Sarah Palin versus Republican 'blue bloods'

Is the establishment GOP ganging up on Sarah Palin? In the ongoing drama that is Palin’s political reality show, score this past week “Blue bloods 3, Palin zip.”

By , Staff writer

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    Sarah Palin signs copies of her book, "American by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag" with her daughter Piper at Books-A-Million bookstore in Columbia, S.C. Friday, Dec. 3.
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In the ongoing drama that is Sarah Palin’s political reality show, score this past week “Blue bloods 3, Palin zip.”

Joining the growing number of conservatives critical of Palin were former Republican congressman (now MSNBC host) Joe Scarborough, Republican campaign consultant Ed Rollins, and columnist George Will.

You could say she asked for it – lumping George H.W. and Barbara Bush with “the blue bloods who want to pick and choose” who should be on the Republican presidential ticket. In her wry way, the former first lady had suggested that Palin should stay in Alaska rather than run for the White House.

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How well do you know Sarah Palin? Take our quiz.

Earlier, the former Alaska governor seemed to suggest that she was in the same league with the Republican icon who also had been an entertainer. (See “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” on the Discovery Channel’s TLC affiliate.)

“Wasn't Ronald Reagan an actor?” she asked on Fox News. “Wasn't he in 'Bedtime for Bonzo,' Bozo, something?”

That was too much for Rollins, as it had been for Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan a week earlier.

“To paraphrase the late Sen. Lloyd Bentsen's comments to Dan Quayle in the 1988 vice presidential debate: I knew Ronald Reagan, and you're no Ronald Reagan,” Rollins wrote on CNN’s website. “You might as well compare yourself to Abraham Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt.”

“If you want to be a player, go to school and learn the issues,” he continued. “Put smart people around you and listen to them. If you want to be taken seriously, be serious…. If you want to be a serious presidential candidate, get to work. If you want to be an imitator of Ronald Reagan, go learn something about him and respect his legacy. If you want to be a gadfly, just keep doing what you're doing.”

Columnist George Will says if Palin truly wanted to be on the national political stage, she should have taken a different course when she and John McCain lost the election two years ago.

“After the 2008 campaign, she had two things she had to do,” Will said on ABC’s “This Week with Christiane Amanpour.” “She had to go home to Alaska and study, and she had to govern Alaska well. Instead, she quit halfway through her first term and shows up in the audience of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and other distinctly non-presidential venues.”

Will acknowledged that Palin’s cheering on her daughter Bristol was good for “stirring family values.”

“But it's not good training to be president,” he added.

Using a phrase favored by Palin and two of her (unsuccessful) endorsees in the recent midterm elections – Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell – former Rep. Joe Scarborough (R) of Florida says it’s time for the GOP to “man up” in the face of Palin’s White House aspirational tease.

“What man or mouse with a fully functioning human brain and a résumé as thin as Palin’s would flirt with a presidential run? It makes the political biography of Barack Obama look more like Winston Churchill’s,” Scarborough writes on Politico.com. “Adding audacity to this dopey dream is that Palin can’t stop herself from taking swings at Republican giants. In the past month alone, she has mocked Ronald Reagan’s credentials, dismissed George H.W. and Barbara Bush as arrogant ‘blue bloods’ and blamed George W. Bush for wrecking the economy. Wow. That’ll win ’em over in Iowa.”

Mark McKinnon is a Republican political advisor who worked for George W. Bush and helped Sarah Palin prepare for the vice presidential debate in 2008,

“I saw Palin at one of her most vulnerable moments, when any result other than a complete train wreck seemed impossible,” he writes on the Daily Beast. “And yet I also saw a determined woman buckle down, recover her confidence and then storm the national stage where she more than held her own against a seven-term senator…. And without Palin and the Tea Party backing Republican candidates, I doubt the crimson tide would have risen so high Nov. 2.”

Still, McKinnon sees big trouble for the GOP if Palin runs in 2012.

“If Palin runs, I think the entire Republican primary process will be hijacked. With ardent fans and a rabid media, it will become Palin-palooza,” he writes.

“Palin will suck the oxygen out of every room, everywhere she goes,” McKinnon continues. “And one of two things will happen. Discerning conservative voters in early primary states will be offended by the circus-like atmosphere and the presumption that they could so easily fall for a ‘cult of personality.’ And they will vote against her. And she will lose. Or, Republican voters will be completely swept up in the mania and nominate her as the GOP standard bearer to go up against President Obama. And she will lose – perhaps the only Republican nominee who could lose in 2012.”

There’s no sign yet that Palin is heeding such warnings. Given her record regarding the GOP establishment so far, she’s probably just digging in.

How well do you know Sarah Palin? Take our quiz.

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