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Tag: sarah palin

Palin Tells Ultra-Right ‘Christian’ Group She May Run For Senate In 2022

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Back in March, the Associated Press' Mark Thiessen speculated on a number of potential primary challengers for Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski in 2022. The biggest name on the list was perhaps the third most-famous living member of the Alaska GOP (after Murkowski and Rep. Don Young), former Governor and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Well, on Friday, People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch revealed that Palin is taking a very long and very hard look at the race—and is willing to run if God gives the okay and if Christians get behind her more than they did in 2008. More telling, though, is where she did it—a conference hosted by leading members of the overtly fascist religious right offshoot where Palin has spent a good chunk of her life. This same offshoot played a key role in what can only be described as a sustained campaign to bully this country into supporting Palin's male counterpart—The Messiah, Lord Donald Trump, The Most Merciful.

Two Sundays ago, Palin was a featured guest at "Leading With Conviction: Truth That Stands," a conference hosted by Che Ahn of Harvest International Ministry. Ahn is one of the top leaders in the New Apostolic Reformation, an overtly fascist offshoot of the religious right that believes it can actually bring about the Second Coming by taking over the world. Ahn is counted as an "apostle" in this constituency; NAR believers are of the mind that if Christians under submission to "apostles" and "prophets" like Ahn take over the forces that influence society, it will pave the way for Jesus to come back—and they can hand him the world on a platter. You may also know this network as the same outfit that produced Becky Fischer of "Jesus Camp" fame.

During the afternoon session, Palin sat down for an on-stage interview with Ahn. Watch it here.

This interview was vintage Palin—that is, red meat by the barrelful. She railed that this country was "dedicated to God"—indeed, "our charters of liberty were written to and about God." She openly wondered when Americans would wake up and ask why our leaders want to "strip from our Creator what our founders had dedicated to him" and repurpose it for "for some kind of secular use, secular enjoyment."

Later, Palin asked the audience, "Are we gonna let them fundamentally transform the nation that does belong to God? How dare we take from God what is his and say we're going to do what we want to do with it?"

Ahn was intrigued—enough that later on, he asked Palin if she would take a run at Murkowski's seat. Palin said she was praying about it, saying that "if God wants me to do it, I will." However, she said that if she did run, "you guys better be there for me this time." She believed that she got pummeled in the press in 2008 because her brothers and sisters didn't have her back. Later, she sounded the alarm about "potentially forced immunizations," and urged Christians to not be afraid to "infiltrate and influence the culture."

Palin was speaking in a code most of the audience at that conference recognized. Indeed, she was actually in her element. For those who don't know, Palin is a devout charismatic Christian, though she herself eschews the label, preferring to call herself just a Christian (as do many charismatics).

During the 2008 campaign, our friends at Talk2Action revealed that Palin has moved in NAR circles for much of her politically active life. For instance, Bruce Wilson reported Mary Glazier, the leader of an NAR-aligned group of Alaska-based intercessors, revealed that Palin had been part of her group since the 1990s—and that around that time, "God began to speak to her about entering into politics." When Palin joined John McCain's ticket, a number of NAR leaders skipped and danced. For instance, a Norwegian pastor noted that she was a longstanding member of Glazier's prayer group. Glazier, in turn, was under the covering of one of the NAR's founders, Peter Wagner.

Russ Bellant revealed that the church Palin attended in Juneau during much of her tenure as governor was up to its eyeballs in the "Toronto Blessing," which many of us know for scenes of people laughing, barking and howling during church services But that same movement also believes in turning the cities where they're based into "citadels for the righteous." One speaker brought the flock to its feet with a claim that they were in a movement that would "shake America like a tsunami." According to Bellant, Palin almost certainly believes wholeheartedly in this line—otherwise, she wouldn't have been "in good stead and be upheld" as she was in 2008.

This context is needed to understand how another NAR "apostle," Cindy Jacobs—a woman who once claimed birds fell dead with the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," and who called for Christians to "lay siege" to their cities—prayed over Palin at the end of the interview. Jacobs said that she'd gotten a message from God that "an army of intercessors" and "an army of pastors and leaders" would be all in for Palin if she ran for Senate, and it would be enough for her to go "all the way to the top" if she did run for Senate.

