Fox News: Huckabee And Rove Admit Palin's Move Raises More Questions

[media id=8894] (h/t David) The Patron Saint of the GOP Ronald Reagan had one unalterable law of politics, his Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not s

5 years ago by David
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(h/t David)

The Patron Saint of the GOP Ronald Reagan had one unalterable law of politics, his Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak poorly of your fellow Republicans.

And for those of us well-practiced in the art of reading between the lines of Conservo-speak, it's quite humorous to see the lengths the GOP bobbleheads will go to spin Sarah Palin's cutting and running in a positive light.

Soon-to-be successor Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell tries to spin this as a cost-saving measure, as the state has been paying dearly for the cost of all the ethics investigations. Now the fact that people feel it necessary to actually conduct ethics investigations seems to matter less than the cost of them. Karl "I belong in jail" Rove finds Palin's move "perplexing," worrying that it sends a message that you can drive an executive out of office through ethics investigations. Um, isn't that what your party tried to do for eight years with Clinton, Karl? I don't think Palin is the precedent here.

But former Arkansas governor and current FNC pundit Mike Huckabee all but calls Palin a wimp for her "risky strategy", claiming that he had it far tougher in Arkansas than she has it in Alaska, and her actions will do nothing to keep her and her family from being chased by the media:

WALLACE: Governor Huckabee, almost every politician is on the firing line. You may not have been to the degree as governor of Arkansas that Sarah Palin was once she achieved national prominence. But what about this argument, “I’m doing this for my state because the attacks against me are getting in the way?”

HUCKABEE: Well, if that had been the case for me, I’d have quit about my first month, because I was a Republican governor in a state where 89 percent of my legislature were Democrats.

I had constant ethics complaints filed against me, even by newspaper editors, and a lot of it was because if they can’t attack you on policy, what they do -- they just absolutely bombard you with personal attacks and keep you tied up in court, make you hire lawyers. Been there, done that.

Arkansas was a tough political environment, period, even tougher for a Republican, and one of the things you have to do is just decide, “Look, they’re not going to, you know, chase me out.”

Now, what they do -- they throw all this stuff at you, and then they say, “Oh, there’s a pattern of ethical issues.” Actually, what the pattern is is a pattern of phony charges being filed by the opposition party.

The danger that Sarah Palin faces -- and let me be very quick to tell you, in the way of full disclosure, I’m a Sarah Palin fan. I like her personally. I like her points of view. I think she’s right on the issues. The challenge that she’s going to have is that there will be people who say, “Well, look, you know, if they chase you out of this, it won’t get any easier for you at other levels of the stage.”

While neither pundit will actually admit that Palin's bizarrely rambling and incoherent speech on Friday was a boneheaded move on her part, both do admit that it raised more questions than answers and in national politics, that can be the kiss of death, as her ill-fated campaign for the VP slot showed.

HUCKABEE: Well, it’s a risky strategy, and nobody knows whether it’s going to pay off or not. And even if she did get out, primarily because of the -- a feeling of being chased, that’s not going to stop if she continues in politics.

The only way that stops is for her to completely exit the stage and the spotlight. And on that point, I totally agree with Karl.

I think the one thing that I wondered about tactically was hastily calling a news conference that ended up raising more questions than it did answer them.

And my political mentor, Ed Rollins, the other day on his radio show brought that up, that you don’t call a press conference that creates questions. You call one to resolve them.

No one could have predicted that Palin was completely out of her depth for national politics, could they?

WALLACE: To help sort out why Palin is stepping down and what she does now, we welcome from Anchorage Alaska’s lieutenant governor, Sean Parnell, who takes over from Palin in just three weeks; from Austin, Texas, the architect of two presidential victories, Karl Rove; and from Little Rock, Arkansas, former governor Mike Huckabee, who ran for president last year.

Lieutenant Governor Parnell, Sarah Palin called you into her office on Wednesday night to drop the bombshell. In a couple of sentences, because I’m sure a lot of people are still a little bit confused, why did she say that she is dropping out?

PARNELL: Well, good morning. You know, I think what I heard from the governor really had to do with the weight on her, the concern she had for the cost of all the ethics investigations and the like, the way that that weighed on her with respect to her inability to just move forward Alaska’s agenda on behalf of Alaskans in the current context of the environment. So that’s what I saw.

WALLACE: So basically, she was saying that all of the personal attacks, all of the ethics attacks -- that that was preventing her from doing her job. That’s why she decided to quit.

