Conservatives lament decline of Sarah Palin following ‘rambling, painful’ weekend speech
Fall-out continued for former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin following her speech at the Freedom Summit in Iowa this weekend, that one commentator called “bizarro,” with others calling it “rambling” and “painful.”
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough lamented Palin’s decline from the candidate who once wowed a national audience with her speech at the Republican nominating convention in 2008.
“I think it’s a tragedy, too. We all remember that night she spoke in 2008 at the convention,” Scarborough said. “I will say, it remains one of the most electrifying performances I’ve seen in the last four or five conventions I’ve been to. Nobody expected her to do well. She delivered the lines well; she hit it out of the park.”
“We will let history decide how she got from that point to this point,” Scarborough said, as co-host Mika Brzezinski jumped in, saying, “It’s time.”
Following Palin’s Saturday speech, Washington Examiner columnist Byron York — described by former Palin adviser Nicolle Wallace as one of her “staunchest supporters” — spoke with conservative activists who attended the speech, few of whom had anything good to say about the one-time GOP star or her speech.
Sam Clovis, a conservative Iowa college professor and radio commentator who recently lost a primary campaign to Palin-endorsed, now-Senator Joni Ernst, claimed it is now hard to take Palin seriously.
“I know she is popular, but it is hard to take her seriously given that performance,” Clovis said. “Palin was a sad story Saturday. With every speech she gives, she gets worse and worse. If one were playing a political cliche drinking game, no one would have been sober after the first 15 minutes of an interminable ramble. It was really painful.”
Another attendee, described by York as “a well-connected Iowa Republican” was less impressed, saying Palin has reached the end of “shelf-life.”
“Calling Gov. Palin’s remarks bizarre and disjointed would be charitable,” he said. “Her shelf-life, even with the most conservative voters in our party, seems to be near the end. In a day filled with strong performances from likely candidates ranging from Scott Walker to Ted Cruz, her remarks were a distraction.”
Writing on the Iowa Republican blog, Craig Robinson said he had a hard time finding anyone who reacted positively to Palin’s speech.
“Of all the people I talked to about Palin’s speech, only one person didn’t have a negative reaction. That person basically said it was a typical Sarah Palin speech. It was received poorly by everyone else I spoke with, ” he wrote. ” I’m not comfortable sharing everything I heard about the speech — it was that bad.”
Robinson concluded “No offense to Gov. Palin, but I do think it is problematic to have someone give a speech like that in the midst of a string of serious speeches by people who are seriously thinking about running for president. Palin made a guy like Trump look like a serious presidential candidate today. Incredible.”
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