Schieffer on Palin: No Future in Politics

(AP Photo/Al Grillo)
Before Sarah Palin's highly-anticipated book, "Going Rogue," goes on sale this week, it has already generated controversy, skepticism and blowback.

In portions that have been leaked in advance, and in interviews Palin has given in advance of the book's debut Tuesday, the former Alaska governor criticized senior aides to her 2008 running mate John McCain, which prompted retaliation from McCain's campaign staff — some speaking on the record, some anonymously.

Of Palin's book, Steven Schmidt, McCain's chief strategist, told CBS News,

"This is Sarah Palin's turn to get even, as it were," said CBS News chief Washington correspondent and host of "Face the Nation" Bob Schieffer.

"She came under this intense criticism all during the campaign and now she's giving her version of why she didn't succeed as a candidate."

But Schieffer, speaking on "The Early Show" Monday, said he does not think her strategy will work. "It's kind of like a baseball player going into a slump and blaming the manager or blaming the bat boy or blaming the fans or something. You know, it makes for provocative reading, I think she'll sell a lot of books, but I don't think it's going to help re-establish her as a political candidate.

"My guess is she's not ever going to run for anything and I think if she did, I don't think she would get very far," he told "Early Show" anchor Harry Smith.

"Let's not overlook the fact that she had to leave the governor's office in Alaska because that was too much for her. You can imagine her going through a primary with an opponent? What would she say? 'When the going gets tough, I'm ready to quit?' That is not how one builds a political base.

"I think she's going to sell a lot of books. I think she'll be a great attraction as an amusement. She's interesting, she's a celebrity. But I can't imagine that she has much future in politics, I really don't."

Smith asked if her popularity among a certain segment of the Republican Party, including the "Tea Party set," might give her a base from which to build power as a GOP candidate.

"The Republican Party is very split right now," Schieffer replied. "You have that segment, mostly on the right, but you also have candidates like Mike Huckabee who ran the last time out who generally made a good impression [and] won the Iowa caucuses. She will not be the only person who comes at it from the right if she should decide to run.

"But I think the purpose here for Sarah Palin right now is to sell some books and to try to sell her side of the story."

Schieffer said one problem for Palin in building up her persona through her book is that many of the adversaries about whom she writes — campaign staffers — are unknown to the general public. "When you start taking on campaign aides, people don't know who these people are, you know? So she's fighting against people that most people don't know who they are.

"It will sell books, but I don't see it going beyond that."

Watch the interview below:


More Coverage of Sarah Palin's Book:

Palin Book Roils Former McCain Aides
Palin "Vindictiveness" in Her New Book?
Sarah Palin's Book: The Fact Check
Palin Publicity Blitz Full Speed Ahead

  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at CBSNews.com and cbssundaymorning.com.