Palin Taking a Page From Reagan Playbook

(AP Photo/Al Grillo)
Fox News announced on Monday that former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin will be joining the network as a commentator.

In Palin's multi-year deal with the network she will appear as a contributor and host an occasional series.

Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez said Palin appears to be using Fox as a platform for launching a future political campaign.

"I think she's taken a page out of the Ronald Reagan playbook," Sanchez said on CBS' "The Early Show" this morning. "It's something he did in 1976 to 1980. He had a radio show. She'll have tremendous support, a lot of primary Republican voters watch Fox News. And she's going to be able to hopefully put together some cogent ideas on domestic policy issues, foreign policy. It's a between platform and could lead her down the road to 2012."

Democratic strategist Dee Dee Myers agreed, saying Palin is "keeping her options open.

"I don't think this means she's in or out of the race, but it keeps her in front of the public, particularly a Republican base that already loves her, gives her a chance to stay visible."

The two also discussed the drop in President Barack Obama's approval ratings. A CBS News poll released Monday said that Mr. Obama's job approval rating has fallen to 46 percent, his lowest mark yet in CBS News polling, with domestic issues (the economy, health care) pulling the numbers down, notably among Independents.

Myers said the drop is obviously unsettling to the White House. "I think what the president needs to do is finish health care and move on to a greater focus on the economy," she told "Early Show" anchor Harry Smith". "It's very hard for any president to stay popular when the unemployment is at 10%. This is no longer seen as President Bush's economy. It's now President Obama's economy. And he needs to focus on jobs, jobs, jobs."

When asked if Republicans are "salivating" at the drop in Mr. Obama's approval rating a year after taking office, Sanchez said, "Let's be fair about this: Republicans, like all Americans, are concerned about getting this economy back on track. Voters gave the president the benefit of the doubt in putting forward economic policies that would get the economy moving. He's proven that those were poor choices. You're seeing poor support with health care reform and increased spending. It's very alarming and people are showing it in the polls.

"But overall, I think the sentiment is frustration with Washington, and let's move forward with policies that spark the economy." (Watch the video at left)

There was also disagreement between the two about the future of Harry Reid, after his comments as quoted in the book "Game Change." Yesterday in an interview for TV One President Obama reiterated his support of the Senate Majority Leader. "For him to have used some inartful language in trying to praise me, and for people to try to make hay out of that, makes absolutely no sense," the president said.

Despite the back Reid has from the president and other Democrats, which would appear to help the Nevada Senator keep his leadership position, Sanchez did not think the matter is over and done with: "Not at all. It's just the beginning," she said. "It's actually compounding. You look at [Reid]'s declining poll numbers in his state, declining support for health care reform, and overall his ineffectiveness in leadership. Yes, they're moving forward with health care reform, but overall, it's dismantling in terms of the public support of these efforts."

Myers, however, was dismissive of the flap over Reid.

"Yeah, it's pretty much over, and it should be: Senator Reid has apologized," she said.

"I think it's important even in Washington to sometimes apply context here. African American leaders across the country have been largely supportive, including most importantly the president. His approval rating from the NAACP over many years is 100%. He's somebody who has been on the right side of the major issues of concern in the civil rights movement. He's not going anywhere.

"He is in a tough re-election at home, though, unrelated to these comments," Myers said. "But he has been an effective leader. He's gotten health care further than any Senate Majority Leader in 50 years."

  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at and