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Onetime booster Bill Kristol sours on Sarah Palin

Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, who has been one of Sarah Palin's most prominent boosters, said this week that he feels Palin is "unlikely to be the Republican nominee, and to be honest I think she probably shouldn't be the Republican nominee for president."

Kristol made the comments at a Vanderbilt University panel Monday moderated by Politico's Ben Smith, who reports that Kristol said that while he still believes Palin "has a very shrewd judgment about politics and policy and very good instincts," she has not educated herself sufficiently since emerging onto the national stage. (The hour-long panel, which includes Arianna Huffington, can be seen at left.)

"When she quit as governor of Alaska, that was a questionable move from her point of view, but I thought at least then that she would come to the mainland and really participate in the national debate," he added, as Smith reports. "Instead, [it] turns out that she loves Alaska, which is to her credit -- but then I don't know why she quit as governor."

Kristol publicly predicted that John McCain would tap the then-largely-unknown Palin as his running mate in June 2008; he reportedly pushed the McCain campaign to select her after being dazzled by Palin during a 2007 lunch in Alaska. Kristol said in November 2008 that Palin "reminds me a lot of FDR."  

Former U.S. vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin visits Israel to meet Prime Sarah Palin visits the Western Wall, one of Judaism's holiest sites, in Jerusalem's Old City on March 20, 2011. Iliya Yefimovich/Getty Image

But he has since soured on Palin, telling MSNBC in February that she hasn't taken advantage of her opportunities.

"I have a high regard for Sarah Palin, but I will say I've been disappointed since she resigned as governor," he said. "I thought she had a real chance to take the lead on a few policy issues, do a little more in terms of framing the policy agenda. I don't think she's done that. But she's a shrewd woman and I wouldn't underestimate her."

Kristol's most recent comments come as polls suggest that the polarizing former Alaska governor, who was once thought to be a strong contender for the Republican presidential nomination should she enter the race (she says she's considering it), is becoming less popular even among Republicans. A Washington Post-ABC News poll earlier this month found that Palin's favorability rating among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents had fallen from 88 percent in 2008 to 58 percent today. Thirty-seven percent hold an unfavorable view of her.

Another poll out this month, meanwhile, found that independents would vote for troubled actor Charlie Sheen over Palin.

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