Palin's path, however, could be muddied by recent changes to elections in Alaska. Back in November, voters scrapped partisan primaries, instead instituting a blanket primary in which the top four finishers would advance to the general election. That general election, in turn, would be conducted via Australian-style ranked-choice voting. Speculation has abounded that such a system could actually protect Murkowski, especially if she makes it to the general election.

Whatever the case, if the Democrats are serious about running in this seat in 2022, the prospect of Palin being on the ballot is even more reason for them to be about it.

A Moment Of Unexpected Wisdom From Alaska

This week, I had an email exchange with a person who had every reason to be disappointed in me.

Instead, he insisted his faith in me was steadfast, and I'm not the least bit embarrassed to tell you I wept in the way I've always imagined people do after Superman sweeps down for the rescue. One moment you're staring wide-eyed at the bus about to run you over, and the next you're up in the clouds bracing for a gentle landing.

The morning after our exchange, I woke up still thinking about it and realized I had stumbled upon an essential truth: The people who have been the kindest during this pandemic will be, for the rest of my days, the kindest people I have ever known.

It takes a special brand of spiritual stamina to assume the best in people when you've seen so much of the worst in recent times. I aspire to be that compassionate, and on days I come close, I have to give a lot of credit to our two rescue dogs, Franklin and Walter. There are humans who love me very much, but only our pups repeatedly stop and stare at me during the day with the devotion of a first love. It's hard to overstate the reassurance of that.

I've wanted to write an entire column about how dogs have gotten so many of us through the pandemic, but I'd hear from a lot of unhappy cat people, and I'd feel really bad about that. I've loved my share of cats over the years, I tell you. Especially Winnie and Reggie, who were part of my family's life long before my husband showed up.

Winnie was your classic kitty who had two favorites and stalked everyone else. I felt special every time we crossed paths and she didn't hiss at me. Reggie was like a dog, except more agile. He once managed to climb into the attic and then dropped two stories, landing behind a wall. This was during my single-mother days, and I will never forget our handyman coming to the rescue after I called him and described through tears how Reggie was stuck in a closet wall.

"I'll save the kitty!" he bellowed as he walked through our door wielding a mallet. And he did. By the time Reggie was free, he was covered in plaster dust and mute from yowling and ready to eat dinner.

So, in memory of Reggie, I won't devote this column to dogs. Also, you aquarium people are on your own. I understand fish can be mesmerizing, but where's the adoration?I'm needy right now, one could argue. And one has, but we won't name him.

By the way, I wonder if you've heard that former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has COVID-19 and is now encouraging all of us to wear masks.

Bet you didn't see that coming.

And don't send me another round of angry emails about how you're tired of my tricking you into reading my column about something else and then pivoting to the pandemic. This is strategy, my friends.

From Palin's statement to People magazine: "Through it all, I view wearing that cumbersome mask indoors in a crowd as not only allowing the newfound luxury of being incognito, but trust it's better than doing nothing to slow the spread."

COVID-19 can "really knock you down," she added.

As of this week, the virus has killed more than 550,000 people in the U.S. Nevertheless, a recent PBS Newshour/NPR/Marist poll recently reported that 41 percent of Republicans, and 49 percent of Republican men, are not planning to get vaccinated.

And here I am, insisting that I want those Republican men to live.

I am grateful to the former governor of Alaska for speaking out, and I hope her recovery is swift and full. I also hope all those Republican men who admire Sarah Palin will now find the courage to bare their mighty arms for that little needle that is saving lives.

As for the rest of you: Be Sarah, my fellow Americans.

For a little while longer, wear a mask.

Connie Schultz is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and professional in residence at Kent State University's school of journalism. She is the author of two non-fiction books, including "...and His Lovely Wife," which chronicled the successful race of her husband, Sherrod Brown, for the U.S. Senate. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling novel, The Daughters of Erietown. To find out more about Connie Schultz (schultz.connie@gmail.com) and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Comparing Trump’s Not-So-Super VP Candidates

Donald Trump is in the middle of a tough search for a vice president — any vice president. No one seems to want the job, and Trump is scrambling to show the world a ticket that makes him look like anything other than a crazy reality star who’s been wandering onto the wrong cable channels.

He’s really scraping the bottom of the barrel, so we at The National Memo decided to put together a little tip sheet to make his choice easier.

Newt Gingrich

Renamed by Trump: “Spanky”
# of Wives: 3. Can you believe it?
Likelihood of Hair Plugs: 85%
Relationship to White House: Has been waiting outside since the 1990s
Biggest Strength: That no-longer-relevant vibe that Trump supporters seem to love!
Biggest Weakness: He would be the “smart one.”

Chris Christie

Renamed by Trump: “The Quiet One”
# of Wives: 1, but he’d leave her in a second for Bruce Springsteen.
Likelihood of Hair Plugs: 28%
Relationship to White House: Kissed it goodbye forever after Bridgegate.
Biggest Strength: Loyalty and dead-in-the-eyes look of a very large dog.
Biggest Weakness: Ate all the M&Ms.

Mike Pence

Renamed by Trump: “Gary Indiana”
# of Wives: 1, unlike those dang homosexuals.
Likelihood of Hair Plugs: That’s between Pence and the Lord.
Relationship to White House: Recites Pledge of Allegiance in its direction whenever he has impure thoughts.
Biggest Strength: Fridge is full of cake confiscated from same-sex weddings.
Biggest Weakness: As a devout Christian, may not work well with the Devil.

Gen. Michael Flynn

Renamed by Trump: “Army Man”
# of Wives: Just his duty. Oh, and also Lori.
Likelihood of Hair Plugs: Classified
Relationship to White House: Already spent years there failing to solve the Middle East.
Biggest Strength: Has the wartime expertise to set up a military dictatorship
Biggest Weakness: Pro-choice. For real.

Ben Carson

Renamed by Trump: “Dr. Naptime”
# of Wives: 2 conjoined twins he keeps separating and sewing back together.
Likelihood of Hair Plugs: 3%
Relationship to White House: Believes it’s filled with grain.
Biggest Strength: Every Great American Hero needs a nerdy sidekick.
Biggest Weakness: Working with Trump might spoil their friendship.

Sarah Palin

Renamed by Trump: “The Midnight Rambler”
# of Wives: Does Alaska count?
Likelihood of Hair Plugs: All-natural pageant queen
Relationship to White House: Buried John McCain’s career on her way there.
Biggest Strength: Can defuse any political debate with a string of nonsensical folkisms.
Biggest Weakness: Even Trump’s afraid of her.

 

Photo: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks in a press conference at the State House in Trenton, New Jersey, March 3, 2016.  REUTERS/Dominick Reuter

This Week In Crazy: Rush To Delusions

Hypocrisy, zealotry, and gobbledygook. Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. David Daleidan

The mastermind behind the fraudulently shot and deceptively edited videos meant to smear Planned Parenthood into oblivion is now complaining about unfair treatment.

David Daleidan was head inquisitor (or, as Fox News characterizes him, citizen journalist) behind the Center for Medical Progress — the contemptibly misnamed anti-abortion outfit that released films which supposedly exposed the non-profit women’s health care network as a trafficker in human remains. Several state investigative probes and a congressional investigation later, and the only indictments handed down have been against Daleidan himself and his accomplice.

That indictment came in Texas, but it seems like California is potentially about to follow suit. The Washington Post reported:

Investigators with the California Department of Justice on Tuesday raided the home of David Daleiden, the anti-abortion activist behind a series of undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood, the activist said.

Authorities seized a laptop and multiple hard drives from his Orange County apartment, Daleiden said in an email. The equipment contained all of the video Daleiden had filmed as part of his 30-month project, “including some very damning footage that has yet to be released to the public,” he said.

Daleidan and his conservative supporters have been quick to condemn the raid by officials as a politically motivated action. His own outside-the-law actions, of course, remain inscrutably righteous.

Next: Tennessee

4. Tennessee

The curious habit of state legislatures enshrining Official State Things is innocuous enough for the most part. Lately, though, Tennessee has been taking the practice to bizarre extremes.

Recently, the Volunteer State elected to make its official state firearm one of the most deadly weapons available for civilian use — so powerful it can down a commercial airliner, apparently. And then, as an encore, the legislature voted to make the Holy Bible the state’s official book.

As reported by The Tennessean

After nearly 30 minutes of debate, the state Senate on Monday approved the measure, sponsored by Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Morristown, with a 19-8 vote, sending the legislation to Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk.

While proponents stressed the historic significance of the holy book and its religious meaning, some opponents argued that the bill trivializes something they hold sacred while others stressed constitutional reservations.

Lowering the Bar helpfully notes that this is both plainly unconstitutional and stupid — and furthermore that Tennessee isn’t even the first state to try to do this. In Louisiana, LTB writes, “the debate was not over whether to do it but over which version of the Bible would be appropriate.”

Forward!

Next: Andrea Tantaros

3. Andrea Tantaros

Fox’s Andrea Tantaros earns her seat on the Outnumbered couch by being progenitor of some fairly outlandish — and incorrigibly ditzy — Obama conspiracy theories

Tantaros is what happens when you cross Dale Gribble from King of the HIll with Helen Lovejoy from The Simpsons, by which I mean she manages to somehow hybridize the dopiest bromides of a self-righteous PTA meeting with the conspiracy theories of Alex Jones.

Here is the Fox News luminary in her own words, speaking about Barack Obama on Tuesday’s show:

Why would the administration give cover to ISIS? Is it about his legacy? Some people are asking the question, is he covering for ISIS? Why would the administration be pressuring these agents to not give us the facts on the ground?

Video below, courtesy of Media Matters.

For another example of super-sleuth Tantaros in action, check this out.

Next: Rush Limbaugh

2. Rush Limbaugh

You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but Rush Limbaugh, patron saint of shock jocks, is quite flexible.

That’s judging by his catalogue of contortions this week, which included the talk radio host defending Trump’s obscene remarks about “punishing” women, then defending his remarks defending Trump by saying that he was not, in fact, defending Trump, while still defending them… his remarks, that is. Like I said, he’s flexible. Being spineless can do that.

First, there was Limbaugh blasting MSNBC’s Chris Matthews for “setting up” Trump with a hypothetical question. He also tried to explain Trump’s answers away by blaming New York City liberals for inculcating poor Donald Trump’s brain with horrible caricatures of conservative ideologies, which he had little choice but to parrot on national television.

Then, there was Limbaugh asserting that Trump was technically correct in his assessment that, if you believe abortion is murder, then yes the woman should be punished. Trump’s only error was that he was “politically” in the wrong. (Side note: Take a moment to relish the editors at DailyRushbo’s decision to describe Limbaugh’s characterization of Trump’s comments as “politically wrong,” and not “politically incorrect,” because, you know, thesauri have a well known liberal bias.)

Then there’s the delicious not-about-face about-face the shockmeister performed over the next several days: pushing back against accusations that he was defending Trump, then recalibrating to explain that he had merely wanted to limit the damage Trump’s comments had done, whining:

It wasn’t pandering, it wasn’t an excuse.  It was an attempt to explain to people who want to support Trump why he might have screwed it up.  It was an attempt to explain to people who don’t want to support Trump why it might not be what you think it is.

Who are you going to believe — Rush, or your lying ears?

Next: Her again? 

1. Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin’s style is much more conducive to dittohead rallies than stately functions. No crowd seems to work as well for her as a throng of Tea Partiers cheering and sloshing around their drool buckets every time she says something like “No-Bama.” This was most cruelly illustrated this week by her insane, nonsensical — even by the extremely relaxed standards of the Alaskan governor — speech this week at a Wisconsin Republican function.

It was as if each word was plucked from her own worst game of Boggle. Palin’s latest bag of dictionary confetti impelled even the journalists in the room (who you’d think would be inured to her antics after all these years) to start caustically live-tweeting the event. The governor’s penchant for internal rhyme and folksy nonce words was in evidence, making the 20-minute monologue resemble nothing so much as a Wasilian riff on “Jabberwocky.”

If you don’t have the stomach or time to endure Palin’s 20-minute monologue resembled, you can view the best bits edited together in the following video (courtesy of Mediaite):

Sarah Palin Goes on Bizarre RambleSarah Palin went on a truly bizarre and rambling 20-minute speech in Milwaukee on Friday. Here are the highlights.

Posted by Mediaite on Monday, April 4, 2016

It demands a response, and this was the best one I could find:

Image: DonkeyHotey via Flickr

Check out previous editions of This Week In Crazy here. Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments! Get This Week In Crazy delivered to your inbox every Friday, by signing up for our daily email newsletter.

Ben Carson And Sarah Palin Are Awful Trump Surrogates

Two of Donald Trump’s most prominent endorsers, Ben Carson and Sarah Palin, haven’t been doing a very good job convincing voters to support him. The pair have spent much of their time since endorsing Trump either publicly regretting the choice or passing off verbal streams of consciousness as speeches.

Take Ben Carson’s constant wavering between building up Trump and resuscitating his own newly-damaged reputation.

