Sarah Palin

Is the Ted Cruz Express on Track?

Jan 21, 2013 By Jason Cohen

David Dewhurst's challenger for Kay Bailey Hutchison's Senate seat has the support of Sarah Palin, and Ron and Rand Paul, but a new poll predicts there still won't be a run-off. 

Palin punts

Oct 5, 2011 By Paul Burka

She’s a media personality now. There was no way she could run for president when a majority of the Republican electorate doesn’t want her to.

What is Palin up to?

Sep 14, 2011 By Paul Burka

I thought Perry and Palin were buddies. She came to Texas to endorse him against Bill White in December 09. But her “crony capitalism” attack on Perry was an indication that she sees an opening for her to be the nominee. If she can weaken Perry, and he falters, the…

Has Perry waited too long?

Jul 14, 2011 By Paul Burka

I would have said no, until Newsweek unleashed its megacoverage of Sarah Palin. She hints broadly that she is looking at running and that she can win. Palin eclipses Perry in every way — name ID, loyal following, fundraising ability, celebrity status. The Palin buzz created by Newsweek stepped all…

R.G.’s Take: The Nanny State of Texas

May 24, 2011 By R.G. Ratcliffe

Once upon a time, not so long ago, in a faraway land called Pennsylvania, a woman named Sarah Palin brought 200 protest cookies to school for children at the Plumstead Christian School - because she had read a report – mistaken as it turns out – that the state was going to ban such sweets from public school parties. Sarah mocked the policy as a “nanny state run amok.” She was there to fight for the freedom of sweet treats. “Who should be making the decisions on what you eat … in school, choices: Should it be government or should it be the parents?” Sarah asked her crowd. “It should be the parents.” Oh, no, said I, if this is true, then Texas has three of the biggest nannies in the land: Susan Combs, Todd Staples and Rick Perry. And the Legislature has been nannying up a storm as of late, seeking to impose government dictates on its citizens for their own good. Let’s start at the beginning, when government was wise, children were wonderful and we all wanted what was best for our future generations.

PPP: Republican frontrunners lose ground; could Perry be the beneficiary?

Mar 28, 2011 By Paul Burka

From Tom Jensen on the Public Policy Polling Web site: Much has been written about the weakness of the 2012 Republican Presidential candidate field but what I think might be most remarkable about the leading quartet of Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich  is that they've all become more unpopular and by quite a good bit since we started monthly national 2012 polling in April of 2009. The fact that the more Americans are exposed to them, the less they like them certainly does not bode well for their competitiveness next year. * In April 2009 Huckabee's favorability was +8 at 42/34. Now it's -7 at 35/42, for a 15 point drop over the last two years. His net drop has been 25 points with Democrats, 7 points with Republicans, and 19 points with independents. * In April 2009 Palin's favorability was -7 at 42/49. Now it's -22 at 35/57, for a 15 point drop over the last two years. Her net drop has been 19 points with Democrats, 18 points with Republicans, and 19 points with independents.

HOT news

Jun 13, 2010 By Paul Burka

In my never ending effort to keep readers er, abreast, of simmering controversies, I bring you this report from NEWSMAX, a conservative Web site, published after Sarah Palin appeared on Fox News: Sarah Palin shot down rumors Friday night that she had undergone an operation to receive breast implants. “Breast…

Election night commentary: women rule

Jun 9, 2010 By Paul Burka

This was the big takeaway from the pundits on election night: It was a great night for women and for Tea Party activists. Here is a sample of the punditry: --Mark McKinnon, writing in the Daily Beast: "Voters in 12 states expressed their anger with Washington and special interests Tuesday night by defeating a $10 million union campaign to unseat a senator who had the courage to stand up against their special interest legislation, promoting women outsiders who have run public companies but never held office, and supporting candidates aligned with Tea Party values. And as clear evidence of voter desire to the shake up the good old boy network in politics, women ruled the night." --Jonathan Alter, writing on the Newsweek Web site: "We already know that this is the year of outsiders, but it may be that the most successful outsiders aren't Tea Party Foxulists but women of all stripes. With only six women governors, 16 women senators, and 74 women in the House, female candidates are fresher for voters looking for change. The problem for Republicans is that the wacky ones might hamstring the serious ones." We already know that this is the year of outsiders, but it may be that the most successful outsiders aren’t Tea Party Foxulists but women of all stripes. With only six women governors, 16 women senators, and 74 women in the House, female candidates are fresher for voters looking for change. The problem for Republicans is that the wacky ones might hamstring the serious ones." (more on that point later--pb) [Alter continues] "In Arkansas, being a woman helped Sen. Blanche Lincoln pull off a huge upset in a runoff over challenger Bill Halter, who led by a comfortable margin in almost all pre-primary polls. Bill Clinton campaigned for Lincoln, which no doubt helped, and Lincoln’s anti-derivatives amendment in the Senate gave her some populist cred. But I’d argue that she won as much because she’s a woman as anything else. In the public imagination, the stereotypical Washington hack just isn’t wearing a skirt. So while the conventional wisdom now favors Republican Rep. John Boozman in the general election, Lincoln’s come-from-behind win might energize her supporters and make that race competitive after all, a big turnaround." [I would argue that the reason Lincoln won her primary--in addition to her gender--is that her opponent, light gov Bill Halter, was the candidate of organized labor, which was seeking to punish Lincoln for voting against labor's pet card-check legislation. Lincoln was able to establish a narrative of being an independent underdog who was being bullied for voting her conscience -- a good position to be in at a moment when voters are angry at power cliques and the political establishment. In fact, labor isn't really "establishment" in Arkansas, which is one of the least unionized states. As Alter noted, Lincoln will be a big underdog in the general election against Boozman. Fivethirtyeight.com assesses the probability of a Republican victory as 92%.]

