Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Romney advisor: Sarah Palin ‘poisoned the well’ (Updated)

An article by Michael O'Brien on MSNBC's First Read this morning quotes an "informal" advisor to Mitt Romney's campaign as saying that the presidential candidate is not likely to choose a woman as his running mate because Sarah Palin "poisoned the well" for women, with the possible exception of New Hampshire freshman Sen. Kelly Ayotte:
"I think, unfortunately, Palin poisoned the well on that," said one informal Romney adviser, fretting that any woman selected as VP would draw inevitable comparisons to the former Alaska governor. "I would guess if I were inside the Romney mind that they're worried that any woman chosen will be subjected to a higher level of scrutiny."
It's just the latest diss against the 2008 vice presidential candidate by Romney operatives and supporters. Also today, two articles appeared on GOP establishment website The Daily Caller pointing out the obvious fact the Gov. Palin has not yet formally endorsed Romney. In one of the articles, The DC's senior editor Jamie Weinstein called the former Alaska governor "increasingly irrelevant," yet admitted in the same sentence that her endorsement "still remains sought after by GOP candidates." If she has become so irrelevant, why would Republican candidates be seeking her endorsement? Steve Flesher has more at C4P:
First, it is absurd to suggest someone is “increasingly irrelevant” (especially with a blog owned by an “increasingly irrelevant” pundit known solely for his abundant collection of bow ties) when you’re beginning the top of the page of your precious blog space to mention it. If that in and of itself isn’t enough to disprove their claim of increasing irrelevance, we have Palin’s endorsing of Richard Mourdock for Senate in Indiana labeled by the Washington Post at the time as the “highest-profile endorsement yet for the primary challenger and it pits Palin against her old running-mate, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who just cut a radio ad for Lugar.”

Soon afterwards a series of Johnny-Come-Latelys joined the Mourdock-backing-party — including Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. But it is well known by now that if any one person’s endorsement carried Mourdock to the finish line, it was Governor Palin (with the help of the grassroots tea party activists in Indiana who look up to her).

Also, when Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum were endorsing the obvious winner-to-be judging by projection polls in Nebraska’s Senate race, Jon Bruning, Palin came out a week before the primary and endorsed Deb Fischer. By the end of that week (just two days later) Fischer had closed the long-time gap she had all the months prior leading up to that primary. On election day, Fischer won the primary by a healthy margin.

And the good-old-boy network in Texas was sure going strong when many outside politicians as well as Governor Rick Perry endorsed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for U.S. Senate. Then once again, Palin came in to save the day for Ted Cruz — a favorite among Tea Party activists in Texas who up until that point was running 12-points behind Dewhurst. Because of the Palin nod and energy Cruz garnered from that endorsement, he was able to get a huge surge of votes toward the end forcing Dewhurst into an upcoming runoff election.

So the Daily Caller apparently wants to marginalize Palin’s influence even though she continues to contradict such claims day after day after day through her actions. Why did they even report on her RightOnline speech if she was irrelevant? Why was she picked to give the speech? For the same reason she’ll be asked to give many more: the same people who are tired of being condescended to by politicians and accompanying surrogates in the media are seeing it play out through Gov. Palin. And judging by the snarkyness in this piece at the Daily Caller, I’d say it’s working splendidly without Palin having to do anything but speak with honesty about common sense conservatism and against the establishment.
Twitter has been buzzing all day long with tweets from conservatives most Palin supporters really respect -- John Nolte and Michelle Malkin are at the forefront -- defending Romney against distortion by NBC's Andrea Mitchell. Both Malkin and Nolte, to their credit, have defended Gov. Palin as well. Are they aware that Romney advisors and supporters are showing such disrespect to Sarah Palin?

Sarah Palin received an enthusiastic response from the crowd at Right Online just a few days ago when she urged her audience to hold the feet of the GOP establishment to the conservative fire. Shouldn't we begin with the party's presidential nominee and press Mitt Romney to call his attack dogs off of Gov. Palin? If Mitt Romney wants Sarah Palin's unqualified support and that of the millions of Paliniste, he's got to earn it. A good start would be for Romney's people who have dissed Sarah Palin to apologize to her.

Update: Michelle Malkin has some doubts about that "informal Romney advisor." I wouldn't put it past MSNBC to make things up, but Whitney Pitcher also has a point:
"Yes,this is an anonymous source trotted out by MSNBC,but GOPe &Romney advisers have been doing this for 3 yrs. It's a plausible quote."
Best way to clear the air and remove any doubt would be for Mitt Romney to reach out to Sarah Palin in a very public way to ask for her help. If he would couple that with a call to his advisors and supporters to show due respect to the governor, there would be no problem. It certainly wouldn't hurt him to do these two simple things if he wants to shore up his support among grassroots conservatives.

- JP

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