Palin 2012: can she win or can't she?
January 3rd, 2011
08:38 AM ET
11 years ago

Palin 2012: can she win or can't she?

(CNN) – With the Republican presidential race expected to officially gear up in the coming weeks, Sunday brought divergent predictions from two prominent Republicans on just how viable a Sarah Palin candidacy could be.

The divergent opinions are illustrative of the ongoing debate within the Republican Party - especially between the new and old guard - over whether Palin will prove to be more of a force for good or bad in the coming months as the party sets its sights on ensuring President Obama is limited to one term.

Speaking on ABC's This Week, longtime conservative columnist George Will ruled out any possibility the former Alaska governor could be victorious in a general election contest, which is usually decided by swing suburban voters who hold more moderate positions than those that Palin espouses.

"The president's secret weapon may be the Republican nominating electorate," he said. There is one person, high in the polls, Sarah Palin, who cannot be elected president because she cannot compete where elections are decided. In the collar counties outside Chicago, Montgomery County outside of Philadelphia- just can't compete there."

Will is placing his bet on outgoing Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, should he decide to run.

But newly-elected Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania offered a different assessment of the former vice presidential nominee's chances on NBC's Meet the Press, saying she could sway Pennsylvania's swing electorate by focusing on the same fiscal issues he campaigned on.

"We went into this election cycle with a 1.2 million voter registration deficit and with a Republican brand that was in a really bad way, and I still won this election," he said. "So, I think the electorate wants a return of economic growth, wants serious fiscal discipline. If they believe they've got a candidate that's going to deliver on those things, then it's possible."

A third Republican meanwhile, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, wouldn't name Palin directly when asked to size up the 2012 presidential field, saying instead that he wants "the most electable conservative, whoever that is."

Graham added that person is likely to be former presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

"Mitt Romney has got his problems as a candidate, but so does everyone else," Graham said Meet the Press.

Filed under: 2012 • Sarah Palin
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Take America Back

    Here we go again w/the "paid staff of anti-Palin bloggers" who constantly take shots at Sarah Palin from "salmon fishing to death panels" (of which all are true)......I have said this many times; If sarah Palin is so horribly dumb, so horribly insinsitive, stupid, crazy, money grabbing, and above all insignificant.....WHY do you guys spend so much time and treasury attempting to discredit her????
    I will make you a prediction; the more in number and intensity of the attacks, the stronger she will become and in 2012, your horse, Obambi, will be so far behind he will only be an after-thought!
    Obambi will difinitely go down as the absolute worse president in American history.....even worse than Carter!

    January 3, 2011 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. kate

    This woman is NOT qualified to be President of our country! She is the reason I am no longer a Republican.

    January 3, 2011 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  3. Che Bravo!

    Face it, the Republican brand is still way too tarnished to bring down Obama. If they hadn't spent the last two years alienating themselves from Latinos, Gays, Blacks, Muslim-Americans, and Americans with common sense and a memory, they might have a shot. But the best they can bring to the table is Palin and a reputation of being the Party of No. Not quite the winning ticket!

    January 3, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. Katie

    Are you kidding me, CNN? I'm starting to wonder if the Political Ticker is on Palin's payroll, with how often you have repetitive filler articles about her. How many times do you have to ask America if they'd want her in office (NO) or if she's even relevant anymore (NO) or if her writing a book or shooting a deer somehow qualifies her for office (NO), because her career record certainly doesn't. Stop giving her a platform for her ludicrous attempts at maintaining her own relevance.

    January 3, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. ThinkAgain

    What does Palin know about fiscal responsibility?

    – She quit halfway through her term as Governor of a state that has so much excess oil money that it gives each of its citizens $1000s each year.

    – She stole from the state's coffers by taking a housing allowance when she was living in her own home.

    – She would have ripped off the RNC if they hadn't forced her to return all the clothes she bought during the 2008 campaign.

    – She charged airfare and expenses for her kids when she traveled on the state of Alaska's dime.

    – She's defrauding all those yahoos who buy her books and come to her speeches.

    Palin is a con artist and a cheat. Only a fool believes otherwise.