Here’s Carson on The View with Whoopi Goldberg, who harangued him for his Trump endorsement. Carson stood firm on his belief that Trump’s sexist and racist remarks were exactly the sort of thing his party needed. “When you’re very nice, you’re very respectful, you talk about the real issues and not get into all these issues, where does it get you? It gets you where it got me: nowhere, okay?” he said.

That wasn’t the first time Carson was somewhat ambivalent about his endorsement. In an interview with Newsmax, a conservative online publication, he said, “Is there another scenario that I would have preferred? Yes. But that scenario isn’t available.” He went on to insinuate that Trump promised him some sort of position of influence in return his endorsement, resulting in an ethics complaint against Trump.

Carson’s every line is a gem: “Even if Donald Trump turns out not to be such a great president, which I don’t think is the case, I think he’s going to surround himself with really good people,” he explains. “But even if he didn’t, we’re only looking at four years.”

And just yesterday, Carson appeared on The Cats Roundtable, a radio program, to say that Trump “has some major defects, there’s no question about it — just like the rest of us.”

Carson could very well end up having the last laugh, having feigned defeat by endorsing Trump only to sabotage his campaign from the inside. Or, equally likely, he’s being dead serious and is completely unaware of how bad of a surrogate he really is.

Sarah Palin is a different story, as she was incredibly enthusiastic in endorsing Trump when he first marched her out during a campaign event in Iowa in January. She most recently appeared in Wisconsin to speak on Trump’s behalf, a poor choice on his part, especially in light of the substantial lead Ted Cruz is commanding in the state.

“What the heck are you thinking candidates?” Palin said. “What are you thinking when you go ahead and you’re actually asking for more immigrants, even illegal immigrants, welcoming them in, even inducing and seducing them with gift baskets. Come on over the border and there’s a gift basket with teddy bears and soccer balls. What are you thinking? It’s just inviting more. Yeah. Candidates they can say anything they want to about immigration, amnesty.”

Once again, the media were forced to let out a collective “huh?”

This was not Palin’s only screw up on Trump’s behalf, obviously. During the run up to the Iowa primaries, Palin joined Trump in casually insulting the state, namely the popular Republican congressman Steve King, while Trump just went for the throat and told Iowan Republicans that they were “stupid.” Below is a segment of that incident, after which conservative news site RedState described the crowd as “dead silent.”

This week has not been a good one for Trump. He faces a crucial primary in Wisconsin tomorrow, where polls show him trailing Cruz. The handiwork of his two most important campaign surrogates has done little to change that.

Defeating Trump Won’t Erase The Forces That Made Him Possible

We should probably start thinking about what we’re going to do after Trump.

Of course, if the nation decides it really does want a vulgar, narcissistic bigot with the impulse control of a sleep-deprived toddler as its 45th president, the options left to thinking Americans will be few, but stark:

Either curl up in a fetal ball for four years or jam the pedal to the metal on the northbound interstate and don’t stop till you see moose. Try to get there before the Canadians build their border wall.

If, however, the more likely scenario prevails and the electorate rejects Donald Trump, we will face a different set of options. The first is to finally take a stand against the forces that brought us here.

Those forces — economic insecurity, ignorance, bigotry and fear — are hardly new. Many observers, this one included, have bemoaned them for years. Trump’s innovation has been to drag the last three into the light, to render dog whistles and codes obsolete with his full-throated, wide-open embrace of all that is ugly and shameful about us.

Assuming his rebuke in November, the natural tendency will be to mop the brow and sigh in relief at the bullet we just dodged. This would be a mistake. Defeating Trump would not erase the forces that made him possible. As the last few years have shown, those forces, like some virulent cancer, tend to redouble after setback and return stronger than before.

You thought George W. Bush was a piece of work? Meet Sarah Palin. You think Sarah Palin was scary? Meet Trump. It would not be a good idea to wait around and see who trumps Donald four years from now. So after Trump, there are things we must do:

1. Confront economic insecurity. We need to elect leaders who understand that corporations are not people; only people are people and they are struggling. Their wages are stagnant, their finances precarious and the wealth that is supposed to trickle down from the grotesquely overfed money pigs at the top always seems to evaporate en route. It is time for this to change.