PARNELL: Well, and the fact that it cost -- it was costing just about $2 million of state taxpayers’ dollars just to fund the staff to deal with the records requests and the like, and that -- that was just over the top, and I think she used the word insane in her -- in her remarks.

WALLACE: Lieutenant Governor, I know there’s bad blood between Palin and Alaska’s Republican senator Lisa Murkowski , because Palin beat her dad when she ran for governor.

But I want to put up Murkowski’s full statement about all of this. “I am deeply disappointed that the governor has decided to abandon the state and her constituents before her term is concluded.” Does Senator Murkowski have a point?

PARNELL: You know, I was actually disappointed when I saw the senator’s release. And does she have a point? I don’t think so. I think what the governor did was actually look out for Alaskans in this.

She made the comment, “I need to pass the ball when I’ve got the four court press on me so we can move Alaska forward.” Governor Palin accomplished more in 2.5 years in office than most governors accomplish in one or even two terms here. So in that context, I don’t think so.

WALLACE: Karl Rove, let me bring you in. You’re as plugged in to Republican politics as anyone in this country. What are you hearing from insiders that you’re talking to about why Sarah Palin decided to step down?

ROVE: Well, they’re a little perplexed because she -- if she wanted to escape the ethics investigations and save the taxpayers money, she’s now done that, but it is -- it sort of sent a -- sent a signal that if you do this kind of thing to a sitting governor like her, you can drive her out of office.

Also, she’s not going to be able to escape media attention. If she thinks somehow that she’s going to be able to protect her family against the kind of things that she’s suffered over the last couple of months from David Letterman and others, and seek a role of leadership for effective change for our country, as she said in her speech, she’s not going to be able to do it.

The media, if she wants to run for president, is going to be following her intensely for the next three years.

WALLACE: Governor Huckabee, are these the actions of somebody who wants a career in national politics or somebody who wants to get out?

HUCKABEE: Well, it’s a risky strategy, and nobody knows whether it’s going to pay off or not. And even if she did get out, primarily because of the -- a feeling of being chased, that’s not going to stop if she continues in politics.

The only way that stops is for her to completely exit the stage and the spotlight. And on that point, I totally agree with Karl.

I think the one thing that I wondered about tactically was hastily calling a news conference that ended up raising more questions than it did answer them.

And my political mentor, Ed Rollins, the other day on his radio show brought that up, that you don’t call a press conference that creates questions. You call one to resolve them.

WALLACE: Governor Huckabee, almost every politician is on the firing line. You may not have been to the degree as governor of Arkansas that Sarah Palin was once she achieved national prominence. But what about this argument, “I’m doing this for my state because the attacks against me are getting in the way?”

HUCKABEE: Well, if that had been the case for me, I’d have quit about my first month, because I was a Republican governor in a state where 89 percent of my legislature were Democrats.

I had constant ethics complaints filed against me, even by newspaper editors, and a lot of it was because if they can’t attack you on policy, what they do -- they just absolutely bombard you with personal attacks and keep you tied up in court, make you hire lawyers. Been there, done that.

Arkansas was a tough political environment, period, even tougher for a Republican, and one of the things you have to do is just decide, “Look, they’re not going to, you know, chase me out.”

Now, what they do -- they throw all this stuff at you, and then they say, “Oh, there’s a pattern of ethical issues.” Actually, what the pattern is is a pattern of phony charges being filed by the opposition party.

The danger that Sarah Palin faces -- and let me be very quick to tell you, in the way of full disclosure, I’m a Sarah Palin fan. I like her personally. I like her points of view. I think she’s right on the issues. The challenge that she’s going to have is that there will be people who say, “Well, look, you know, if they chase you out of this, it won’t get any easier for you at other levels of the stage.”

WALLACE: All right. Let’s talk about those other levels.

Karl, let’s talk about Sarah Palin ’s future. Does her decision to step down in the middle of her term, not serve out her full four years -- does that help her or hurt her if she has any hopes of becoming president?

ROVE: I think it hurts. When you’re a sitting governor, you have the tactical advantage if you’re thinking about running for president of turning down a lot of things with an excuse that people will accept -- “I’ve got a job to do as governor.” She’s now removed that.

So now the expectations are going to be she’s going to be fully available, she’s going to be able to come to the lower 48, and she’s going to be able to do whatever people ask her to do, and that’s going to be a problem. It raises the expectations.

It’s also unclear what her strategy is. Again, she said she wanted to lead effective change outside of government. Well, now we’re -- now people are going to be saying, “What is it that you mean by that? And how are you -- demonstrated effective leadership for change around America?”

