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Steve Schmidt: Palin "Catastrophic" for 2012, Good for 2008

(AP/Harper)
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin may be the wrong pick for Republicans in the 2012 presidential race, but she was a strong vice presidential candidate in 2008, according to a top presidential campaign adviser for Sen. John McCain.

Steve Schmidt, who served as McCain's chief strategist in the 2008 election, said Wednesday that putting Palin on the ticket energized the Republican party, according to the Associated Press.

"There was huge excitement that transformed the race," Schmidt reportedly said in a talk delivered at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service. "I believe to this day that had she not been picked as a vice presidential candidate, we would have never been ahead, not for one second, not for one minute, not for one hour, not for one day."

Earlier this month, Schmidt called Palin a "catastrophic" choice for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. He was asked if he stood by those remarks.

"I said what I said on the 2012 (race). … I said what I said today," Schmidt replied, according to Arkansas News.

Still, he said Palin remains a formidable force within the party and has "great talents" for politics.

Though she is no longer in office, Palin has stayed on the political radar with her political-action committee, SarahPAC. She will be releasing a memoir, "Going Rogue," next month.

Around the time of her book release, Palin plans to start a new political organization, the Wall Street Journal Reports.