From State of the Union, Mary Matalin is asked to respond to Steve Schmidt's comment that Sarah Palin getting the 2012 presidential nomination the GOP
October 4, 2009

From State of the Union, Mary Matalin is asked to respond to Steve Schmidt's comment that Sarah Palin getting the 2012 presidential nomination the GOP could have a "catastrophic election result". I think Matalin knows full well Schmidt is right and doesn't want to admit that this nightmare McCain has inflicted on us would be a disaster for them if she is nominated.

KING: All right. Quick raw politics, before we run out of time. I was asked to moderate a panel the other day at an Atlantic magazine, with the first draft of history conference, they called it. And your old friend, Steve Schmitt was there. He ran the McCain campaign. He worked for Vice President Cheney back in the Bush days.

And I asked him about Sarah Palin's book. As you know, it's -- "Going Rogue" is the title of her book. It's coming out pretty soon. It's already a best-seller, even though you can't buy it yet. And I said, you know, "Steve, how are you going to play out in that book?" Let's listen.


KING: When we do the index read, the Washington read, and we look up Steve Schmitt, what are we going to find in the book about Steve Schmitt?

STEVE SCHMITT, FORMER MCCAIN CAMPAIGN MANAGER: I think it may say that I was anti-rogue in the -- in the running of the campaign.

I think that she has talents, but, you know, my honest view is that she would not be a winning candidate for the Republican Party in 2012, and in fact, were she to be the nominee, we could have a catastrophic election result.


KING: Do you agree with that, Mary?

MATALIN: All right. Steve, the Bullet, is a man of many talents, and he -- no one would ever call him the anti-rogue. He is a rogue.

This focus on Sarah Palin is one of these beltway obsessions.

KING: But is he right? Is he right?

MATALIN: Well, she's not going to -- we don't even know if she's running. Focusing on 2012.

Here's what Sarah Palin has become: an iconic expression for people, particularly maligned moms, who feel like they're not listened to, who feel like they're attacked when they express themselves. No one is -- including Steve, who's a friend of both of ours, that she has been pilloried beyond anything that is acceptable in politics.

But to focus on 2012 is irrelevant to what she represents today, which will have an impact on the midterms, which is she's dissed for being an expressive and conservative woman.

CARVILLE: Well, disclosure here. Sergeant Schmitt, who outranks Corporal Carville but not General Jones, came and -- came to Tulane and talked to my students about many of these things. And I would say his comments were slightly more reserved to you than they were in the classroom.

But there's a reason that Sarah Palin is getting all this attention. She's got a book coming out, which is selling, by the way, to be fair to Sarah Palin, it's selling like crazy. She keeps interjecting herself in the national dialogue. She gives a speech in Hong Kong. And yes, people -- and there are a lot of people out there that frankly think that she's -- to put it mildly, not up to the job.

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