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.'
The âlamestream media,â 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.
But thereâs 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.
âIÂ was raised to never retreat and to pick battles wisely, and all in due season,â she said in the one substantial interview sheâs given since Real Clear Politics first reported that Palin and Fox had parted ways. âWhen it comes to defending our republic, we havenât begun to fight!Â But we delight in those who underestimate us.â
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.
âWhat happened, quite simply, is that Palinâs star had faded,â Howard Kurtz wrote in Newsweekâs the Daily Beast. âShe was no longer the rock star of 2008, her future presidential ambitions the subject of constant speculation.â
For Fox News, it seemed to be largely a business decision. Or as chief executive officer Roger Ailes put it in 2011, âI hired Sarah Palin because she was hot and got ratings.â But there was more to it than that, it seems.
âThe 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,â Mr. Kurtz wrote. âAnd 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] âGame Changeâ than a political force.â
In her interview with Stephen Bannon on Breitbart.com â the conservative news and opinion website founded by the late Andrew Breitbart â Palin promised to stay in the fight, pointedly targeting establishment Republicans as well as President Obama.
âFocus on the 2014 election is âŚ imperative,â she said. âItâs going to be like 2010 [when Republicans took over the US House of Representatives], but this time around we need to shake up the GOP machine that tries to orchestrate away too much of the will of constitutional conservatives who donât give a hoot how they do it in D.C.
âWeâre not going to be able to advance the cause of limited constitutional government unless we deal with these big government enablers on our side,â Palin said. âAnd this all ties into the problem of crony capitalism and the permanent political class in the Beltway. We need to consistently take them on election after election â ever vigilant.â
That pretty much describes tea party attitudes and philosophy, and Palin urges followers to âjump out of the comfort zone, andÂ broaden our reach as believers in American exceptionalism.â
âThat means broadening our audience,â she acknowledges. âIâm taking my own advice here as I free up opportunities to share more broadly the message of the beauty of freedom and the imperative of defending our republic and restoring this most exceptional nation. We can't just preach to the choir; the message of liberty and true hope must be understood by a larger audience.Â â
Is that larger audience available for Palinâs unique style of political pot-stirring?
A Rasmussen Reports poll earlier this month shows âviews of the tea party movement are at their lowest point ever,â with just 8 percent of those surveyed self-identifying as members of the movement, down from a high of 24 percent in April 2010. Just 30 percent have a favorable view of the movement, 49 percent an unfavorable view.
So Palin may relish the fight, but it wonât be an easy one.