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Palin hits the campaign trail for McCain, Bachmann, Perry

The news that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) will campaign for Arizona Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), her ticketmate in the 2008 presidential race, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann appears to be an affirmation of her interest in a national bid in 2012.

The first three candidates Palin will be campaigning for -- it was previously announced she would stump for Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Feb. 7 -- suggest that she is simultaneously shoring up her political base while trying to heal the wounds left over from 2008.

(The announcement -- like all of Palin's public pronouncements these days -- was made via her Facebook page.)

Perry, who faces a challenge from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison on March 2, and Bachmann are beloved figures among the most conservative wing of the party -- the same voters that view Palin as "their" candidate if she was to run in 2012.

And, in appearing with McCain, Palin is extending a hand to the man who made her a national figure by naming her to the presidential ticket in 2008.

McCain, never a favorite of the same conservatives who fawn over Palin, is facing the possibility of a primary challenge from his ideological right in the form of former Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R).

Going to bat for McCain is likely to win Palin some plaudits within the Republican chattering class who, to date, has been deeply dismissive of her.

Of the visit, McCain said: "I'm looking forward to getting back on the campaign trail with my former running mate," adding: "Sarah energized our nation and remains a leading voice in the Republican Party."

Combine Palin's 2010 candidate travel schedule with the fact that she passed up next month's CPAC convention in Washington, D.C. -- a gathering of the most conservative of conservative Republicans -- but accepted an invitation to the more establishment-backed Southern Republican Leadership Conference in April and you start to see a narrative emerging that she is interested in being more than simply an object of adoration among the base.

Like most everything having to do with Palin,however, there is always the "on the other hand" argument. Given that she operates with only the most spartan of political operations -- adviser Meg Stapleton is about it -- it's entirely possible to read too much into Palin's choice of candidates. She is personally friendly with all three of the people she will campaign for and she may simply be interested in rewarding her friends for their support. (The only possible exception to that theory is McCain with whom Palin is reportedly cordial but not downright chummy.)

And, even though Palin is skipping CPAC, she is headlining the first ever Tea Party convention in Nashville next month -- an event that more establishment figures within the party seem to be steering clear of.

The only sure-fire conclusion then that can be drawn from the news of Palin's stump schedule is that she has no plans of going quietly into that good night. She may well be positioning herself to run in 2010. But, it's also not hard to believe that she is simply paying her political friends back and shoring up her place as a beloved figure in the eyes of conservative activists.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 20, 2010; 4:17 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2012  
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Note of sound advice sent to Sarah Palin:
Disappointed to hear that you are supporting McCain for re-election. I have supported him, contributed to his campaigns, worked the campaigns but his time has passed. You are much better aligned with his likely opposition, JD Hayworth. If you are truly "Going Rogue" and true to yourself and the principles which people have so accepted in you, I ask that you reconsider are take a very close look at JD Hayworth.

Tom Daschle swam in that same river at Cottonwood a few years ago and ate that same porterhouse you were likely served. John's attraction to becoming the great harmonizer has caused him to lose sight of his fundamental conservative values. That is why he has lost so much support. You need to move on before you are seen as another great compromiser. Thank you, Tim

Posted by: timadams19 | January 23, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse


It's no use trying to "reason" with Palin haters.

Posted by: JakeD | January 22, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I hope she croaks.

Posted by: dlkimura | January 21, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

AuthoritativeAuthoritarian wrote:
Palin [from the katie couric interview]: "We have trade missions back and forth, we do. It's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia. As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to our state."

...And this is who the Republicans are hoping to run in 2012?! BWAHAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

Posted by: BasicInstinct | January 21, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"Please go out and buy my book, and on the way back home, remember to vote for whats his name"

Posted by: rkerg | January 21, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

When will her supporters figure out that they know more about government and politics than she does?

Posted by: dhenken1 | January 21, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Will there be enough tinfoil in Nashville for all those TeaBaggers in their funny hats ?

Posted by: jmsbh | January 21, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Oh good, this signals a loss for McCain, Bachmann and Perry. Can we get her to stump for other republicans as well?

Posted by: Fate1 | January 21, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

FMJK asked what about McCain does Palin support? Well, they have the same view on heirarcial party politics and they both have the view that fiscal responsibility, a balanced budget and a free economy is essential to ensure America has a bright future. Palin & McCain both believe in a strong national defense to keep America safe. So they have different views on global warming and immigration. They agree on about 80% of the issues. McCain believes gay marriage should be decided on a state by state basis, while Palin believes in a national marriage amendment. They agree with one another 80% of the time. McCain made Palin a national star and conservative icon. Now Palin is returning that favor by supporting McCain's reelection effort to the US Senate. Backing a friend & fellow conservative in US Rep. Michelle Bachmann is a natural thing. She also knows if she runs for President in 2012, with Minn. Gov. Pawlenty in the race, it wouldn't hurt to have conservative friends in Minn. to help raise money there in the Twin Cities. In Texas, it's a riskier thing to stump for Gov. Perry for he's in a real race. If Perry wins, though, it helps her if Perry pulls it out in Texas and supports her there in Texas in 2012. Although, Perry may well run himself in 2012 if he wins the primary & GE.

