"She's a fine person, with unique and unteachable political skills," said Mark Salter, a senior adviser to Sen. John McCain's (Ariz.) presidential bid who was deeply involved with the Palin pick. "I'm sure she has a future if she wants one."Also speaking up to defend the governor was Jason Recher, who served as senior adviser and trip director for Palin during the general election. Recher told the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza that in the two and a half months he spent traveling with Palin, he:
"grew to like and respect her even more as did many of the folks on the plane." Reche added that the people attacking Palin should "stand up and prove them on the record or move on with their lives like Sarah Palin has.Like Recher, former McCain national finance committee chair Fred Malek has been consistently supportive of Sarah Palin:
"She has been vastly underestimated as a result of one or two interviews," said Malek of Palin. "I have spent a lot of time around her and can state unequivocally she is smart, perceptive, curious, and absolutely on top of issues like energy which are pivotal to her role as Alaska's Governor."Malek recently hosted a foreign policy lunch to allow Gov. Palin to bet better acquainted with Beltway establishment Republicans such as former secretary of defense Frank Carlucci and former deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbott.
The ultimate GOP insider is Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, who made the round of morning television talk shows to reiterate his support for the party's 2008 VP candidate:
"Sarah Palin will be a leader in this party," said Steele during an appearance Wednesday on "Morning Joe." "She has the ability to galvanize the base, and even folks outside the base. "And I think all the hindsight second guessing and back looking does nothing."Steele was also lavish with his praise for the governor when he introduced her at an Indiana pro-life event in April:
"And so on that Saturday when she was announced as the vice presidential nominee for the Republican Party, I was one proud Republican. I was one very happy Republican."By saying that he was hoping Sarah Palin would be McCain's choice after the short list for vice presidential nominee had been reduced to just two names, Steele seemed to indicate his preference for her over Minnestota Governor Tim Pawlenty, whose name was also on the list.
"And like so many in this room, I watched this party light up. I watched activists — Democrat, Republican and independent — tune in and pay attention and listen. And I watched her take the world stage by storm."
"She’s just begun to write the chapters for this country and its history book and its future."
The Democrats and their media mouthpieces appear to have overreached with their non-stop bashing of governor Sarah Palin, and now she is increasingly being seen as a sympathetic figure among what Cillizza calls "the GOP operative class."