    January 3, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. once upon a horse

    well I'm sure no matter what she does CNN Political Ticker will be there to cover it, just like they did in 2010.

    January 3, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. Sniffit

    I think it's time for the "news" media to undergo an intervention. Jaberwocky Barbie will NEVER be POTUS...not VP either...and, likely, never hold any sort of office ever again. THIS COW IS DRY. Stop trying to milk it.

    January 3, 2011 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  8. todd

    Palin has a real shot at the repulican primaries, but she can't pick up the family values mantle without people scrutinizing her family. She did not come off as intelligent in that Katie Couric interview, and asking what newspapers you read is not a "gotcha" question.

    She could use a presidential run to further her television career, and she may actually do that. But she has no real chance of winning the general election. She does have a real chance of getting rich from participating in the general election, so I think we have not seen the last of her for awhile.

    January 3, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. 16Haol

    Is that the best we can do as Republicans – Sarah Palin, Mitch Romney.

    January 3, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. Michael in Houston

    She can win only the repubs nomination. As they have neither the guts nor the ability to deal with her. She cant win the WH and I assure you creeps who push her forward that this nation will trounce her, reject her, and send her back the loser she is.
    But....she will run...she will soon say that there are not suitable candidates in the repubs and that she hears "some voice of patriots" calling her name and she will then spend the next two years stuffing herself down our collective throats. It matters not one twig to her that she is unqualified, that she is dangerous, that her candidacy is as a bottom feeder...for her its all about cameras and getting attention. Somehow, you fools on the right have opened the door for this unsuitable slop hound to lead your party. Nice piece of work.

    January 3, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. bcnu_too

    Well here we go again. CNN is starting off the new year talking about this category 5 moron. This is just too much – every day on the ticker. CNN needs to report on real news not keep rehashing over and over about Palin – the money grubber.

    January 3, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  12. Annie, Atlanta

    Looking at my side's poor showing during the mid-terms, there is a possibility this woman could slip in through the cracks. When we see a Democratic party moving further to the right than is comfortable, we either find ourselves a new party that believes in the old Democratic platform, or we sit home because Democrats no longer believe in what Democrats believe in. The President touting reaganomics as a good thing, and looking to dismantle Social Security is a sure fire way to lose liberal support. Anyone of you "journalists" saying Americans spoke and they prefer Republicans after this mid term, clearly have no insight into the mind of a liberal. There's no point in bothering until we find or start a party that will follow our beliefs, which are basically taking care of each other in the best way possible as opposed to taking care of their corporate masters.

    January 3, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. a little sad

    I think any candidate that can be painted with a similar postition as Palin will be vulnerable. Just morph from the candidate to Palin in an ad, and they lose all credibility.

    Even my ultra conservative mother has seen how vapid Palin, the Fierce Defender of Childhood Obesity, truly is.

    January 3, 2011 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. LGNY

    Palin's role will be to make the other Republican candidates look sage and moderate by taking positions as extreme as possible.

    January 3, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    Keep them guessing, Sarah, honey, keep them all guessing. That way, GOPers can't say too much against you for fear losing YOUR base of voters during 2012 campaign. I imagine our Queen Sarah has much up her sleeve to keep the media on pins and needles for the next few months. Whether she is worth all the coverage CNN and other media outlets seem to think she is isn't quite as certain.

    January 3, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  16. James, AL

    In my opinion, it is not time for a republican president. I am an independent who like checks and balances, but the country is so far from a moderate position that it will take at least two democratic terms to correct it. We do not need ANY extreme person over the executive branch.

    Call President Obama what you want, the one thing we all know is that he understands the are of compromise. So, unless something drastic happens in his administration, he has my vote and my campaigning support.

    January 3, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. TangledThorns

    Sarah Palin outclasses the current community organizer so yes, she will in 2012! Get used to hearing President Sarah Palin soon 🙂

    January 3, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. Tom Bruce

    What? No mention of Mike Huckabee? Last poll I saw on CNN, about two weeks ago, he was the front runner. Yes in front of Mitt. Sarah is lovely to look at, but would we really want her in the White House?

    January 3, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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