Posted by: reason5 | January 21, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The funny mental lust of $arah Painin will continue until she gets fat.

Posted by: whocares666 | January 21, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

If she is actively campaigning, then Fox news is violating the fairness rules on a daily basis and owes other candidates hours of free air time.

How can she go out and support McCain, whose immigration policies vary wildly from the tea partyers anti-immigration stance, and still maintain her status as the tea party queen? What about McCain does she support?

Posted by: fmjk | January 21, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

JakeD: "it was just fine blocking all of Bush's judicial appointments."

Pretty pathetic to see someone who threadjacks over minor mistakes in posts now posting such a nonsensical lie.

Bad memory day, Jake?

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 21, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Is any media outlet going to point out that the Tea Party Convention is charging $549.00 plus a $9.95 fee per ticket (does not include accomodations)? Of course, you could opt for the banquet only (the one where Sarah Palin is the keynote speaker) for only $349.00 per ticket-plus the $9.95 fee.

The organizers apparently recognize the price per ticket is a bit steep, because they include the following comment/recommendation on the convention homepage (I think Sarah might have written this herself):

"We would hope that most groups could do some minor fund raising to help defray the travel, accommodations and ticket price. This is an investment in the true future of our movement and the people who are going to move us forward are going to be attending this event as they understand this.

Fifty people in a small tea party group for example each investing $10-20 dollars would take care of most of the costs to a delegate. This is not a huge investment money but information wise it will yield huge returns."(sic)

Posted by: pumor | January 21, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

McCain is the poster boy for term limits and now we have Frick and Frack, Dumb and Dumber on the campaign trail. Geez - what has Arizona done to deserve this? I now live in AZ and you sure won't catch me voting for McCain!

Posted by: Utahreb | January 21, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Jake -- wrong then, wrong now. Southern was a good choice, the Grand Ol' Party of Nothin' knows that. This is getting to be typical of your defense of what the conservatives are up to on the Hill.

They would rather MAKE TROUBLE


Than let the country RECOVER IN A TIMELY WAY.

Did I hear something from Georgetown?

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 21, 2010 6:05 AM | Report abuse

hi, i'm sarah. i don't know why some people oppose me and my family. i pop out babies like a vending machine, and so does my unmarried daughter. what is wrong with that?

when i relax, i shoot wolves and grizzly bears in their heads with a 12 gauge shotgun from 10 feet away after they pass out from my pilots chasing them in his helicopter for 45 minutes.

you don't like me? remember, i can see russia from my house!

Palin [from the katie couric interview]: "We have trade missions back and forth, we do. It's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia. As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there, they are right next to our state."


Posted by: AuthoritativeAuthoritarian | January 21, 2010 2:05 AM | Report abuse

Oh please, margaretmeyers, it was just fine blocking all of Bush's judicial appointments. As the Dems said at the time, the wrong nominee could cause more damage than leaving the position vacant.

Posted by: JakeD | January 20, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse


You should apologize to the American People.


Posted by: 37thand0street | January 20, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse


Don't be such a crybaby


Posted by: 37thand0street | January 20, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Jake @7:51, DeMint and the GOP are more interested in making trouble than they are in making legislation -- it's a whole lot easier.

I don't know why you are pleased that a pResident's nomination to take the lead of the TSA has been thwarted. Is this your idea of bipartisanship? Leaving our country vulnerable to our enemies? This is like your gloating about unemployment. The bottom line is you don't care who gets hurt or how this country gets stalled, just so long as Obama suffers.

Your priorities? Pathetic, short-sighted and self-serving.

Your arguments? They are a weasel's arguments.

Your gloating? Sad and babyish.

My spacing? VERY 37TH.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 20, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

What else can Obama blame Bush for???

Isn't this a little silly???

A President is supposed to be in charge - A President is supposed to take responsibility.

Obama is not doing that - He doesn't want to take responsibility.

This is a complete joke.


Posted by: 37thand0street | January 20, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse


It's not your blog to give away - it's the people's blog.


Posted by: 37thand0street | January 20, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse


Hopefully sooner.


Sorry to hear about your TSA nominee today (NOT!!!)

