Bill Kristol reverses course: Sarah Palin ‘doesn’t have a future’ in U.S. politics

By David Ferguson
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 10:35 EDT
google plus icon
Bill Kristol by Gage Skidmore via Flickr Commons
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Email this page

Republican political strategist and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol appeared on “Morning Joe” Tuesday morning to walk back statements he made to ABC Online on Sunday regarding the political fortunes of erstwhile Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R). Whereas two days ago, Kristol said that Palin could “resurrect herself” politically by way of a run for U.S. Senate, Tuesday morning he was far less sanguine about her prospects, saying that she does not “have a future” in politics.

Kristol was one of Palin’s earliest advocates in the Republican Party, which he said in the Sunday interview, but added that her decision to quit the governorship in the middle of her first term was a poor choice for someone who hopes to secure a job in government.

However, he said, “I think the way Palin would possibly resurrect herself — if that’s the right word or rehabilitate herself, I think is a better way of putting it — with a run for Senate in Alaska in 2014. I’m not urging that. I’m just saying, if I were her adviser, I would say, ‘Take on the incumbent, you have to win a primary, then you have to beat an incumbent Democrat, it’s not easy.’”

He continued with this flight of fancy, saying, “But if she did that, suddenly — if you can imagine that — Sarah Palin, freshman senator, January 2015 in Washington having beaten an incumbent. That would be pretty interesting.”

By Tuesday morning, Kristol felt an urgent need to clarify himself.

“I was asked, ‘Does Sarah Palin have a future?’ and I just tried to give an analytical answer, which is I don’t think she does having resigned as governor,” he said.

He continued, “This is useful to think outside the box, not just accept the conventional wisdom…If she wants to have a serious future in American politics, as opposed to giving speeches occasionally, causing a ruckus with Facebook posts, she should run for office. Running and winning takes away a lot of the baggage of the past.”

When the “Morning Joe” team reacted with skepticism, Kristol said, “You don’t think if she ran in the Republican primary in Alaska and beat a couple of good candidates and the incumbent senator, it would be interesting? It would fun to have her in the Senate in January 2015. Good to have a Republican vote there, lively young senator.”

Tuesday’s “Morning Joe” panel included Nicole Wallace, the former McCain staffer who has been very vocal about the difficulties she experiences as Palin’s 2008 handler, calling her “withdrawn, uncommunicative and incapable of performing even the most basic tasks required of her job as McCain’s running mate.”

Watch the video, embedded via MSNBC, below:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

[image via Gage Skidmore, Flickr Creative Commons]

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
By commenting, you agree to our terms of service
and to abide by our commenting policy.