Howard Dean: Sarah Palin Can Beat Barack Obama

This is shocking, not because it’s a high-profile liberal doing something other than treating Palin like a dumb bimbo because she doesn’t fit the formula for what a female political figure should be, but because I like Palin and I don’t even think she could beat Obama.

One could say that this is Dean playing Br’er Rabbit, “please don’t throw me into the briar patch,” to embolden Republicans to nominate Palin who he really thinks would be a terrible candidate, but that’s probably over thinking it.

Howard Dean, the former Democratic National Committee chairman who helped Democrats capture the White House in 2008, warns that Sarah Palin could defeat President Obama in 2012.

Dean says his fellow Democrats should beware of inside-the-Beltway conventional wisdom that Obama would crush Palin in a general-election contest next year.

“I think she could win,” Dean told The Hill in an interview Friday. “She wouldn’t be my first choice if I were a Republican but I think she could win.”
Dean warns the sluggish economy could have more of a political impact than many Washington strategists and pundits assume.

“Any time you have a contest — particularly when unemployment is as high as it is — nobody gets a walkover,” Dean said. “Whoever the Republicans nominate, including people like Sarah Palin, whom the inside-the-Beltway crowd dismisses — my view is if you get the nomination of a major party, you can win the presidency, I don’t care what people write about you inside the Beltway,” Dean said.

Dean goes on to say that he doesn’t think Palin could win the GOP nomination, but that Democrats are wrong to dismiss her.

Though, thinking about it, they haven’t really been dismissing her have they? I’m not sure there’s anyone on the right who consistent draws as much criticism and scorn from the left as Palin does these days. Even the media, overtly hostile to Palin and openly questioning why they even bother to cover her, feels compelled to follow her about the country reporting on her every move. Because she simply cannot be ignored. And, for what it’s worth, right now she sits atop the polls along with Mitt Romney.

Yet, political convention holds that someone as polarizing as Palin simply cannot be elected to national office. Of course, if there’s one thing Palin is famous for, it’s defying political conventions.

I maintain that she’ll enter the nomination process but play kingmaker to another candidate.

Meanwhile, Palin says not being a declared 2012 candidate is “liberating.”

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Goon

    Wow! It will be fun watching the throw Howie under the bus now…

    • Guest

      Rahm already did.

  • Dakotacyr

    Way to fall for it, Goon! Rob’s right on this one!

    • Rob

      Well, I don’t think you read the post too closely.  I think Dean is, rightfully, telling Dems not to underestimate Palin.

      • banjo kid

        She is a well like person . and I agree with that part of the post . He was telling them to not underestimate her.  Sort of like the rabbit and the turtle  deal

  • VocalYokel

    I don’t know if she can beat Barry-O, but I know which of them I’d rather be lost with in the woods…

  • Matches_Malone

    I don’t know if it IS over thinking it to be honest. Combine this with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz recently claiming that the GOP hates women and it sounds like a concerted effort to bait Tea Partiers into drafting the Dem’s “Dream Candidate” to me.

  • awfulorv

    Come next election people will be living in the streets. Zimbabwe will be sending us excess grain. Australia will be killing tons of Dingos and sending them over for food. North Dakota will be forbidden to grow grain due to the thinning Roughed Grouse populations. Kentucky Derby winners in May will become steaks by August. The names of entire cities will be removed from Atlases as no one would ever drive near them anyway. Simply viewing 1930s pictures of soup lines causes starving people to salivate and keel over. The Obama’s have rented Greece for the summer. Air Force one, and it’s twin, are in the shop having every rivet replaced, due to “flying fatigue”. Ireland is sending what Ale, and potatoes, they can spare. Finding the money to print the ballots, and the printers to do the work, is becoming increasingly difficult. Only seven hundred, of the planned thousand, Indian casinos will be built this year. Teachers, firemen, and police, threaten to strike if the citizens don’t cease bad-mouthing them for the troubles. Sarah Palin’s bus, with her trapped inside, has been impounded by Chicago police for, unwisely, crossing into the city limits. And so it goes in the election cycle of 2012. 

    • banjo kid

      sounds like a base for a movie, sounds like pure fun.

  • flamemeister

    It would be a mystical experience for me to see Sarah Palin beat Obama.  I would LOVE it—and I mean “beat” as in punch out his effing lights.

    • VocalYokel

      I’d pay to see that!

  • banjo kid

    I certainly disagree because I think a dog could beat Obama. People are fairly well fed up with the man . He is the biggest liar that ever walked.  Not to mention his inept foreign policy .  Most people do not like their leader trashing them abroad .  Palin would not be my first choice but if she gets the republican nomination I will gladly vote for her . I just hope and pray that Trump stays out of it as a third party as he will go down in history as the third Perot and insure Obama a second term. Palin may not be exactly what we want but it sure would be a vast improvement over the one. No one can please every one but they do have to please the majority.  Mitt stepped in it when he said he believes in global warming caused by man, that will not ride well with the base or the independents.

  • Ggulrud

    So Palin is going to be a Kingmaker–by failing to endorse Romney–and some how, some way, finding enduring loyalty to the GOP in her bones and endorsing Pawlenty.

    Howard Dean, Yearrrrrrgh, of all people, has more talent for politics than libertarian bloggers.

  • sbark

    There are a half dozen plus declared and potential GOP candidates that can beat Obuma’.   

    Everyone acts as if Obama has some semblence of a track record of success——–????

    Unemployment now moving back up, energy prices have doubled,  long string of  business advacerial actions (Chyrsler bonds, Boeing,  etc etc),  Trillions in new debt/ spending laundering money to Dem’cat advocacy groups.  ObamCare, , NASA conversion to a muslim outreach group

    The election in 2010 showed simply that big majorities have now tasted radical left economic policies and they hate them.

  • Guest

    Dean is strategizing the f#ck outta you guys.  Obama’s wrecking the place and you are trying to throw turds at the wall, hoping one will stick, in an effort to oust him.