August 15th, 2009
09:44 AM ET
10 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. Sandy Fisher

    Begala believes his own press clippings. He's an elitist without a moral high ground (along with the rest of our inept and lying government). Must be why he is so disgusted with Palin. She's got rock solid values and speaks the truth. Truth? Begala and his ilk wouldn't know truth if it bit him in the butt. The American people see what's going on, and they're a lot smarter than Begala et al think. They may not be intellectual giants like he is, but they get what's going on, and are sick and tired of it.

    August 15, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. mjm

    The democrats think everyone is a wack job but them.

    August 15, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. FAYE, NV

    Thank you Paul for speaking the truth, Sarah is a wantta be and the public has found her out. How she got elected for mayor and governor is unbelieveable, maybe because it was only several thousands people in her small town.

    This lady is really dumb, and she incites hatred. I still would like to see her medical records to see if in fact Trig is her son. Someone please tell me how she was pregnant and no one knew it, not even her mother.

    August 15, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  4. Ann Nonomus

    OMG- Enough about Palin- proven a non issue- When will the media realize this?

    August 15, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. Dan K

    The relentless attack on Palin by the Dems, clearly indicates they are afraid of her. It amazes me how terrified the Dems are of decency and honor.

    August 15, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. Shirley

    Palin a "flaky and an intellectual lightweight." is so true to a point - BUT that is 'mild' compared to what a 'NIT' she actually is - Thank YOU Begala, - WE appreciate YOU ! ! ! Why, oh Why does CNN or any other network even mention her???? Enuf already ! ! !

    August 15, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Slacko

    Sarah Palin is objectively an idiot, just like healthcare reform is objectively needed, just like Republican claims about healthcare are objectively wrong. CNN should report as such.

    August 15, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. SteveO

    I HOPE Palin is the GOP candidate in 2012, Mr. Obama would be a shoe in!

    August 15, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Scott, Tucson

    I'd take Palin over that whack job Bozo you folks put in the WH. What have Obama acutually accomplished in his first six months other than a growing list of screw ups by him and his administration.

    August 15, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  10. Drew Williams

    Palin's fellow travelers here love to chalk up Begala comments to typical Dem rhetoric. Funny thing is, large swaths of the real thinkers in the GOP agree with him. So it's virtually all Dems and Republicans with the sack to voice their opinions who think Palin is a bean brain.

    August 15, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. jim

    Begala's right! Palin's incredibly flighty and ignorant and over-self-entitled. How can anybody take anything she says seriously. Stop giving her equal time and focus on real news items.

    August 15, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. Kristine

    The truth hurts Sarah!

    August 15, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. katiec

    There were NEVER death panels in the health care plan. What there was, was needed information and advice on living wills, dignity
    and choice.
    Palin is a loose cannon who will spout, rant and rave about anything to get the headlines.
    Go to Alaska newspapers. Her popularity has gone from 80% to
    low 40's and decreasing every day. She left Alaska in total
    chaos. First state ever that had services of health care for the
    elderly called to halt because of dangerous mismanagement.
    This woman will self destruct, just give her time. No one with her
    ego, extreme ambition, is a chronical liar and lacks intelligence
    can survive when they continue to make fools of theirselves.

    August 15, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. Pat S.

    The frightening problem is, being a whack job is now a criteria for rising in the Repubican Party, and does not seem to disqualify one for serious consideration for high public office.

    August 15, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Dave C - NJ

    LOL! So Palin is the reason that Death Panels are now out? They were NEVER IN!

    And the Dem's don't have a monopoly on name-calling. I don't have enough space for examples of GOP slander.

    Face it, both sides call names. I'm sick of the conservative goons complaining about "hateful liberals." Know what? We DO hate you. Because you are stupid and wrong and just plain selfish and ignorant. Who doesn't hate that?

    August 15, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. Yates

    She may be but she just successfully got the End of Life provision removed from the healthcare legislation. I do not think it has anything to do with his intellectual superiority based on most of posts I see from most Democrats.

    August 15, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  17. tonyt

    Her interlect Grade; D-

    August 15, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  18. annie for Palin

    begayla is a WHOLE WHACK JOB!

    August 15, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Tony in Maine

    I don't often disagree with Begala, but this time...

    Paul – she's a total whack job. No halfway. From head to toe – a complete whacko.

    And I truly hope that the ticket is Gingrich and Palin.

    August 15, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. Babs

    Paula Begala is 100% correct in his opinion of Palin. He couldn't have said it better.

    Terry Jeffrey's opinion that Sarah Palin has rock solid principles doesn't mean a thing if the rock solid principles make no sense. Such as Obama having put into his health care plan "DEATH PANELS."

    Come on Anee, get your facts straight. It has been shown and proven over and over. Obama is not for death panels. Stop spreading crap that isn't true and believing in people who claim to speak the truth, but don't.

    August 15, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. anuskita

    If Palin was not able to convince the American people to elect her when she was the best and brightest the GOP had to offer, why should it be otherwise in 2012? She is still the same mean, vapid, intelectual nonentity we are all so familiar with. And the hullabaloo of the so called "death panels" is the most ridiculous and, in the long run, harmful political strategy (for the GOP). They will find it out to their cost, like their opposition to judge Sotomayor's which has alienated all Hispanic voters. Anybody who believes such rubbish–well, I have a bridge that I want to sell to you.

    August 15, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. Gayle

    Thank you Mr. Begala ON THE NOSE! – About time someone said what so many of us have known since last September. Palin makes former president Bush look smart. She is that opinionated neighbor or aunt we all know who hasn't the intellectual curiosity or ability to combine research and fact with her opinions. How sad for all of us that she has been given a national forum for her unsubstantiated comments and that annoying smirk!

    August 15, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. Drew Williams

    And there Was NEVER any "death panel" language in the health bill, there is language allowing for paid, optional end of life counseling for those who choose it. Funny, Palin was FOR this same kind of counseling at the state level back in 2007, when she was governor of Alaska. Wonder what changed her mind ... could it be POLITICS?

    August 15, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  24. Deb

    Begala is a joke in and of himself. How childish. He knows she's a threat to the democratic party in the next election so he does what typical left wingers do ... start calling names. I hope he chokes. It would be no loss.

    August 15, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  25. Nuts

    Good old dems doing what they do best name calling.

    Poor dumb Sarah Palin, is getting ready to take down the entire 0bama administration and their lousy health care death panel.

    August 15, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
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