Steele: 2012 "off the table" for Palin

The RNC head thinks he knows the governor's next move, but admits he hasn't talked to her

By Alex Koppelman
Published July 7, 2009 4:25PM (EDT)

There are few, if any, people who actually know whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is planning to run for president in 2012. But Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has never worried too much about whether he actually knows what he's talking about, and so he felt free to comment to Fox News about Palin's plans.

"Not having talked to the governor, I take 2012 off the table right now simply because given everything she's going through personally, dealing with the financial mess that all these ludicrous investigations have put her and Todd in, at the moment, I think she's trying to focus on getting her house in order, her personal house in order," Steele said. "I look forward to welcoming her out and helping us in our campaigns this fall if and when shes ready to do that. Sarah Palin will be the ultimate arbiter of when she will engage and how she will engage."

This actually seems to be more of a reflection on Steele and his power within the GOP than anything else. Palin reportedly called former Vice President Dick Cheney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in recent weeks. But she still hasn't spoken to the titular head of her party, who's completely in the dark about her plans.

Update: Gail Gitcho, a spokeswoman for Steele, e-mailed Ben Smith to offer the inevitable clarification: "Steele was saying this morning that TALKING about 2012 is off the table -- because she has make it clear that resigning was a personal decision and has little to do with future aspirations. Palin has said that everything is on the table. Steele takes no issue with that."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Michael Steele Sarah Palin War Room