Miami

    Paul's being kind. Sarah Palin isn't half a whack job. She's a TOTAL whack job.

    It's hysterical that some conservatives say Liberals are 'afraid' of Sarah Palin. She doesn't scare us at all. It's those who support her that scare us. It's scary that some people are really that clueless.

    August 15, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. Jason

    This woman is not even a politician anymore, she is absolutely nobody, so why would anybody think she has any right to be involved in politics. She is absolutely nothing and nobody.

    August 15, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. Wow

    I wish that the media would stop giving voice to the total nonsense being put out by half term governor Palin. Until she is ready to speak to the press in person so that she can be questioned on this stupidity, she should be ignored.

    If she really believes whats she's tweeting or putting on facebook, why not come out and have a press conference?

    The media is being played and they aren't smart enough to realize it.

    August 15, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. Wanderer

    From what we, most independents who I know and I, have seen so far that the only thing that Mrs. Palin could do was attacking Obama since day one as the VP candidate. Her way of attacking does not need to be intelligent and requires only finishing middle school. She has been pushing us, the independents, further and further away from the GOP. People who have at least high school diploma might no longer stand with this kind of politicians. It would be very sad if she holds any high office representing the U.S.A. We are wondering if she is being used a tool for getting the dirty job done. We are still waiting to see if Palin can be more professional.

    August 15, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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