Game-changer: Sarah Palin endorses Karen Handel in GOP race for governor

We have a game-changer in the Republican contest for governor.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin today endorsed former secretary of state Karen Handel and her “underdog” bid for the GOP nomination.

The Handel endorsement appeared on Palin’s Facebook page – the same manner in which she endorsed GOP candidate for governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma last month.

Palin’s endorsement of Nikki Haley in the Republican race for governor of South Carolina was deemed crucial to Haley’s surge last month.

While Bill Clinton’s endorsement of Thurbert Baker in the Democratic race for governor today was a sure thing — the attorney general had stuck with Hillary Clinton in the ‘08 presidential campaign — the Palin endorsement has been touch-and-go.

Karen Handel

Karen Handel

The popular former Alaskan governor was in town two weeks ago at a charity event. Handel’s rivals – former congressman Nathan Deal, state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine and former state senator Eric Johnson of Savannah – all are presumed to have made entreaties to forestall or intercept an endorsement of Handel.

Palin specifically cited Handel’s focus on ethics and her persona as a “reformer” – both topics of her first TV ad last week, slamming all three major rivals.

You know that the GOP establishment has been lined up against Oxendine – seen as a more vulnerable candidate in a race against Democrat Roy Barnes. The Ox himself has talked about it.

If it’s seen as a Republican signal to consolidate their anti-Ox efforts, Palin’s endorsement could change the rhythm of the GOP race for governor. A reaction posted on the Facebook page of one Oxendine staffer:

To paraphrase Herman Cain, “They think we are stupid.” That is why women from outside of Georgia are coming in trying to tell us who to vote for. Surprise, they are all telling us to vote for the woman!

Certainly it will make last-minute fund-raising for Handel easier. According to finance disclosures released last week, as of June 30 she had only $667,840 on hand for media buys – one, perhaps two rounds of TV ads.

Karen Handel will be going for a photo with Sarah Palin -- something like this. Associated Press.

Karen Handel will be going for a photo with Sarah Palin -- something like this. Associated Press.

The Facebook endorsement directs supporters nationwide to the contribution page on Handel’s web site.

But the key will be whether Palin will make the trip to Georgia for a side-by-side appearance with Handel within the next seven days. Certainly, that’s what Handel will be shooting for. Think about the impact of a joint appearance by both Palin and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who endorsed Handel earlier this month.

Following is the full endorsement posted by Palin:

I’m proud to lend my support to a great commonsense conservative woman running for Governor this year in the Peach State. My recent visit back to this beautiful area allowed me to meet more of the patriotic Americans who call Georgia home and who are ready for a reformer to help strengthen their families, businesses, state and, ultimately, our United States.

“Karen Handel is that reformer. Throughout her career in public office – from serving as Chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to Georgia’s Secretary of State – Karen has brought the common sense fiscal discipline and positive change in government that is needed now more than ever.

“Though considered an underdog candidate (more power to her!), this pro-life, pro-Constitutionalist with a can-do attitude and a record of fighting for ethics in government is ready to serve in the Governor’s Office. She’ll balance budgets and help spur Georgia’s economy. Her plan will contribute to America’s roadmap which can benefit all of us.”

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137 comments Add your comment

AH

July 12th, 2010
1:06 pm

So it looks like a Handel – Barnes race this November.

Jon

July 12th, 2010
1:08 pm

From one quitter to another…

Phil W

July 12th, 2010
1:08 pm

Maybe I should just wait, but I’ll go ahead an point out the type-o in the lead sentence: “former GOP vice presidential candidate Karen Handel.”

sjkl

July 12th, 2010
1:12 pm

So one person who has no real experience and has quit her only real position endorses someone who does the exact same thing. This was a political move by Palin to get Handel’s endorsement come 2012

AH

July 12th, 2010
1:13 pm

wow, sjkl your already giving the election to Handel.

brandon

July 12th, 2010
1:14 pm

more proof that palin isn’t as conservative as she leads you to believe. this will probably help handel.

