News / USA

Palin Cultivates Political Profile

Former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate emerging as force within Republican Party and among conservative activists

Multimedia

Audio

Former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is emerging as a political force within the Republican Party and among grassroots conservative activists around the country.  Palin recently said she would consider a presidential bid in 2012.

Sarah Palin emerged from national obscurity in 2008 to become Republican presidential candidate John McCain's vice presidential running mate.

Palin made her share of political gaffes during the campaign, which became fodder for late-night comedians on television.

But Palin also endeared herself to social conservative activists, many of whom would like to see her run for president in 2012.

Palin was in the spotlight recently, addressing what was called the Tea Party convention - a loose coalition of anti-tax, conservative and libertarian activists meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.

"This movement is about the people.  Who can argue [with] a movement that is about the people and for the people.  Remember, all political power is inherent in the people and government is supposed to be working for the people.  That is what this movement is about," Palin said.

The Tea Party movement, which takes its name from a significant American Revolutionary War event, played a significant role in drumming up grassroots opposition to President Barack Obama's health care reform plan and in raising concerns about the country's growing budget deficit.

Palin has also embarked on a rigorous schedule of campaigning for Republican candidates for this year's midterm congressional elections in November.

Palin recently campaigned in Texas, where Republican Governor Rick Perry faces a primary challenge from Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.  Next month, the former Alaska governor heads to Arizona to campaign for her former running mate, Senator John McCain, who faces a challenge in the Republican primary from former Representative J.D. Hayworth.

A recent public opinion survey put Palin at the top of the list of Republican presidential hopefuls for the 2012 election.  She was asked on the "Fox News Sunday" television program whether she would consider running two years from now.

"I would. I would, if I believed that that is the right thing to do for our country and for the Palin family.  Certainly, I would do so," she said.

Palin is popular among grassroots conservatives around the country, especially those with conservative views on social issues, such as abortion.  But many voters continue to question Palin's intelligence and her grasp of issues - concerns that first arose during her sometimes faltering performance in television interviews during the 2008 campaign.

Despite the doubts, many Republican strategists see Palin as a political force to be reckoned with this year, and she is in demand as a campaigner by Republican candidates around the country.

Former Republican national chairman Ed Gillespie spoke on NBC television's Meet the Press program.

"And she has an incredible capacity to connect with people and their concerns.  And I find myself baffled by some of the consternation about Sarah Palin sometimes because I find her to be a pretty compelling figure and someone obviously who resonated very strongly in that room in Nashville [at the Tea Party convention]," Gillespie said.

Polls show that Democrats and a sizable number of independents have a generally negative view of Palin.  Palin critics also noted that she had scribbled notes on her hand prior to her speech at the Tea Party convention about broad themes like tax cuts and energy.  Cameras captured her appearing to look down at the notes during a question and answer session.

Some Republicans have also expressed reservations about Palin and the possibility that she might seek the party's presidential nomination in 2012.

David Frum is a conservative political commentator who was a speechwriter for former President George W. Bush.  He says he was not impressed with Palin's best-selling autobiography entitled Going Rogue.

"When you read a book, you are in direct contact with the mind of another human being, without the distraction of their physical presence, of their image, of their tics [i.e., personality traits].  It is mind to mind communication.  When you are in mind to mind to communication with Sarah Palin, it is not that interesting.  There is not much there," Frum said.

For now, Palin is splitting time between appearing as a commentator for the Fox News Channel, giving paid speeches and campaigning for Republican candidates.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs