In a recent article written in the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper, Fergus Cullen, a longtime state GOP politico and former NH Republican Party Chairman made his case against Kelly Ayotte’s would-be VP run by hitting at Sarah Palin.
“Fergus Cullen, who was chairman of the state Republican Party in 2008, when Sarah Palin teamed up with McCain, said he is a fan of Ayotte’s but he considers her experience to be limited.
“I think she’s off to a great start in the U.S. Senate, but the fact is she’s only been in public life in a political capacity for three years when she left the Attorney General’s Office and became a candidate,” he said.
He contends “the GOP simply is not going to repeat the error of 2008, which is nominating somebody with such limited experience for vice president, and I say that as a fan of Kelly Ayotte.”
Cullen said the vice president has to be “ready to assume the presidency on Day 2, and Sarah Palin failed that test. So, unfortunately, Kelly Ayotte labors under the shadow of Sara Palin’s nomination four years ago.”
This isn’t the first time Mr. Cullen has attempted to marginalize the Governor’s potential. In 2008 after the presidential election, he predicted her star would eventually fade according to MSNBC:
“There continues to be a great deal of interest in her,” said New Hampshire GOP Chairman Fergus Cullen, but “interest has a shelf life.”
Considering what wound up happening with Palin’s “shelf life” over the next 3.5 years, I’m not sure why any aspiring Republican candidate would turn to Fergus Cullen for advice — that is unless they wish to suffer the same fate McCain did under the guidance of Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace — the only expired “shelf life” I can think of.
Further, while Mr. Cullen is so quick to refer to Palin as the “error of 2008,” I would be remiss if I didn’t remind our current Republican candidate to start directing his staff to focus on the true “error of 2008,” Barack Obama. (That one’s on me, Mitt!)
Considering Fergus Cullen’s obvious inability to unite the base and keep his eye on the ball (firing Obama!), he might want to look in the mirror and inquire about the “shelf life” of his own career.
I’m not sure what Fergus has been up to since 2008. But I can report that Palin went on to endorse and campaign for countless candidates and led us to a victory of historic proportion in 2010 (including her endorsement of Kelly Ayotte). I can report to Mr. Cullen that Sarah Palin had actually closed in on Barack Obama by five points (the same margin Romney continues to trail him by in many states) and that she actually led Obama among independents according to a poll conducted two weeks prior to her announcement of her non-candidacy.
Further, I can report that Palin has endorsed more than a few congressional candidates in the current-year races. So far, all of the elections she’s had a voice in continue to demonstrate her influence as she eventually helped carry 100% of them to victory in their primaries.
Who has Fergus Cullen endorsed? Or better yet, who would care?
In 2008, after the Schmidt blunder of suspending McCain’s campaign after a massive DOW plunge and financial crisis, Palin (the Republican Party’s first female VP candidate) continued packing in her rallies and eventually went on to continue carrying the momentum of McCain’s campaign. She brought in 60M votes, about 46% of the popular vote. Contrast that to Geraldine Ferraro (the Democrat Party’s first female VP candidate) in 1984 whose ticket won only 38M votes, about 40% of the popular vote.
How many Democrat politicos spent 1985-1989 begging their party to avoid the “error of 1984?” Why didn’t the party’s politicos and press raid Ferraro’s offices to read previous memos (e-mails weren’t around in those days) she had written to former staff members?
As insane as the policies among the left are, at least the party’s inside-professionals aren’t so inept that they’d engage in the type of self-party degradation people like Karl Rove and Fergus Cullen insist on promoting.
As a political strategy, it simply does not make sense. But it would explain insecure politicos and their accompanying frustration of having to watch a great candidate electrify the GOP’s base of grassroots supporters and then become a powerful commentator whose endorsement is highly sought after. Could it be that their own importance within the party is diminishing?
As irrelevant as Cullen’s opinion may be at face value, this is the type of individual who sits behind those closed doors — the same doors people like Gov. Palin fight so hard to open up for the public. This is the type of “unifying” attitude that secretly lurks. It’s why we all have to continue getting involved and identifying their existence. Who’s the GOP party’s Chairman in your state? Are they public servants or do they own a business in politics?
More proof that “our work continues.” We must identify this type of damage to the Republican Party, vet it, and clarify the rhetoric.
Thankfully, the truth lives forever. And the truth is, Governor Palin’s list of accomplishments create a mighty tall order for any prospective running mate to fill.
And as that truth continues to live on, we’ll see who’s influence has a “shelf life.”