I also feel that palin is prone to endorsing female candidates. Haley and now Handel.

Just a thought.

Bill Orvis White

July 12th, 2010
1:20 pm

While I admire the beautiful Miss Sarah, I respectfully disagree with this endorsement. I think the true quality candidate is the Honorable Mr. McBerry followed by Misters Johnson, Deal and Oxendine. Miss Karen is simply not qualified for this office. She would have been much better as a school teacher. I do know that Mrs. Handel has conservative values, but she doesn’t come close to the aforementioned candidates. Plus, I heard that she supports the Log Cabin folk, who in my book, should not be a part of any branch of the GOP.
Amen,
Bill

MAC

July 12th, 2010
1:28 pm

If Handel was a teacher, she could teach Bill Orvis White a thing or two.

McBerry?

Johnson wore cowboy boots with his suit for the Fox debate. Nice touch out west, out of touch for GA.

Deal has a cloud over him, Oxendine is clearly in bed with his donors.

Handel is the best tea party, non-establishment candidate with enough experience without the ethical baggage of the others.

JoeJoe

July 12th, 2010
1:29 pm

Just a thought for a campaign slogan for Roy Barnes.
If you were better off eight years ago than you are now, vote Barnes

Rick Patel

July 12th, 2010
1:34 pm

Sarah Palin was enchanting, spellbinding at the P.U.R.E. event at Gwinnett Arena. She didn’t talk Georgia politics then, so it is good to hear she has jumped into the Governor’s race. Best of luck to Karen Handel. Sarah’s endorsement is gold.

Jose

July 12th, 2010
1:37 pm

Hey sjkl, she has more experience then the moron in the White House now. Or are you impressed with his community organizer skills?

A

July 12th, 2010
1:42 pm

No one cares who Sarah Palin endorses, or at least no one should. She knows nothing about the state of Georgia. Her ‘national profile’ is based on aligning herself with only to supportive crowds. How could she learn anything about this state while sealed in a vacuum? Plus, she doesn’t read.
If she were a man she’d be Dan Quail.
Potatoe.

Churchill's MOM

July 12th, 2010
1:49 pm

Handel 2010 Palin-Mccain 2012

A

July 12th, 2010
1:49 pm

No one cares who Sarah Palin endorses, or at least no one should. She knows nothing about the state of Georgia. Her ‘national profile’ is based on aligning herself with racists and fools (I’m lookin at you, tea party). When she has visited this state she has spoken only to supportive crowds. How could she learn anything about Georgia while sealed in a vacuum? Plus she doesn’t read.
If she were a man she’d be Dan Quail.
Potatoe.

khc

July 12th, 2010
1:53 pm

that should be the kiss of death from a total airhead

Conservative Thinker

July 12th, 2010
1:53 pm

A-
And if she were a democrat she would be a Biden?

DJ Sniper

July 12th, 2010
1:54 pm

While I’m no fan of Sarah Palin, I welcome anything that will diminish Oxendine’s chances of becoming governor or even winning the GOP nomination. It does disappoint me that Handel continues to deny her association with the Log Cabin Republicans. It appears that conservatives in this state are still backwards and they probably feel that Handel isn’t one of them if she supports gays in any way.

Rational Citizen

July 12th, 2010
1:55 pm

Of course she would. Aren’t both these women the proud owners of GED’s? Sarah Palin is the poster-child for the belief that mediocrity is what makes this country great. She espouses a belief that our problems should be fixed, not by those most qualified, but by those with “common-sense” values. Whatever that’s supposed to mean. Palin has yet to face any real questions since she single-handedly torpedoed the candidacy of John McCain. This woman contributes nothing to society, and we are all dumber for having heard anything that comes out of her mouth.

Aquagirl

July 12th, 2010
1:56 pm

Bill, candidates who may be light on gay-bashing are not qualified, while those who have questionable relationships with minors get a pass? Great logic there.

