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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs