News24

Palin comes out swinging

2010-01-13 10:20

New York - Republican former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin came out swinging - and swearing - in her debut as a commentator for Fox News television on Tuesday.

The conservative former Alaskan governor and potential 2012 White House candidate played up her tough, homespun image in an interview with her new colleague, Fox's Bill O'Reilly.

Showing that wounds from her failed 2008 White House bid alongside presidential candidate John McCain remain fresh, she angrily defended her performance during the campaign.

She said reports that she had been poorly prepared and was unable, for example, to tell the difference between South and North Korea was a "bunch of BS from Schmidt and some of those".

Steve Schmidt was a top McCain adviser during the campaign and has since been scathingly critical of Palin.

And renewing her war against much of the US media, she accused "political establishment reporters" of trying to "gin up controversy and spin up gossip. The rest of America doesn't care about that kind of crap".

In a taste of the political analysis she will bring to Fox, Palin told viewers of "The O'Reilly Factor" that President Barack Obama's declining poll numbers would only get worse.

"Of course they're sinking. It was just a matter of time before more of that reflection of the people's uncomfortableness that they feel towards this administration is manifesting in these poll numbers," she said.

"There is an obvious disconnect between President Obama and the White House, what they are doing to our economy and what they are doing in terms of not allowing Americans to feel as safe as we had felt."

Palin struck her deal with Fox on Monday to serve as a political commentator and part-time host, the television channel said.

Palin, 45, "will provide political commentary and analysis" for Fox News's political and business news programmes and will host "periodic episodes of FNC's 'Real American Stories,' a series exploring inspirational real-life tales," a company statement said.

The series is to debut later this year.

Palin joins a stable of conservative pundits at the channel, which has often been fiercely critical of Obama's presidency.

A mother of five, Palin is seen as a possible Republican candidate at the end of Democrat Obama's first term.

Her memoir, Going Rogue, shot to the top of the US bestseller list in its first week after publication in November and remains a top New York Times bestseller.

A polarising figure who generates a media frenzy with her every interview, Palin enjoys fervent support among Republican activists.