On the other hand, if McBerry was in the Governors mansion, at least we’d know where he was at all times. It would be a service to parents of young girls.

WaterGal

July 12th, 2010
1:56 pm

Mr. White, Karen Handel isn’t even qualified to teach at a private school in Georgia with no college degree and only a GED. I hate that she had a rough home life, but I think our Governor needs stronger preparation than just the school of hard knocks and political perks.

T Knight

July 12th, 2010
1:59 pm

Sarah Palin is a fabulous endorsement. Karen Handel will be a wonderful governor.

A

July 12th, 2010
2:01 pm

If she was a Democrat she’d be a “Redeemer”. Look it up.

Tuff

July 12th, 2010
2:02 pm

WaterGal…… doesn’t the good book have something in it about lying? Do you kiss yo mama with same mouth you lie with? Shame on you!

qwerty

July 12th, 2010
2:04 pm

Stupid is as stupid does. An endorsement from a gubernatorial drop out to a community college drop out is irony of the highest form.

Aquagirl

July 12th, 2010
2:07 pm

Now, now Tuff—WaterGal (no relation to me) might just be a stupid parrot repeating that GED crap. Give her a break. She could also believe Bill Gates will pay her $245 to forward an e-mail. There really are people who are that gullible.

A

July 12th, 2010
2:09 pm

No one who has a GED as the sole source of their education should be allowed anywhere near a state budget. That’s higher math, y’all. And as I recall the good book also has a lot to say about hatred. I see nothing but hate steaming off the sweaty foreheads of tea baggers.

Metro Coach

July 12th, 2010
2:11 pm

WaterGal- yeah, because all the academics in the current administration, with their Ivy League degrees, are doing such a wonderful job right now.

Rational Citizen- Palin was the only reason McCain got as close as he did, even moderate republicans were queasy about voting for him. Common sense is sorely lacking in all facets of government today, a little less “academic pedigree” would be an improvement over the current situation. We’re all a little less intelligent after reading your comments, thanks for that.

Red

July 12th, 2010
2:12 pm

Handel? Please. She needs to do what women are supposed to do…..cook, clean, and have babies.

Besides, she talks the them homersexuals like they was real people and stuff. What’s she thinking?

Amen.

Reginald

July 12th, 2010
2:12 pm

An airhead endorsing and empty mind!!! Keep that moose in Alaska and send that goose to Mississippi! If Georgians fall for this, shame on this backward moving state!!!!!!!

Metro Coach

July 12th, 2010
2:14 pm

A- yeah, all that adding and subtracting is really tough. Its apparently killing the small minds of the folks running the federal gov’t, they think they can keep spending money that’s not there, as if negative numbers didn’t really exist.

A

July 12th, 2010
2:17 pm

Having common sense does not preclude education. It’s nice to have both. Anti intellectualism is why we had George Bush in the presidency for 8 years. That was fun, two wars and bankruptcy. Right before Bush was elected someone said to me ‘I’m not sure we NEED a smart president.” I nearly spilled my beverage. Yeah, what we need in government is a whole lot more stupid people. Who know how to come out of the rain but have no idea how complicated governing really is.

RHA 212

July 12th, 2010
2:18 pm

Guess this is more of the “Old Girls Network” lending a hand. Karen Handel is not qualified to be Georgia’s governor or a school teacher. Her lack of a college degree keeps her out of the teaching profession. The endorsement of a particular politician should not be the basis for choosing who you vote for in the upcoming election. Karen Handel is nothing more than the failed policies of the last seven years. For all their rhetoric about conservative values, this crowd wouldn’t know a conservative if one fell out of a tree on top of them.

Cmill

July 12th, 2010
2:19 pm

I am just having trouble supporting/ voting for a candidate without a college degree.

Also, the Sarah Palin endorsement is a turn-off to me. She has no clue, and hopefully will not be the GOP nominee in 2012.

