The Times Free Press, a Tennessee-based newspaper, asked author Victoria Jackson, former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, and myself about Sarah Palin’s return to Fox News and whether or not she does more harm than good to the Republican Party.
Here’s my response:
Sarah Palin is still an influential figure in the conservative movement. She has significant influence among the grassroots and can help fiscal conservatives in the mold of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul win primaries against establishment candidates. That sort of clout is hard to dismiss or downplay.
Recent comments made by Palin about the need for Republicans to listen to libertarians were encouraging. She sees an ally in the fight against a government that is a threat to our liberties and the need for Republicans to take a libertarian direction. That’s somewhat inside baseball, but important in the battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party.
Palin’s influence is in the primaries, which is important. But when voters step into the ballot box on Nov. 4, 2014, they’re going to care little about her or what she’s said. What will matter to them are the effects of the policies that have been pursued and enacted by the Obama Administration.
What do you think about Palin’s return to Fox News and her impact on the Republican Party? Let us know on United Liberty’s Facebook page.
One of the more interesting discussions in currently raging in American politics is the debate over conservative-libertarian fusionism. It’s not exactly a new discussion, but rather one that has renewed interest among followers of both political ideologies.
As libertarian-leaning Republicans — including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) — gain influence in the party and appeal among independent voters, there is an increasing push for conservatives and libertarians to work together on areas of agreement. There has been resistance, of course, from some on both sides. Some prominent Republicans are resistant to some libertarian ideas that conservatives seem to be coming around on, such as restrained foreign policy and privacy issues.
While not a venue for libertarian thought, Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, told attendees at the Faith and Freedom Conference that Republicans should listen to libertarians:
“Something more is going on than your garden-variety government corruption, or even illegality,” Palin said. “As the left would say, this is shaping up to be a teachable moment. What’s going on says something fundamental about our relationship to our government.”
The Tea Party Leadership Fund, one of the many groups that have spawned off from the grassroots movement that helped propel Republicans in 2010, is hoping to recruit Sarah Palin to run for United States Senate against incumbent Mark Begich (D-AK) in the 2014 mid-term election:
Sarah Palin’s last elective position in Alaska ended early when in 2009 she abandoned the governorship midway through her first term.
But tea party activists appear eager for a comeback, urging supporters to contribute money toward recruiting Palin to run for the U.S. Senate in her home state, where, according to an email sent out this week, she has a “clear path” to defeat incumbent Democrat Mark Begich.
“You and I both know that Sarah Palin is a fighter who will stand up to Harry Reid and his pals in the Senate to protect our Constitution in issues like amnesty, gun control and our nation’s crushing debt,” said the email from Todd Cefaratti of the Tea Party Leadership Fund.
“We know that, with Sarah in the Senate, conservatives across America can rest a little easier at night knowing that she’s at the watch,” it said.
Palin, who has helped turn several conservative primary candidates into elected officials, is still a popular figure in conservative circles, as evidenced by the reception she received at the Conservative Political Action Conference. During that speech, Palin not only took on President Barack Obama, but also the Republican establishment.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who gave one of the most anticipated speeches at CPAC, has won a plurality of the gathering’s annual presidential straw poll, finishing just ahead of his colleague, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
According to CPAC, 52% of those who participated in the straw poll were between the age of 18 to 25, which highlights the growth of the youth participation. One would surmise that the liberty movement had a lot to do with this. Also, the poll found that 68% prefer targeted spending cuts to across-the-board cuts and an “overwhelming majority” oppose use of drones for strikes or spying.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is giving the keynote speech at this moment, which will close out CPAC for 2013. You can view the full results of the straw poll, including the survey questions asked of attendees, in the embed below. The takeaway is that there is a shift coming and it’s undeniable.
For the last couple of years, I’ve heard rumors about Obama dropping Joe Biden off the 2012 ticket and replacing him with the Democrat that Republicans fear the most: Hillary Clinton. Then earlier today a friend shared this article, which goes into detail about how August 24 is the likely time that Obama will announce that Biden is being replaced with Hillary Clinton.
The logic on that timeline would be just fine, except that’s not going to happen. Here are a few reasons why:
Biden makes Obama look good.
Joe Biden is quite literally a sideshow. He’s Larry, Moe, and Curly all rolled up into one ridiculously gaffe-tastic goof ball. The things he does and the things he says just go to make Obama look sane and in control. Obama may be like a Clark Griswold (a well-intentioned man with issues of his own), but Biden is his Cousin Eddie.
When Biden opens his mouth and says something stupid, Obama is there to explain what should have been said, show he’s got a handle on the campaign, and demonstrate that he can keep the crazy cousin at bay.
A change this close to their convention would show disorder and desperation.
With a little more than a month until the primary, the race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Arizona is getting very interesting. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who has been one of the handful of Republicans in the House that taxpayers can count on, was thought to be the odds on favorite in the race, but Wil Cardon, a wealthy businessman, has come on strong in recent months.
Flake has received support from the Club for Growth, Sen. Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund, FreedomWorks, and former Vice President candidate Sarah Palin. But former U.S. Senator and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum endorsed Cardon in the race last week:
Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has endorsed businessman Wil Cardon in his hard-fought primary for the GOP Senate nomination in Arizona, a high-profile endorsement that could counteract some of the establishment support rallying around rival Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz).