2. Confront ignorance. It is no coincidence Trump is especially popular among the less well-educated. The less you know, the more fearsome and confounding the world can seem, and the more susceptible you are to the authoritarian figure who promises to make everything all right again. Education must be rescued from the anti-science, anti-history, anti-logic, anti-intellect agendas of conservative school boards around the country. Knowing things is important. Facts matter.

3. Confront bigotry. Stop pretending it doesn’t exist, stop making excuses for it, stop acting as if it will go away if you only ignore it. In our schools, civic groups, mosques, churches and synagogues, we must evolve some form of truth and reconciliation that allows us to walk through disparate pain up to common ground. Only in this way can we diminish the power of bigotry as a cudgel.

4. Confront fear. Fear is bigotry’s firstborn child. Both are heightened in an era wherein the majority feels itself, its position and prerogatives, under siege by the ascendance of various minorities — racial, religious and sexual. So it becomes ever more important to find strategies that help us to locate in one another our shared humanity.

And oh, yes…

5. Confront apathy. Vote.

This is how we can change the paradigm, cool the temperature, drain the swamp.

Or we can pretend this temper tantrum, this national nervous breakdown, means nothing once Trump is gone. But to embrace that option is to miss the point. Donald Trump is a reflection of the ugliness within us, but only that. The ugliness itself is ours and we are long overdue to face it.

The day after he is gone would be an excellent time to start.

(Leonard Pitts is a columnist for The Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33132. Readers may contact him via e-mail at lpitts@miamiherald.com.)

(c) 2016 THE MIAMI HERALD DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pauses to look at a demonstrator behind him during a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

From Impossible To Inevitable: Trump Must Choose His Veep

The media often act like we have a sacred duty to exaggerate. We believe that if something is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

Thus, in just a few short months, we have gone from saying it is impossible for Donald Trump to win the Republican nomination to saying it is inevitable that Donald Trump will win the Republican nomination.

Because of this, I have decided to dispense with the remaining primaries and caucuses, stories about superdelegates, brokered conventions and the usual yada yada and get right down to it:

Who will Trump choose as his running mate?

Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, who has one of the longest titles in politics — professor of the practice of public policy communication, Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California — put her finger right on it.

“The Donald’s first choice is The Donald,” she said.

But there are constitutional problems with this, and besides, vice presidents are convenient to have around in case you need someone to attend a funeral.

So I contacted 22 people, which is 22 more people than I usually contact for a column, to ask them their predictions for Trump’s running mate.

Some did not want to play.

“Anyone who would run with Trump is too vile for me to think about,” said Garry Wills, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and the author of more than 40 books.

Others were downright apocalyptic.

“My first job was with Jesse Helms,” said Juleanna Glover, presenting her conservative credentials. “I lived with Phyllis Schlafly. I worked for Dan Quayle, George W. Bush, Bill Kristol, Steve Forbes, Rudy Giuliani, Dick Cheney and spent half my career with John Ashcroft.”

And her views on Trump?

“He is inherently dangerous to the national interest,” she said. “Trump as the nominee is destructive, and anyone who would seriously consider being his vice president is an accomplice to that destruction.”

Tom Rath, on the other hand, was willing to provide a list. Rath is one of the most respected political operatives in the Republican Party and has served as a senior national adviser to the presidential campaigns of Howard Baker, Robert Dole, Lamar Alexander, George W. Bush, Mitt Romney and John Kasich.

“Far be it from me to give Trump advice,” he said and then listed 13 suggestions “in no particular order.” I have included some with descriptions in case not every name rings a bell:

–Jeff Immelt: chairman of the board and CEO of General Electric

–John Thune: Republican senator from South Dakota

–Jeb Bush: Oh, c’mon, you didn’t forget that fast.

–Joe Scarborough with or without Mika Brzezinski: two politically influential MSNBC superstars who could take turns every other month

–Charlie Baker: Republican governor of Massachusetts

–Roger Goodell: commissioner of the National Football League

–Tim Scott: Republican senator from South Carolina and the first African-American in U.S. history to be elected both to the House and Senate

–Oprah Winfrey: Born into poverty in Mississippi, she became a talk-show host, actress, producer, author and multibillionaire philanthropist. She gave me an interview when she came to Chicago to start a TV talk show in 1984. At the time, I was probably better known in Chicago than she was. That lasted about five minutes.

In June 2015, Trump himself told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he wanted Oprah as his running mate. “I think we’d win easily, actually,” he said. “I like Oprah. I mean, is that supposed to be a bad thing? I don’t think so.”

