Karl Rove: Sarah Palin Needs To Stop Being So Thin Skinned

As I noted the other day, Karl Rove stated in an appearance on Fox News Channel that, based on the publicly available information, he believed that Sarah Palin was indeed going to run for President. This led Palin, through her SarahPAC to issue a statement blasting Rove, although not mentioning him by name:

It was this analysis that prompted Palin’s political organization, Sarah PAC, to issue a blistering statement overnight tamping down expectations about her political future.

“Any professional pundit claiming to have ‘inside information’ regarding Gov. Palin’s personal decision is not only wrong but their comments are specifically intended to mislead the American public,” the PAC said on its blog.

Of course, in his original statement Rove never claimed to have inside information. In any event. Rove appeared last night on Greta van Susterin’s show and the war of words continued:

On Wednesday night, former Bush administration official Karl Rove accused 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin of having “enormous thin skin” for getting upset over speculation about her future plans.

“It is a sign of enormous thin skin that if we speculate about her, she gets upset,” Rove said on Fox News. “And I suspect if we didn’t speculate about her, she’d be upset and try and find a way to get us to speculate about her … I’m mystified.”

Rove had said over the weekend that he thought Palin would run for president; in response, her political action committee put up an unsigned blog post saying “DC pundits” were using false information specifically intended to mislead the American public.”

Rachel Weiner at The Washington Post that Rove’s comments about Palin are actually part of a rather obvious effort on his part to undermine the candidacy of Rick Perry. That may be the case, but it’s also true that Rove and Palin have clashed in the past:

Rove is a paid pundit for Fox News, Rove has an incentive to take his skepticism public — and Palin has a stake in responding if she wants to remain in the public eye, for financial or political reasons.

In July of 2009, Rove questioned Palin’s decision to step down as governor of Alaska. “It’s a risky strategy,” he told Fox News. “Effective strategies in politics are ones that are so clear and obvious that people can grasp. It’s not clear what she’s doing and why.”

In October of 2010, Rove told the British Telegraph that he wasn’t sure Palin had the “gravitas” to be president: “With all due candor, appearing on your own reality show on the Discovery Channel, I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of ‘that helps me see you in the Oval Office.”

Palin responded snarkily, saying, “Wasn’t Ronald Reagan an actor? Wasn’t he in ‘Bedtimes for Bonzo,’ bozo or something? … I’m not in a reality show. I have eight episodes documenting Alaska’s resources.”

She added in another interview, “Karl has planted a few other political seeds out there that are quite negative and unnecessary. You know what? I kind of feel like, why do they feel so threatened and so paranoid?”

Rove defended himself on Fox News, saying “a confident candidate doesn’t get thrown off” by questions.

It’s unclear if this is part of some underlying political war between the two or not, but things could get pretty interesting if Palin actually does decided to get into the race.


FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Chad S says:

    Cue the Palinites whining about OTB “obsessing” over Palin.

  2. A voice from another precinct says:

    I have to disagree with Rove on this. It is precisely the fact that Palin is so thin skinned that kept her in the news loop (and on Doug’s radar) for three additional days. That’s pretty good mileage from a WAG that was completely unimportant 30 seconds after he said it.

    “I think Palin is going to run. In other news, who gives a rat’s fanny?”

  3. Ernieyeball says:

    I don’t now why the supporters of Princess Half a Term crank at Mr. Mataconis.

    “…but things could get pretty interesting if Palin actually does decided to get into the race.”

    Sounds to me like her candidacy is his secret desire!

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Sounds to me like her candidacy is his secret desire!

    can’t speak for Doug, but it is mine! I just can’t wait for those 30 sec spots of her shooting at and missing the caribou repeatedly.

  5. Fiona says:

    Is it news that La Diva Palin is incredibly thin-skinned? It’s all part of her narcissistic personality disorder. Any comment about her that isn’t positive is taken as an attack on her “character,” part of the lame-stream media’s attempt to get her. No normal pol would take Rove’s prediction so personally.

    Run Sarah run.