Sarah Palin Fuels 2012 Talk at Long Island Luncheon

Former Alaska governor and Republican vice president candidate Sarah Palin speaks at the Long Island Association's annual meeting February 17, 2011 in Woodbury, New York.

Former Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin did nothing to tamp down speculation about her 2012 plans during a speech in Long Island on Thursday.

When asked who would make the ideal Republican challenger, she said she couldn't offer any names, before adding, “What I would look for is a mom, somebody who's administered locally, state, interstate with energy issues, so maybe a mayor, a governor, an oil commissioner, maybe somebody who's already run for something, vice president. I don't know!”

“It's going to be a blast to see who does offer themselves up,” Palin said.

She also said she recently hosted a congressman — whom she declined to name — at her cabin in Alaska, who made the trip to talk about 2012 strategy and who's likely to run.

She made her remarks at a fundraising luncheon for the Long Island Association, a business organization. In an unscripted hour-long conversation with the association's president, Palin talked about Egypt, her low poll numbers, the Tucson shooting and a possible government shutdown (“There are a lot of people saying, shut 'er down!”).

Facebook and Twitter are changing the rules for campaigning in 2012, she said. Nothing could replace shaking hands in Iowa diners, but she said, “People are desiring something a little bit rogue, a little bit unconventional.” 

“I certainly believe this is going to be an unconventional political cycle,” she said, and repeated again that there are many factors she still has to consider before making a decision. 

As for her recent hire of a chief of staff, she said that was because, “Todd's getting kind of tired of doing it all for me.”


Other speech highlights:


On the Debt Ceiling and Possible Government Shutdown 

I am so thankful for these strong congress men and women who are saying, No, we are not going to vote for that debt ceiling to be raised. To me, all that’s going to do is create this allowance for more big spenders to get in there and so, no debt ceiling, we’re going to keep spending…There are a lot of people who are saying, shut ‘er down, if that’s what it takes. Let it be for a week or two there – this message that will be sent to the politicians of are so tone deaf to what the people are saying. What the people of America are saying, enough is enough. No more status quo.  


On Inflation and the Price of Milk

It’s no wonder Michelle Obama’s telling everybody you better breastfeed your baby, and I’m looking around saying, yeah, you better, because the price of milk is so high….You know, do it for economic reasons!   


On Social Security

Certainly with Social Security, things have to change. A pension is a promise though. And those retirees who are now reliant upon what it was that they invested in the system over the years – I think of my dad as a retired school teacher – you don’t take that away from them, those who have already been made that promise. But for new enrollees, everything has to change. We can't not change the system. We're going to go bankrupt.


On the Obama Administration and Egypt

The American public does deserve to know, whose side are we on? America, are we supposed to be rooting for the protesters, or was this quasi, anyway, ally regime, did we want them to stay because we don’t know what’s going to happen in September…what added to the confusion, was knowing that President Obama, he worked then, through exerting constructive pressure, to oust an ally regime, but he did not do that for an enemy regime. A couple of years ago, remember, there in Iran…when people there, they too were protesting in the streets, dying in the streets, calling for a change in that evil regime. And we stayed silent. We stayed silent too long. That added to the confusion, and let us hope that the administration learned lessons through that.      


On Governor Andrew Cuomo

I’m encouraged to hear about your governor who seems to be very open to listening to the tradesmen on the front line, the private sector job creators, not just listening to union bosses who are insistent on more, more, more for their union members…I know that our brothers and sisters within the union, they’re not selfish people…but the union bosses are making a whole lot of these individual unions look bad, because too many of the union bosses are the selfish ones.


On the Tea Party

Here's the deal with Tea Party Americans. There are so many independent Americans, just with common sense, constitution-loving, principle, freedoming-loving principles that they want to apply. It’s not a partisan thing, that Tea Party movement. And believe me, I know it, because of my own family, which is quite diverse. We’re not just a bunch of hardcore conservative Republicans. Let me confess something to you. I can't even convince my own husband to register in the Republican Party. He is independent, because he doesn’t like the games that are played within a political machine. That is an indication of what my world is. Part of my world is that Tea Party movement. Full of independent Americans who just want common sense applied.    


On her Traveling Staff

Last night, I’m in my hotel room, and I have my entourage with me. That would be Bristol, and I’m asking Bristol, you’ve got to Google some stuff for me, you’ve got to look up some stats and some figures for me, because it seems like the last couple days, everything that needs to be said, about this very poor and short-sighted budget proposal of our president’s that’s been presented to the public, everything’s already been said. At least in my world, I certainly understand he’s on the wrong track.