But could Oprah, a big backer of Barack Obama, be selected by the Republican National Convention? “Over the years, I have voted for as many Republicans as I have Democrats,” Oprah told a crowd in December 2007 when she announced her endorsement of Obama. “This isn’t about partisanship for me. This is very, very personal.”

When Obama spoke to the crowd, he asked: “You want Oprah as vice president?”

The crowd roared. “That would be a demotion, you understand that?” Obama said.

While it might be close, I am guessing the delegates to the Republican convention would go along with Oprah as vice president, if only in the hope that she would give each of them a Pontiac.

Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster, said: “I assume Trump would double-down on his positioning, not pick anyone with a career in elected politics, so, someone with significant military experience seems like one possibility.”

Democratic crisis communications expert Chris Lehane said: “He shouldn’t/wouldn’t look for balance as that would undermine the brand.

“First, military background. If Curtis Lemay were available, he would be perfect. (Inconveniently, Lemay died in 1990.)

“Second, the anti-pol. Gov. Paul LePage of Maine is a poor man’s Trump.

“Third, sports figure. Peyton Manning (quarterback of the Denver Broncos) may be retiring.”

While most analysts are careful to hedge their bets just in case they turn out to be wrong, Charlie Cook is not most analysts. “I don’t believe that Trump will ultimately be the Republican nominee,” he told me.

“Trump’s chances of winning a general election are so small that even if he did, the odds of his administration being a disaster are huge. So for a young and ambitious Republican, hitching your wagon to his horse could well be a career-ender.”

Cook said, “A lot of top-tier names and talent are off the table.”

“I question why any major figure or rising star in the party would want to become joined at the hip with Donald Trump,” said Cook. “That means he is likely to get a second- or third-tier person.”

Which makes my prediction perfect: She has run for the job before. She knows how to debate and give a good convention speech. And she has even invented her own language.

When she endorsed Trump on Jan. 20 at Iowa State University, she said: “Trump’s candidacy. It has exposed not just that tragic the ramifications of that betrayal of the transformation of our country, but too, he has exposed the complicity on both sides of the aisle that has enabled it, OK?”

OK. And that’s right. My guess is that Trump will select Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Why? Because she makes Trump sound like a genius.

Roger Simon is Politico’s chief political columnist. His new e-book, “Reckoning: Campaign 2012 and the Fight for the Soul of America,” can be found on Amazon.com, BN.com and iTunes. To find out more about Roger Simon and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2016 CREATORS.COM

Photo: Donald Trump (R) thanks the crowd after receiving Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s endorsement at a rally at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa January 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich 

Endorse This: Sarah Palin Further Embarrasses Herself On Caucus Day

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Sarah Palin appeared on TV this morning to promote Donald Trump, on the big day of the Iowa caucuses. But then she got asked about the most news-making quote she’s delivered while stumping for The Donald: That President Obama was to blame for her son’s arrest on domestic violence charges, because the troops get post-traumatic stress disorder after they have to “look at him and wonder” whether or not he supports them.

Palin’s answer: No, she didn’t say that at all — and shame on you for talking about it!

“You guys brought me here to talk about Iowa politics, and the caucus tonight — not to talk about my kids,” said Palin, who was actually the one that first talked about her kids while on the campaign trail. “And that was a promise. But as things go in the world of media, you guys don’t always keep your promises, evidently.”

Palin went on to say maintain that she didn’t make any such accusation against Obama, but simultaneously insisted that he doesn’t support the troops. Matt Lauer then asked her if she wanted to take back anything she said that was offensive.

“What did I say that is offensive?” she retorted. “I don’t regret any comment that I made, because I didn’t lay PTSD at the foot of the president.”

“I did say, though, and suggested very adamantly, that there is much more that our Commander-in-Chief can do to prove that he respects our troops and will let them do their job.”

As Palin went on to criticize the media for asking her about this, Lauer then had to clarify the situation against her latest accusation.

“I just want to make sure: There were no specific promises made about the content of the interview, only that this would be your first interview since you endorsed Donald Trump.”

“Well, I was told that this interview is about the caucus tonight in Iowa — and right on, who will it be to put America back on the right track and restore constitutional government that we are lacking today, and that we so need. And I said ‘right on,’ let me go talk about that, sure.”

Savannah Guthrie could only say: “And I think we talked about that quite a bit.”

Video via Today/NBC News.

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