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After the primaries, will 'mama grizzly' Palin lose her bite?

Untitled-1 The folks at Fox Business wanted some insight into California politics and why GOP voters put Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina on their November ticket for governor and senator, respectively. So naturally, they turned to ... Sarah Palin.

The San Francisco Chronicle's Carla Marinucci reports in a blog post:

It's official: former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin clearly wants to make some waves and get some attention in California, the nation's biggest political stage in the 2010 contests. Now she's talking up Carly Fiorina again and throwing down the gauntlet to ... Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown.

"I guess I don't have enough grace to apply to Jerry Brown when he says he isn't going to be one for taxing Americans,'' she told host David Asman on the "America's Nightly Scoreboard" show. "Look what he did when he was Governor. Look at what the foundation has been built upon there in California and he had been a part of that and that was spending outside of their means.''

She adds: "I guess I don't have enough grace to say "Hey Jerry, I believe ya."

Palin should have answered "I don't know" when prodded by the Fox anchor to comment on former two-term Gov. Jerry Brown's record (but then again, Palin wouldn't have much of a punditry career were she to speak so honestly about what she knows). She's dead wrong about Brown's alleged spendthrift ways; in fact, he lurched so far in the opposite direction of his father, who during his eight years in Sacramento spent prodigiously on things like expanding the state's university systems.

Historical misunderstandings aside, I doubt Brown wouldn't relish a fight with a governor who quit during her first term.

Which brings up a broader point: Is Palin good for anything after a GOP primary? She may have some political capital left to spend in a state like South Carolina, where her anointed gubernatorial candidate  survived the Republican primary (but is headed for a runoff) despite allegations of marital infidelity. In California, however, Mitt Romney provided Whitman's big-name endorsement, so whether the former EBay chief will enlist Palin later in the race against Brown is a question that, barring the need for a last-minute boost in October, appears to have been answered.

Fiorina, on the other hand, fended off the more moderate Tom Campbell and "tea party" co-opter Chuck DeVore thanks in part to Palin's enthusiastic embrace relatively late in the campaign. But how much good can Palin do for Fiorina against Boxer in the general election contest, when both candidates must emerge from their ideological trenches and fight for the support of less partisan California voters? Judging by her Fox interview -- in which she took a swipe at Brown for a contest she had no involvement in -- one would think Palin has no intention of calling it a day.

For her own sake, Fiorina (and Whitman, for that matter) would be wise to read this Field Poll released days before the 2008 presidential election. Here's an excerpt:

Californians also hold differing views of the two vice presidential nominees. Biden is viewed much more positively than negatively by a 57% to 24% margin. On the other hand, more statewide voters have an unfavorable (53%) than favorable (37%) view of Palin.

Palin’s image in this state is extremely partisan. Republicans view her positively by a 74% to 19% margin. However, Democrats and non-partisans have a very negative image of the Alaska Governor, with Democrats rating her unfavorably 75% to 15% and non partisans giving a 65% to 20% negative assessment.

-- Paul Thornton

Left photo credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Right photo credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images


Comments () | Archives (11)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Geena Rodriguez

Wow. The writer doesn't like her. This took me totally by surprise.


"Wow. The writer doesn't like her."

judging by the poll results quoted no one does.

Clara Tin

Personally, I think that Sarah Palin and some of the crazies in the Tea Party exist and are being funded by the Republicans for one main reason: so when Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty run as Pres/VP in 2012 they will actually seem more centrist in comparison and therefore will have an easier time defeating Obama by siphoning off disaffected independents and Dems.

Larry Linn

Palin must have flunked her History 101 class. Jerry Brown may be liberal on social issues, but he is conservative on fiscal issues. How much do I have to pay Plin for a respone?


Larry Lin: I preferred Brown at the time. But Jerry Brown signed the Dill Act giving public employees the right to bargain collectively (unionize). That is the source of California pension crisis today, along with a generous boost from Gray Davis. He also jumped his budget from about 14 billion to 25 billion and left with a 1 billion deficit. Fiscal conservative? If only he had been!

James X

I thought the California Pension crisis is because our economy tanked? As for unions, I do not understand people's opposition to them. Why should workers not have the power to bargin for their own interests? Should they be at the mercy of corporations (or government) whose interests are to cut costs and benefits for the bottom line?

While the union system is not perfect, it is far better than when Unions didn't exist. Just read history and you will get an idea why they were formed in the first place.

Philip Avon St. Cyr

Well, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people...forever.

Palin's days in the spotlight are numbered.

Ah, but palinisms and palinology will be around forever: a legacy of rambling, inane, insulting comment and obfuscation, immortalized by the printed word.

Sandy Shores

When will her 15 minutes be o-v-e-r?

You can never understand her..she is incoherent; people are following and defending the party, therefore they defend the person...get a clue, they are two separate things and she is an embarrassment.


Her 15 minutes won't be up as long as our MSM continues to cover in glowing terms. Local CBS even did a special comment on how she was 3 or 4 in endorsements. They forgot that Romney endorsed far ahead of her. She only went with favorites, and in one case, outside our state, One of the people she endorsed tryed to distance himself--Channel 2, either didn't get or word, or didn't care.

mares martin

The main revelation of this article seems to be that Sarah Palin often has no idea what she's talking about, and will just make things up to fill air time. That isn't news to many of us, but it can't be pointed out often enough as long as the media keeps paying attention to this opportunist and (less than) one-term governor. There are other Republicans with a lot more to offer. And it's worth noting that at this point she couldn't even get elected to statewide office in Alaska, which means her constituency continues to shrink to the fact-free fringe. She knows nothing about Jerry Brown or Meg Whitman for that matter. Californians definitely don't need her advice.


Look, no one has anything against a union, in a private company. The problem is a union in a government. The workers already have a significant voice in government. It's called a vote.

Collective bargaining for government workers resulted in the inflated pension systems that are crippling california, now.

Jerry Brown is responsible for that.

No. This guy doesn't know what the consequences of what his public policies are. He should not be governor.



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