6 comments October 29th, 2008at 09:53pm Posted by Eli


Wolf Blitzer: And this just coming into the “Situation Room,” the Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin now speaking out openly about her intentions in 2012 if, if she and John McCain were to lose this contest next Tuesday. In an interview with ABC News, Sarah Palin is now saying, she would be interested in remaining a serious national political figure, going ahead to 2012. She was asked what happens in 2012 if you lose on Tuesday, would you simply go back to Alaska? Elizabeth Vargas of ABC News asked her and Palin said this, and I will read it to you verbatim according to an ABC News transcript: “Absolutely not,” Sarah Palin says. “I think that, if I were to give up and wave a white flag of surrender against some of the political shots that we’ve taken, that … that would … bring this whole … I’m not doin’ this for naught,” and that is a direct quote from Sarah Palin. Clearly, leaving open the possibility that she would be interested in leading the Republican Party in 2012 if she and John McCain were to lose this presidential contest right now….

Dana Bash: I just got off of the phone, Wolf, with a senior McCain adviser and I read this person the quote and I think it is fair to say that this person was speechless. There was a long pause and I just heard a “huh” on the other end of the phone. This is certainly not a surprise to anybody who has watched Sarah Palin that she is interested in potentially future national runs, and she is being urged to by a lot of people inside of the Republican Party if they do lose, but it is an “if” and people inside of the McCain campaign do not want any discussion that has an “if” in front of it six days before the election, they don’t want any discussion at all, any kind of hypothetical talk about running for the next time around. So certainly, this is not at least initially being received well inside of the McCain campaign.

Wolf Blitzer: I am not surprised, not surprised at all. It is one of those “wow, she is talking about 2012 if we lose,” that is not supposed to be something that you say. You are supposed to say, “well, I’m not looking ahead, I’m not looking ahead only to Tuesday,” and those are the talking points she’s supposed to be saying, but she is obviously blunt and she is looking ahead if something were to happen on Tuesday that she wouldn’t be happy with.

I just love the McCain campaign reaction to Palin’s naked ambition.  I think Palin is going to be in for a pretty huge disappointment if she tries to run for president in 2012.  Even if the excitement she generates in the conservative base is enough to carry her to the nomination, she has zero support outside of it.  She alienates and scares most normal people, and she has done absolutely nothing to make herself believable as President Of The United States.  Four more years as governor of Alaska will do nothing to change that.  She would be toast.

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Palin,Politics,Republicans


  • 1. Spear and Magic  |  October 29th, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    > She would be toast.

    Agreed. Almost worth contributing to her 2012 primary campaign for just that reason. Almost.

    It’s funny how she’s fallen into the Quayle category rather than the W./Reagan category. Everyone understood that Quayle was too goddamned dumb to be taken seriously, and even though he was the defeated VP he was never a serious presidential option headed into 1996. But for some reason all of the same sort of evidence didn’t tube Reagan or W. (I guess I can buy the claim that at one point Reagan might have had something on the ball. But certainly by 1980 all signs pointed to senile, blithering moron.)

    So what distinguishes whether people see it or don’t?

  • 2. Eli  |  October 29th, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    Excellent question. I’m not entirely sure. I think it was partly that Reagan and W. were able to connect with people without looking like total lightweights, they were governors of very large states (population-wise) which made them more credible as executives, and they did not present as alarming, ruthless extremists, at least not the first time around.

  • 3. Charles  |  October 30th, 2008 at 1:19 am

    Overconfidence, Eli.

    In four years, assuming she doesn’t get sucked in too closely to Alaska scandals, she can be much better schooled on how to respond to things. If the Obama presidency goes well, no one will be able to beat him. But if it goes poorly, and there are problems aplenty for him to deal with, he’ll be vulnerable. At this moment, not knowing what conditions will be in four years, it’s impossible to know what kind of candidate could beat him. If things have seriously deteriorated, a nativist candidate could succeed. If things are better, a traditional tax cuts &snake oil salesman could be stronger.

    Don’t count her out. She’s smart, incredibly ambitious, and totally ruthless.

  • 4. Anders Weinstein  |  October 30th, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    I caught a clip of the Palin answer in question earlier today and this description seemed to me to misrepresent the context. The immediate question to which she gave the response as I recall was roughly whether all the attacks on her would prompt her to give up.

    I found some more on this here:

    Yes that is from Fox news, but it matches my recollection. In any case I would recommend checking the source interview and not trusting the CNN report (though perhaps ABC bears the original blame for the misrepresentation).

  • 5. Anders Weinstein  |  October 30th, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    It’s at the end of the video here:

    I really can’t see this as any statement about aspirations for 2012.

  • 6. Eli  |  October 31st, 2008 at 12:17 am

    I guess the question is whether she’s talking about not surrendering and going home in the context of 2008 or 2012. Is Vargas asking Palin whether she’d bail on this election, or whether she’d go home to Alaska and stay there if she loses?

    The follow-up phrasing of the second question really does suggest that Vargas is asking about *after* the election, so I think Wolf’s interpretation is not unreasonable. If not for the first question, I might very well interpret the second one differently.

    It’s also possible that Palin wasn’t answering the question I thought she was asked – she might well have thought Vargas was asking her if she was going to bail on the McCain campaign.

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