Thursday, July 9, 2009

Uhmmm Thanks, But No Thanks, Sarah.

Among the many reasons stated for Sarah Palin's stepping down was a desire to expand the Palin party brand by hitting the stump to raise money for 2010 election candidates. It was assumed that since Palin pulled Obama-sized crowds on the trail last year, she'd be money in the bank to any GOP candidate who needed a push over the finish line next year.

Uhhh, not so fast.
Republicans facing tough elections in 2010 don’t want Sarah Palin campaigning with them.

Though the soon-to-be-former Alaska governor is seen as popular with the conservative grass roots, several Republicans said she’d help them by staying home in Wasilla.

Several of these Republicans hail from districts or states carried in 2008 by President Obama, a frequent target of Palin’s criticism. Republicans must keep these districts and win others where Obama is popular if they are to gain seats next year.

GOP Rep. Lee Terry (Neb.), who squeaked out a victory despite his district’s overwhelming turnout for Obama, said he’d rather have House colleagues campaign for him than Palin.

“There’s others that I would have come in and campaign and most of them would be my colleagues in the House,” Terry said.

Rep. Frank Wolf, a Republican from Northern Virginia, which is increasingly becoming Democratic territory, offered caution when asked whether he’d welcome a Palin fundraiser.

“I don’t generally need people from outside my district to do a fundraiser,” Wolf said.

Several other lawmakers indicated a wariness about accepting help from Palin, but did not want to criticize the GOP’s vice presidential candidate from last year. They said Palin could hurt them by firing up Democrats.

An unnamed GOP lawmaker representing a district that Obama carried in 2008 told The Hill that if Palin came into his district, his opponent would “probably be doing a dance of joy.”

Several Republicans running for statewide office over the next two years in areas where Obama is popular suggested Palin could hurt the party’s candidates.

Centrist Republican Rep. Mike Castle (Del.) said that Palin’s polarizing views, coupled with her surprise decision to resign with 18 months left in her term, would make it difficult to ask for her help.

“I think the combination of her being very conservative and the fact that what she did has concerned some of us would mean that people may be hesitant about having her in [to campaign],” said Castle, who is considering a bid for Senate in 2010.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R), who is running to become Michigan’s governor in 2010, said he needs a better explanation of why Palin suddenly quit her job before he’d want her campaigning with him in Michigan.

“I’ve thought about it but I don’t have an answer,” Hoekstra said. Before making a call on a Palin visit, he said, “I need a better understanding of why she quit. Why quit with a year and a half to go?”

Earlier this week, New Jersey’s state GOP chairman said that organizers “don’t have any plans” to have Palin stump on behalf of candidate Chris Christie. New Jersey, which overwhelmingly supported Obama in 2008, will elect a governor this fall, and polls show Christie in the lead.
Uh, so I guess the GOP Cheerleader role isn't gonna work out after all. Who'da thunk?

I suppose you could read this either of two ways. Either these folks don't want Palin to campaign for her out of fear that her negatives would overshadow them (ie: the same way many candidates shunned help from Bush in recent years), or these guys are secretly envious of the strength and power of Palin and don't want to be overshadowed. Either way, the fact that some candidates aren't exactly greeting her (and the fundraising bonzanza she allegedly brings along) has to be a little bit of a concern.

Again, let the record reflect that Palin is more of a problem to her own party than the Dems.

Question: Is Palin's popularity and influence a bit overhyped?

Vulnerable GOPs want Palin to stay home [TheHill]

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