Posted by: JakeD | January 20, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Be fair, MM. Phalin is just learning to call Biden "Biden" rather than "O'Biden."
And she's working up to reading her first newspaper. :)

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 20, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse


Today marks three years until Obama leaves office.


Posted by: 37thand0street | January 20, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Coakley not knowing who Curt Schilling is makes her "unelectable." Palin wondering why we aren't taxing the Fed? That's pResidential!

Posted by: margaretmeyers | January 20, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Jake: Your and 3__'s dream has come true. Brown won an upset victory, and you two now have full ownership of a blog sponsored by a major newspaper. All the best. :)

Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 20, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

If Charley James' reporting on her is correct, this should bring a smile to Mrs. Phalin's face: a new pro basketball league whose players are required to be "real amuuricans," as she might say.

"A whites-only basketball league aims to launch in twelve cities this summer, according to a report in the Augusta Chronicle. The All-American Basketball Alliance would also ban players born outside the United States.

The league's commissioner, Don "Moose" Lewis, claims that he doesn't "hate anyone of color. But people of white, American-born citizens are in the minority now." Thus, he says, the All-American Basketball Alliance would be "a league for white players to play fundamental basketball, which they like."

The report includes additional shocking quotes from the commissioner:

Lewis said he wants to emphasize fundamental basketball instead of "street-ball" played by "people of color." ...

"Would you want to go to the game and worry about a player flipping you off or attacking you in the stands or grabbing their crotch?" he said. "That's the culture today, and in a free country we should have the right to move ourselves in a better direction.""


Posted by: broadwayjoe | January 20, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Obama is going to be 70 years old - and he's going to be finding some reason to blame Bush for not taking his medicine .


Posted by: 37thand0street | January 20, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse


You have an excellent point on the "right to remain silent"

I suppose they were just grandstanding over there.

Obama is SOFT ON TERROR - which we have discussed before.

The unsettling part is Obama is not owning his softness - the American public is told of his soft policies through leaked memos - some when Obama is out of the country.

Obama has his Attorney General announce trials policy.

Obama should be a man and own these policies directly.


Posted by: 37thand0street | January 20, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Which reminds me of another lesson that Obama could learn from GWB (back in 2006):

"Look, this is a close election. If you look at race by race, it was close. The cumulative effect, however, was not too close. It was a thumping.

But nevertheless, the people expect us to work together. That's what they expect.

And as I said in my opening comments, you know, there comes responsibility with victory.

And that's what Nancy Pelosi told me this morning. She said in the phone call she wants to work together. And so do I. And so, that's how you deal with it.

This isn't my first rodeo. In other words, this is not the first time I've been in a campaign where people have expressed themselves in different kinds of ways.

But I have learned that, you know, if you focus on the big picture -- which in this case is our nation -- and issues we need to work together on, you can get stuff done."

Posted by: JakeD | January 20, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, that last one was for koolkat_1960 (who you have to give credit for even showing his face here after the thumpin they took yesterday ; )

P.S. to 37th -- since the libs are in hiding (I'm not complaining, really) what did you think about Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) telling the alleged White House gate-crashers, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, today that "I do not respect your right [to remain silent], not at all"? Yet the Dems "respect the right" to remain silent for enemy combatant, non-citizen TERRORISTS?! What a crazy, mixed-up world we live in.

Posted by: JakeD | January 20, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Why would I ever vote for a pro-choice President?!

Posted by: JakeD | January 20, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

A vote for racial harmony is not a vote for massive government programs and higher taxes.

The democrats sought to fool the American people.

And they only ended up fooling themselves.

The democrats who today are making statements that they still want to jam health care through are simply continuing to fool themselves.

Posted by: 37thand0street | January 20, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

JakeD: When Sarah Palin becomes pro-choice and somehow removes herself from YouTube, get back to me. 8>D

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 20, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse


Keep in mind that a certain Martha Coakley "loved" to see Scott Brown as the GOP nominee just a few short months ago ; )

Posted by: JakeD | January 20, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

The reason that she passed up CPAC is pretty obvious: David Keene is backing Mitt Romney in 2012. NEWSFLASH: She won't be helping out Steve Schmidt or Nicole Wallace anytime soon either!

Posted by: JakeD | January 20, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Obama would love to see her as the GOP nominee in 2012. As bad as his poll numbers are, Palin's are far worse. It will be easier for Obama to improve his middling approval ratings than it will be for Palin to improve her "We don't want you to run" ratings.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | January 20, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

The liberal mocking of Palin will follow but who would you bring on the campaign trail -

Posted by: leapin | January 20, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"She may well be positioning herself to run in 2012" you mean?

Posted by: JakeD | January 20, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

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