“I am pleased to announce our endorsement of Wil Cardon for the U.S. Senate in Arizona,” Santorum said in a statement. “As a business owner for more than two decades, Wil has seen firsthand the crippling effects of Obamanomics and why we must solve our economic challenges with market-based solutions rather than more government intrusion. Wil is exactly what Washington, DC needs — an outsider beholden to no one other than the Arizona residents he hopes to represent.”
Santorum also offered the support of Patriot Voices, the independent fundraising organization he now helms.
While most Americans already are looking to November in anticipation of getting this presidential campaign over with, there are still a couple of races that have yet to be determined outcomes.
In Arizona, for example, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is a locked in a surprisingly tough primary challenge against Wil Cardon. The Club for Growth has come to Flake’s aid, dropping $500,000 in ads in the state. But Flake’s campaign hasn’t had it easy, being knocked back by some missteps along the way. He may, however, have just received a boost as Sarah Palin has given Flake her coveted endorsement:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has endorsed Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) in his Senate primary, a boost for Flake as he fends off a tough challenge from wealthy businessman Wil Cardon (R).
“Jeff is a proven conservative crusader, and today I am proud to announce my support for his campaign to become the next U.S. Senator from the great state of Arizona,” Palin said in a statement provided by Flake’s campaign. “Credited by many as the leading anti-earmark crusader in the House, Jeff has fought hard against pork barrel spending — often times casting one of the few GOP ‘no’ votes on bloated spending measures. He’s not afraid to ‘go rogue’ against his own party and its leadership; and even though he has sometimes suffered the consequences from GOP leaders for failing to toe the party line, yet he continues to fight for what is right.”
ABC News reported this morning that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a popular figure in the conservative movement, is not being vetted to serve as Mitt Romney’s running mate:
Even before the Republicans chose a presidential nominee it was widely assumed that Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., would be at the top of anybody’s list of vice presidential candidates. The reasons are obvious: Not only is he young, charismatic and wildly popular with conservatives, but he could also help Republicans win a key state (Florida) and make inroads with Hispanics.
But knowledgeable Republican sources tell me that Rubio is not being vetted by Mitt Romney’s vice presidential search team. He has not been asked to complete any questionnaires or been asked to turn over any financial documents typically required of potential vice presidential candidates.
Although it is possible that Rubio may yet be asked to go through the vetting process, it has been nearly two months since Romney named his long-time aide Beth Myers to run his vice presidential search. The fact that Rubio has not been asked to turn over any documents by now is a strong indication that he is not on Romney’s short list of potential running mates.
This is sure to disappoint many conservatives and Tea Party-minded activists and sure to add to the skepticism of Romney, much of which is reasonable. Many feel that the former Massachusetts Governor needs to add a dynamic figure to his ticket, one that can appeal to conservatives and establishment Republicans alike. Rubio seems to fit that bill the best out of potential running mates that have been floated.
Those pushing Rubio are surprised, according to Zeke Miller:
Facing perhaps the biggest fight of his political career, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) managed to get to endorsements last year from prominent conservative talk show hosts, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin. The hope was that the 35-year Senator could build up enough support to avoid a primary challenger from the right.
Political pressure kept Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) from running, but State Sen. Dan Liljenquist managed to push Hatch into a primary last month after the latter was unable to gain enough support at the Utah GOP convention. Hatch knows he has an advantage, which is why he’s been avoiding debates with Liljenquist — a point Glenn Beck brought up recently on his show, offering to host a forum for the two.
Based on what I’ve heard from friends in DC, they’re managing expectations, choosing instead to focus their efforts on Ted Cruz in Texas and elsewhere. This may have been brought home yesterday when Sarah Palin endorsed Hatch over Liljenquist:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) has endorsed Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who is facing a Tea Party challenge from former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist (R).
“I want him to win. I join Sean Hannity and Mark Levin and other conservatives who would like to see Mr. Balanced Budget return to Washington,” Palin said on Fox News on Tuesday night. “He wants to apply that common-sense economic principle of balanced-budget fiscal responsibility, and I want to see him reelected.”
Conservatives and Tea Party groups have been working recently in several states to influence Republican Senate primaries. You know that Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) was recently defeated by Richard Mourdock. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) could face a similar fate at the hands of Dan Liljenquist, though that’s less likely. And with more money being sent to help Ted Cruz in Texas, they could see another huge victory there.
However, conservatives are divided in Nebraska. Jon Bruning, who was once seen as the frontrunner in the GOP Senate primary in the Cornhusker State, has been beaten and battered, but thanks to endorsements by prominent figures and grassroots groups, the conservative vote has been split, leading Matt Lewis to conclude that they may have missed an opportunity:
Things were so much simpler just one week ago, when Sen. Dick Lugar was the obvious villain and Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock was the conservative alternative. One short week later, with no squishy incumbent to oust, all three Nebraska Republicans are vying to occupy the conservative mantle.
And thanks to the seemingly schizophrenic endorsements of prominent national conservatives, the waters are thoroughly muddied.