What a surprise. Neocon and former Cheney advisor Mary Matalin thinks that Sarah Palin's announcement that she is resigning as Governor of Alaska is just brilliant...brilliant, I tell you. In her world it's a wonderful thing the Governor is cutting and running away from taking care of her state right now which is in a huge mess, and having some time to play politics for 2012 instead.
On the flip side, David Gergen and Ed Rollins think she's toast. I don't always agree with either of them, but I'd take their slant on how this is going to play out before Matalin's any day of the week.
Matalin's hackery and the video of Rollins and Gergen below the fold.
MALVEAUX: I want to bring in Republican strategist and CNN political contributor, Mary Matalin -- Mary, what do you make of this?
We've been getting a lot of different feedback from Republicans, some who are scratching their heads, others who say this is going to damage the party. And -- and there are others who are a little bit more open-minded about what this means for her chances in 2012.
MATALIN: Well, I think it's really brilliant, with two caveats, one being that there's nothing else, ala the Sanford fiasco. There's nothing else that we don't know. If all that's there is what we see right now, it's brilliant.
And, secondly, that she has a plan and people have a plan to put up with the conventional wisdom, chatterati and the political class saying how stupid it is, because it's brilliant.
On the substance, there's the key economic issue -- I know everyone says -- thinks it's health care, but it's really energy. And she's the queen of energy.
And the second big issue for 2012 will be the role of government. And she has a record of reform and ethics reform and making government smaller and reigning in spending -- all those issues that are getting increasingly important as Barack Obama expands on his agenda.
So -- and her delivery was incredible -- a charis -- a less charismatic person probably couldn't pull it off. But as -- as already referenced, she will be freed up and liberated in the way Mitt Romney is here to run around and raise money and get political chips by spending it and get political capital. And she is still raising the kinds of crowds and money that she always did.
So at first blush, to people with -- tainted by the Beltway -- and I include myself. My first reaction was what?
And my second reaction -- because I'm at my farm. I guarantee you, if I go down to the Wal-Mart in the Shenandoah Valley, there will be a huge hoorah for this. And normal Americans like that message of, you know, the price of public service should not be personal destruction...
MALVEAUX: I want to...
MATALIN: ...and the costs of that.
MALVEAUX: And, Mary, I want to bring you back in.
Do we know -- is there any suspicion that there is something that she might be hiding that we don't know about, that the might be a problem for why she's stepped down out of her position early?
MATALIN: You know, we don't know. But one has to presume that -- and this is how, since she brilliantly raised this -- that these, you know, hoards, these killing locust hoards of APO research have come in there and dug through everything. And what we would presume is that if there was anything else, we -- we would know it by now.
But I just -- the more I think about this, the better I think it is. And she addressed the issue of why she's stepping down quite well by delineating the record. Again, I'm not going to go through it -- but on energy and reform and ethics and small government. She spoke right to that conservative base that wants the substantively smaller government, limited government. And she spoke of Constitutionalism.
I mean, if I were these other candidates, yes, I'd be sending out negatives on her already. But she's taken -- unlike those candidates who have -- potential candidates that are still in office, she takes that big target off her back with a good record to launch from.
Now, that presumes she's going to use this time wisely, not just getting political chips, but, you know, getting deeper -- taking a deeper dive on foreign policy and those -- and the whole panoply of issues that you have to be expected to -- one expects that their presidential aspirants can go long, hard and deep on.
MALVEAUX: Mary Matalin, Peter Hamby, Mark Preston, thank you, all of you, for contributing.
Ed Rollins and David Gergen had a slightly different opinion of how this plays out for a Palin.