Former Alaska governor and Going Rogue author Sarah Palin talked to NRO this afternoon in a wide-ranging and frank interview.
She thinks President Obama’s bow to the emperor of Japan reflects an attitude that America should be “subservient to other countries”; characterizes Newt Gingrich’s thinking on NY-23 as reflective of a “political machine”; thinks that South Carolina voters should consider sending Sen. Lindsey Graham a message by supporting a conservative primary challenger; calls the media’s treatment of Carrie Prejean “unfair”; and says she would give John McCain “the benefit of the doubt” in their dispute over whether she was charged with fees for her vetting. And oh, yeah — her anonymous critics don’t have “guts,” and she’s not a David Brooks fan.
“That was a mistake,” Palin says of the Obama bow. “It was symbolic of, perhaps, our country being led to believe that we are subservient to other countries.” She says she would “like to see us head more in the direction of Ronald Reagan’s thinking — knowing that we are a very, very blessed nation and a superpower.” She adds, “We can get there through a position of strength and not believing that we have to kowtow or bow to anybody.” Asked if she would have bowed, she replies, “No, sir.”
Palin famously intervened in the NY-23 congressional race, endorsing Doug Hoffman. Newt Gingrich went the other way. Gingrich’s take on the race “was reflective of the way that some within either political machine, Democrat or Republican, operate,” Palin maintains. “There is, however, a desire for change in our country to move away from that kind of machinery within a party.”
She continues, “A lot of Americans are moving toward more independent but commonsense conservatism. We’re not necessarily going to just go along to get along with what the party machine says is best for our districts. That was made evident by how well Doug Hoffman did. I consider it a huge success of his — coming out of virtually nowhere, underfunded, and then impacting that race. You’re going to see a whole lot of that across the country.”
How about in South Carolina, where McCain buddy Lindsey Graham has angered conservatives with his various apostasies? “What I love about the Republican party is how we invite — or at least we should be inviting — healthy competition in our primaries,” says Palin. “It makes every candidate more candid, more truthful, and really wear their positions and their values on their sleeve.”
“As for Lindsey, individually, I really like him,” she says. “His constituents may want to send him a message to say ‘shore it up’ and come back to some more commonsense, conservative ideals.”
She suggests, meanwhile, that there might be encouraging news coming Marco Rubio’s way. She says she’s had a chance to look at the Crist-Rubio race “just on the surface.” But she adds, “I’m just being asked about it really in the last week or two, so I’ll dig more into it. I’ll find out what the guys are holding in terms of positions and see where maybe I can help.”