Bill Clinton: Don't Underestimate Sarah Palin

Tuesday, 21 Sep 2010 12:51 PM

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Democrats who think Sarah Palin would be an easy mark if she were the Republican presidential candidate in 2012 should be careful what they wish for, says former President Bill Clinton. “It’s always a mistake to underestimate your opponent,” Clinton told George Stephanopoulos, the anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Clinton made the comment after Stephanopoulos asked him to reflect on the media buzz about Palin, especially after her weekend speech at the Iowa Republican Party’s annual Ronald Reagan Dinner fundraiser.

Bill Clinton, Sarah Palin, GOP, presidentThe former Alaska governor might not be the pushover some of her detractors believe when they suggest she'd be a dream candidate for President Barack Obama to knock off, Clinton said. “In the Republican primaries, she's very popular with the conservative base,” ABC’s chief political respondent quotes Clinton as saying in his blog, George’s Bottom Line. “She gets more people to come out. And she hasn't won all of her endorsements, but she's won most of them. And you know, she's a compelling, attractive figure.”

The former president, who convened the sixth annual meeting of his Clinton Global Initiative in New York this week, said, “I do think she’s a resilient character. . . . I think she's clearly a public figure who is, who speaks well and persuasively to the people who listen to her. And she's somebody to be reckoned with. And she's tough.”

Sarah Palin, Bill Clinton, 2012, president, ObamaDuring Palin’s Iowa appearance, she deflected reporters’ questions about presidential aspirations, saying she’s focusing now on midterm contests. “I’m clear on my plans,” she told reporters. “We’re getting through these midterms as victors with common-sense conservatives.”

She declined to speculate on when she might make a decision on 2012, saying, “I don’t know. I know that you can make a big difference in America without even having a title, so I’m grateful for this opportunity.”

During her Iowa speech, she opined that Republicans need to move beyond internal rivalries to beat Democrats in November.


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