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Sarah Palin vows to fight on without Fox News gig

Sarah Palin has parted ways with Fox News, but says, 'we haven't begun to fight!' even though polls show declining support for the tea party movement. In particular, she promises to 'shake up the GOP machine.'

By Staff writer / January 27, 2013

Former vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin addresses a Tea Partly Express Rally in Manchester, N.H., in 2011. Palin is no longer a Fox News contributor, but she vows to fight on for tea party values.

Stephan Savoia/AP

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The “lamestream media,” as Sarah Palin calls it, may have written her off now that the former vice presidential candidate and tea party favorite has lost her principal media voice as a well-paid commentator on Fox News.

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But there’s no indication that Ms. Palin will go back to life in Alaska as the former mayor of a small town and then governor for two years, fishing and hunting with her family before Sen. John McCain picked her out of relative political obscurity to be his running mate in 2008.

“I was raised to never retreat and to pick battles wisely, and all in due season,” she said in the one substantial interview she’s given since Real Clear Politics first reported that Palin and Fox had parted ways. “When it comes to defending our republic, we haven’t begun to fight! But we delight in those who underestimate us.”

How well do you know Sarah Palin? A quiz.

The extent to which the conservative-leaning TV enterprise tried to keep her onboard is still unclear.

Fox reportedly offered Palin far less than the million-dollar annual contract that had included a broadcast studio at her home in Wasilla, Alaska. She turned it down, and Fox had no inclination to up the ante.

“What happened, quite simply, is that Palin’s star had faded,” Howard Kurtz wrote in Newsweek’s the Daily Beast. “She was no longer the rock star of 2008, her future presidential ambitions the subject of constant speculation.”

For Fox News, it seemed to be largely a business decision. Or as chief executive officer Roger Ailes put it in 2011, “I hired Sarah Palin because she was hot and got ratings.” But there was more to it than that, it seems.

“The political climate shifted as well, with Republicans, having been shellacked in their second straight presidential election, debating a future involving [Marco] Rubio and [Chris] Christie and [Paul] Ryan but not Palin,” Mr. Kurtz wrote. “And the atmosphere at Fox shifted as well. It was no longer a network in the throes of a tea party revolt and providing a platform for Glenn Beck. Fox edged a bit closer to the center, and Palin began to seem more the [actor] Julianne Moore of [the HBO movie] ‘Game Change’ than a political force.”

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