At the Palin-Perry rally

Feb 8, 2010 By Paul Burka

I drove to Houston for the rally yesterday. The event was held at a huge complex called the Richard E. Berry Educational Support center on Barker-Cypress Road in northwest Houston. The surrounding area is entirely outside the Houston city limits and is unincorporated. A colleague at Texas Monthly who lives nearby told me that 800,000 people live in the area. I would say that I can't verify that, except that she is head of our fact-checking department. The Berry center is a lavish athletic complex. It was built with the proceeds of a 2001 bond issue for the Cy-Fair school district. The outside of the complex was a handsome red brick building with an impressive facade. Inside, I stepped onto a tile floor with marble squares at regular intervals. Between the building and the street was a parking lot large enough that, had it been grass, could sustain a hunting lease. This was not a monument to the fiscal conservatism that the two main attractions claim to embrace. The venue for the rally was a rectangular arena with a concrete floor. A basketball court can be placed on top. Two tiers of permanent seating -- no benches -- rose to the top of the arena on all sides. The school district says that the capacity is 8,300. The seating was around two-thirds full so I would estimate the attendance at around 5,000 to 6,000. Published estimates ranged from 6,000 to 8,000 to 15,000. No way on anything much above 6K. Still, six thousand people -- some of whom were already lining up at 9 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday -- is a huge turnout. Hand-painted banners were taped to the walls. "TEXAS VALUES ... PROVEN LEADERSHIP ... PROUD OF TEXAS ... GOV PERRY TRUE TEXAN ... HANDS OFF MY PISTOL ... HOME SCHOOLERS 4 PERRY ... STOP BAILOUTS," they read. A band played the theme from "How the West was won." A woman in the lower seats began to clap in an effort to stir up the crowd. Giant screens on either side of the state flashed instructions on how to tweet, how to follow Perry on Twitter, and how to set up your home headquarters for Perry. Dan Patrick was the master of ceremonies for the rally. "One thing Governor Perry and I have in common is that we make use of the social media," he said. He told the audience, "When you leave today, the Perry campaign will be handing out packets with the name of a Republican who hasn't made up his mind yet. Call them and tell them you are supporting Rick Perry. Then send the results back to the campaign." Later, the screens advised the audience to "Text "Fired Up" to 95613 for instant messages."

Bum Steer?

Jan 20, 2010 By Paul Burka

Sarah Palin’s appearance at a Perry campaign rally is set for February 7–Super Bowl Sunday.

Perry: 8th most likely GOP governor to be president

Jun 28, 2009 By Paul Burka

So says Ken Rudin, who writes NPR's daily political blog, Political Junkie. Dismissing House and Senate Republicans, he focuses on governors as the future of the GOP. This narrowing of the list omits Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich, among others. Here is his list: 1. Tim Pawlenty (MN) 2. Jon Huntsman (UT) 3. Haley Barbour (MS) 4. Bobby Jindal (LA) 5. Charlie Crist (FL) 6. Mitch Daniels (IN) 7. Sarah Palin (AK) 8. Rick Perry (TX) 9. Mark Sanford (SC) 10. Jodi Rell (CT) 11. Bob Riley (AL) 12. Sonny Perdue (GA) 13. Mike Rounds (SD) 14. John Hoeven (ND) 15. Butch Otter (ID) 16. Dave Heineman (NE) 17. Jim Douglas (VT) 18. Don Carcieri (RI) 19. Linda Lingle (HI) 20. Jan Brewer (AZ) 21. Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA) 22. Jim Gibbons (NV) This is not exactly a list of giants. 1. Pawlenty is a solid governor who should have been McCain's pick for vice president. His recent announcement that he would not seek reelection in 2010 is attributed to (choose one) the possibility that he could be defeated by a Democrat in a liberal state; or that he has made up his mind to run for president in 2012. 2. Huntsman, who speaks fluent Mandarin, is Obama's nominee to be ambassador to China. He is a Mormon, a religious affiliation that was a disadvantage for Mitt Romney in 2008. Huntsman addressed the issue on Fox, in a 2006 interview with Neil Cavuto: "And people hear about Mormons, and they think, gosh, they are a different breed or culture. But, you know, we have five U.S. senators. We have 18 in the House of Representatives. We have some of the great CEOs in America. We are just normal people, like everybody else. And, for some reason or another, people mischaracterize us." 3. Barbour is a shrewd politician and political operative -- he's a former tobacco lobbyist who looks the part -- who knows his way around Washington. He has just inherited the chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association from the lovelorn Mark Sanford. Asked this morning by Face the Nation's Bob Schieffer about whether he might run in 2012, Barbour said, "I don't have any plan to. I don't have any intention to. Right now, I think every Republican who wants to rebuild our party needs to be focused on elections of 2009 and ‘10. I mentioned the New Jersey and the Virginia governors' races, both very competitive and very important. We have 37 governors' races next year, plus the entire House of Representatives, a third of the Senate. I'm not going to give any thought to running for anything until after the 2010 election. I’d be very surprised if I ended up running for president, but I can’t just say flatly no. But I would be very surprised. My wife would be even more surprised."

The Vice-Presidential Debate: Highbrow versus Lowbrow

Oct 3, 2008 By Paul Burka

Joe Biden won the debate. Sarah Palin won her battle for political survival by exceeding the lowest expectations ever for a national debate. She didn’t commit any gaffes, and she didn’t wander into any traps, the way Dan Quayle did in his debate against Lloyd Bentsen, when he attempted to…