From Sean Cockerham in Anchorage ---
Gov. Sarah Palin will show up for conservative talk radio host Michael Reagan's speech in Anchorage tomorrow (it’s 7:30 p.m. at the Alaska Center for Performing Acts – tickets are $34.50). Reagan's topic: "What Would Ronald Reagan Do Today?" Palin is going to give the opening speech and introduce Reagan, said Frank Dahl of Blues Central Productions.
I spoke to Reagan on the phone today from the Seattle airport. Here are excerpts:
What are your thoughts on Gov. Sarah Palin?
I think she did a fine job with what she had to work with in the McCain campaign. The McCain campaign was a terribly run campaign and those on the inside and the outside absolutely knew it. And Sarah Palin surely did not hurt what John McCain was trying to do, in fact probably brought a lot of excitement to a campaign that was going nowhere.
Do you think she should go for president in 2012?
I have no idea, that’s 2012. I may run for president in 2012, who knows, that’s a long time away…the reality of it is, unless this party rebuilds itself they’re not going to win anything in 2010 or 2012. The circular firing squad that they’ve decided to put into place in shooting each other, they’re not going to win anything.
What do you think the Republican Party needs to do to rebuild itself?
It needs to get back to the basics, back to the grassroots of America, basically back to what the heartland of America is all about and have a constant steady message. If they make a promise to people to in fact lower taxes and not have big spending, then pay attention to that which you promised the people and don’t allow the Democrat party take those issues away from you….I can get mad at Barack Obama for the socialist activities he’s putting in place in Washington D.C. more and more every day, but my party had the White House, had the (U.S.) House and the (U.S.) Senate and absolutely blew it and handed in the keys.
What role do you think Sarah Palin might play in bringing the party back?
Sarah Palin’s going to play a role mainly because of the position she had in the last campaign. She excited a lot of women within the party, they were excited about the fact that a woman in the Republican Party was actually in the position that could have been vice president of the United States…If I had to say anything about the whole thing with Sarah Palin, is that the last thing she needs is to be in a fight with her daughter’s boyfriend on talk television and talk radio. I think that’s not good for her now or in the future. Sometimes you just need to shut up.
What kind of advice would you give her in terms of moving forward if she did want to pursue national office?
I think if somebody wants to assume national office in 2012 you’ve got to go out and build the party. You’ve got to go out there and help people get elected at the mayor level, at the supervisor level, at the council level, at the Congressional level. State, local and national level.
Could you give me a sense for what you’re hearing out there in conservative circles in terms of how much people are really looking specifically to Gov. Palin to help build the party?
I don’t think people right now are all specifically looking at governor Palin, they’re looking at Haley Barbour, they’re looking at Jindahl there’s a whole lot of people they are looking at. But I will tell you one thing, if they’re looking for Ronald Reagan, they’re not going to find it…If you’re going to try and measure people against my father, you’re going to lose every time . What we need is somebody who is going to emerge as a leader in this party who is going to have a voice and be able to carry it forward. Go back, remember the ideals and the values of Ronald Reagan and move it forward. But when you have everybody on the platform trying to explain to you that they’re more Ronald Reagan than the other guy, and you put Ronald Reagan on the same platform, all of them fail.