The Weekly Standard‘s Bill Kristol was one of Sarah Palin’s earliest supporters to be picked as the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, and now he says she can “resurrect herself” by running to be a senator from Alaska.
In an interview on Sunday, ABC’s Benjamin Bell asked Kristol if Palin had disappointed him after he pushed so hard for her to be on the 2008 ticket.
“I was for taking the gamble of putting her on the ticket, I don’t think it hurt the ticket in 2008,” Kristol explained. “I think her stepping down as governor of Alaska was a big problem. People don’t like to see a candidate, a governor, an executive — absent some medical reason or whatever — just leave office early. And she had been a good governor — incidentally — of Alaska until then. So, I think that is something, I think, she has to recover from in terms of being a serious leader in the party. Still has a lot of loyalty, still can shape the debate, she still has a great political touch.”
“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 — run for Senate in Alaska in 2014,” he continued. “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.’”
“But if she did that, suddenly — if you can imagine that,” Kristol added, smiling. “Sarah Palin, freshman senator, January 2015 in Washington having beaten an incumbent. That would be pretty interesting.”
Bell also asked Kristol about the presidential ambitions of billionaire mogul Donald Trump.
“I don’t think he’d be a particularly good one, and I don’t think he’s going to be one,” the conservative columnist quipped.
But Kristol did have some ideas about how Republicans nationwide could be in “good shape” by following the lead of conservative lawmakers in North Carolina.
“I support most of those efforts [in North Carolina], I’m not a big fan of a lot of early voting, I think it’s better to have the election as much as you can on one day,” he explained. “I think same-day registration is an invitation to fraud and abuse. I mean the media goes around, they don’t even know what happened in North Carolina. It just sounds like a lot of right-wing stuff. Let’s go through, though, the school choice agenda in North Carolina, restricting abortion after five months to cases of medical necessity. I think an awful lot of Americans would support that agenda.”
“I think if Republicans could go into 2016 defending the agenda they’ve passed in various states, where the citizens of those states seem pretty happy, incidentally, with most of those Republican governors, I think they’ll be in pretty good shape.”
Watch this video from ABC News, broadcast Aug. 18, 2013.