Did anyone watch the debate yesterday? Handel was in over her head, seemed short of breath and her face was glistening with sweat. Many of her answers didn’t even make sense.

Why did Isakson not run? We need him!

Real Deal- Real Steal

July 12th, 2010
2:19 pm

The paid Deal Bloggers are not too happy with this news.

A

July 12th, 2010
2:19 pm

Oh, and Coach, Bush is the one who spent our economy into the ground. Obama is trying to clean up the mess. I’ll make you a time-line. Maybe that will help.

Tom Watson

July 12th, 2010
2:21 pm

It is time for the idiots among the GOP to get over their lunacy. Do we want to win in November or not. If so, we cannot go with ethically challenged Deal, Oxendine, or Johnson. And we cannot go with teenage girl dating McBerry. Only Handel has a chance to beat Barnes. Get over the nonsense and get on board with Karen Handel now. There is too much at stake for any other choice!

Cmill

July 12th, 2010
2:22 pm

Paid Deal bloggers? There is nothing on this comment list about deal other than mentions of his ethics investigations.

If they’re paid to do that, they need to be re-trained. hahahaha

Dick in Gainesville

July 12th, 2010
2:22 pm

A

July 12th, 2010
2:09 pm

Better a GED than a PHD in Corruption like The Ox, Deal & Johnson. By the way Obama has a high Dollar education how much good has that done YOU.

KerriKay

July 12th, 2010
2:27 pm

Handel DID graduate high school—she was in my brother’s class, a year ahead of me. I was at the graduation and she definitely received a diploma. She also took college classes for a couple years but never got her degree.
Palin likewise graduated high school and has a college degree.
George W. Bush has an undergraduate degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard. That did us a lot of good, eh?

Mark

July 12th, 2010
2:29 pm

Dick, didn’t the Bush go to Harvard? Ivy league commies.

AH

July 12th, 2010
2:34 pm

I’d love to see a time line on spending this country into the ground. Try to be objective when you do it.

oh well

July 12th, 2010
2:35 pm

oh well – just LOST my vote!

Metro Coach

July 12th, 2010
2:37 pm

A- George Bush graduated from Yale, so by the liberal line of thinking that makes him a genius, same as BO. Secondly, George Bush overspent, but Obama has already spent double what Bush did in 2 years to Bush’s 8. I’ll draw you little pictures if it helps. Contrary to what our Vice President Joe “Foot in the Mouth” Biden said, you can’t spend your way out of debt. Do liberals have any other arguments besides “Bush did it”?

SRS

July 12th, 2010
2:38 pm

I was voting for Handel until Palin endorsed her. I despise Palin!

Dick in Gainesville

July 12th, 2010
2:38 pm

Mark , I think he did but my problem is with Obama and my local Commie Deal, he always has been a crook and is the main reason Hall county is over run with ILLEGALS.

adam

July 12th, 2010
2:45 pm

Did Handel graduate high school? No. DOES ANYONE REALLY WANNA VOTE FOR SOMEONE TO LEAD THIS STATE HAVING ONLY A MIDDLE SCHOOL EDUCATION. OMFG !!!!!

adam

July 12th, 2010
2:46 pm

SRS YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD.

adam

July 12th, 2010
2:48 pm

KERRIKAY, WENT TO COLLEGE AND GRADUCATING ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS !!! AND FOR THE NINKOMPOOP FROM ALASKA, SHE WENT TO FOUR CRAPPY COLLEGES AND “GRADUATED” WITH A DEGREE IN SPORTS BROADCASTING. BOTTOM LINE……………………………..SHE KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT LAW. CAN YOU IMAGINE CHUCK DOODLE AS A GOVERNOR? NO ! I REST MY CASE.

Tired of BS

July 12th, 2010
2:51 pm

Adam…. I hope your mother keeps her bar of soap handy.

gm

July 12th, 2010
2:53 pm

When will this women ever get a Job? Oh I forgot she had one for less then 2 years. Tea party people, and Bubbas who support this lady cant be to bright.