I’m like Governor Huckabee. I’m a fan of Sarah Palin ’s. But the effective strategies in politics are ones that are so clear and obvious that people can grasp it.

It is not clear what her strategy here is by exiting the governorship 2.5 years through the term and putting herself on the national stage that she may not yet be prepared to operate in.

She did a great job during 63 days during the fall campaign of 2008, with 63 days from her emergence in Ohio to the election date. But now she’s going to have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of days between now and the 2012 election, and she’s going to raise expectations about how well and how visible she’s going to be early on in those -- in that struggle.

WALLACE: Governor Huckabee...

PARNELL: Hey, Chris, can I jump in?

WALLACE: Yeah, sure, go ahead.

PARNELL: Well, I appreciate being able to jump in here, finally.

You know, Governor Huckabee made a point. He was comparing his experience as governor of Arkansas with Governor Palin’s of Alaska. And I have to tell you that I think they’re -- they’re miles apart in terms of what he faced versus what she faced. She became a national figure -- an international figure during the last presidential race. That’s a clear distinction. What that means is that she not only had the local press after her, the local party after her, she had the national -- national candidates, national party, after her -- international, perhaps, even.

Beyond that, she has plenty of time now within which to define how she will further her core values. But I have to tell you, when she went to Kosovo and visited our Guard members and the wounded soldiers there and in Germany, she saw that she doesn’t need a title to effect change and bring some hope to people who need it.

WALLACE: Well, I’d like both Karl and Governor Huckabee to respond to that.

And let me throw one other point into the mix in support of Governor -- Lieutenant Governor Parnell’s comments, and that is our very own Bill Kristol, who was pushing Palin as McCain’s running mate before McCain had seriously considered it, said that, you know, this is a risky strategy, but it’s crazy like a fox.

She doesn’t -- she’s not going to convince the skeptics with another 18 months as governor. This gives her an opportunity to write a book, make speeches and travel around the country.

Governor Huckabee?

HUCKABEE: I think there’s -- there’s some wisdom to that. It could be a brilliant strategy. The point is we don’t know. It’s risky in that there’s no forgone conclusion as to whether it will play out as to give her some sort of reprieve from the national stage or simply to give her opponents -- and let me be very clear.

In a primary, this is going to be an issue she’ll have to face. Will she be able to withstand the pressure?

And I think that Governor Parnell’s comments regarding the Arkansas stage -- I’ll be honest with you. The experience that I had in Arkansas politics was far more brutal than running for president. And in a primary, it may not be quite the same.

But I’m telling you, when your opponents within your own team spend millions of dollars to redefine you, it’s very, very difficult. And she’ll have to face that if she runs in 2012.

WALLACE: Karl?

ROVE: Well, she can’t be a conventional candidate. She’s never been one. She’s putting herself in a place where, unless she comes up with something new and novel that demonstrates leadership for effective change outside of government, as she said in her speech, then she’s going to be conventional.

She cannot simply count on going around and collecting chits by campaigning for Republican candidates in 2010. She’s got to demonstrate leadership. She also, I repeat, has lost control of her time. She had the excuse of being able to say, “I’m the governor. I’ve got things that I’ve got to do.” Now people are going to be clamoring for her, and the expectations are going to be out of sight.

She went to Kosovo as governor. She had a platform there as governor. The question now is what kind of idea does she have about the platform she will have during the next three years. This is a personal decision. It’s a risky strategy. She marches to the beat of her own drum, and it’s going to be very interesting to see how she pulls this off.

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WALLACE: Finally, Governor Huckabee -- and we’ve got less than a minute left -- when you take a look at Governor Sanford confessing his personal affairs, John Ensign confessing his personal affairs, Sarah Palin dropping out as governor, as a possible candidate in 2012 do you feel like you’re gaining by just staying on your feet?

HUCKABEE: Oh, I thought you were going to ask me if I had something to confess here today, Chris, and I was going to tell you...

WALLACE: Well, we all do.

HUCKABEE: ... (inaudible) no.

You know, I just re-signed my deal with Fox for the next three years, so right now I’m very comfortable doing what I’m doing. And I know everybody assumes that I’m, you know, going to make another shot at it. But honestly, it’s a brutal experience. I’m not sure that that’s in my future. I just don’t know at this point.

But right now I know that, you know, it’s going to be a wide open field, and it may be a lot more narrow in the sense of the number of candidates, but the field itself is wide open. And I think we’ll see other people emerge that we haven’t heard from yet.

About Nicole Belle

Nicole Belle's picture
Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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