The power of a Facebook post by Sarah Palin

From somewhere in cyberspace on Monday, perhaps over lunch at her desk, Sarah Palin typed a few words in praise of Karen Handel and hit the “share” button on her Facebook page.


Sarah Palin, left, speaks at a June event in Duluth; and Republican candidate for governor Karen Handel. Associated Press.

Within hours, the GOP’s polite race for governor of Georgia cracked wide open.

Republicans are free to dispute the former Alaskan governor’s judgment when it comes to choosing a favorite in Tuesday’s primary.

But they cannot question the political phenomenon that Palin has become in the otherwise dead air of a sultry primary season — especially in Republican races for governor.

Nikki Haley of South Carolina in May. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma and Terry Branstad of Iowa in June. And then Palin singled out Handel — “this good conservative reformer.”

Last week, Handel’s three main rivals — state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, former congressman Nathan Deal, and former state senator Eric Johnson — could ignore her attempts to become known as a champion of ethics, at their expense.

But within six hours of Palin’s endorsement, state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine climbed down from his front-runner pedestal and leveled a TV ad at Handel that dubbed her a big spender, a funder of Planned Parenthood and a friend to gay couples.

With bad hair.

Former congressman Nathan Deal also spent precious cash on a TV blistering of Handel. He, too, attempted to raise doubts about Handel’s policies toward same-sex couples.

And Handel, through spokesman Dan McLagan, felt free to respond with more muscle than ever.

“John Oxendine is the most corrupt politician in Georgia’s history and is far more likely to serve a term in prison than he is to serve as governor,” McLagan said, using scorched-earth political language seldom heard outside of Louisiana.

All because of Sarah Palin’s Facebook post.

For months, every major Republican candidate for governor in Georgia had pursued Palin’s blessing. And some, when the Queen of the Tea Party’s preference for female, reform-messaged candidates became apparent, tried to forestall it.

In Georgia, if you want to send a message to Palin, there are two obvious portals.

Nick Ayers is executive director of the Republican Governors Association. The former aide to Gov. Sonny Perdue was also Handel’s campaign manager in her successful 2003 bid for Fulton County Commission chairman.

When Palin — fresh from her stint as the GOP vice presidential nominee — was brought in to rescue U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss during his 2008 runoff, Ayers squired her about.

There’s also Randy Evans, former general counsel to the state GOP and a member of the state elections board. Evans, a partner at McKenna Long & Aldridge law firm, is a man of many points of view.

He represents Palin. And Newt Gingrich. And Nathan Deal. And Nathan Deal’s campaign for governor.

But Evans was forthright when it came to characterizing the impact of Palin’s entry into the governor’s race: More than significant when it comes via Facebook, but huge if she comes to Georgia in person — as she did for Haley in South Carolina.

Of the four major GOP candidates in the race, Handel has been the weakest fund-raiser. In metro Atlanta, Oxendine’s TV presence has been nine times that of Handel’s.

A single rally with Palin — perhaps with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in tow — would change that. So far, the Handel campaign has sent no signal that this might happen before Tuesday.

“There have been some real questions raised whether or not [Handel’s] voting record matches the more conservative part of the party,” Evans said — slipping on his Deal hat. “I think voters will sort all that out.”

But the lawyer quickly shifted back to the topic of Palin and the current political climate. One year ago, the country — at least its reddish portion — was seething with anger over health care.

The anger has spent itself, town halls are empty, and the lethargy of July has set in, Evans said. “We’re looking at horrible voter turnout,” he said. “If we crack 20 [percent], I’ll be happy.”

This is where Palin comes in. “Given how low the turnout is supposed to be, the tea party impact within the Republican party could be dramatic. In that regard, if [Palin] is able to deliver those votes, yeah, it’ll be a big impact,” Evans said.

Over the last year, Handel has been the pick of many in the Republican establishment as a successor to Perdue. “I think this is an anti-establishment primary,” said Evans. “[Palin] is the signal to non-establishment Republicans that it’s okay to be for her, too

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

73 comments Add your comment

Legend of Len Barker

July 14th, 2010
6:36 pm

I’m enjoying this immensely. Watching the Republicans eat each other alive and battling to come up with the best in sketchy backers. Who’s got Dick Cheney as his main man?

With Palin, it’s strange that she backs Handel because aside from gender and an apparent love of guns (and quitting your job), Handel’s not nearly as extreme as Palin in viewpoint. Palin’s support is also kinda’ sudden. In the financial report released earlier this week, she hadn’t donated a dime to any Georgia candidates in any race.

Nevertheless, I’ve busted out the popcorn for the onslaught of ads. I saw Oxendine’s yesterday and Deal’s today. Now, we just need for the men to attack each other as well. No, I’M more conservative than you!

No To Karen Handel

July 14th, 2010
7:03 pm

Sarah Palin doesn’t even write her facebook notes. Her assistant Rebecca Mansour does.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

July 14th, 2010
7:10 pm

Right, the inbred whitetrash shill for Big Oil in Alaska is the “anti-Establishment” “signal.”

No wonder papist Sean Hannity and plutocrat draft-dodger Steve Forbes are behind the “tea party.”


July 14th, 2010
7:29 pm

No other potential 2012 candidate has anywhere near the power Palin has. Whether it’s a Facebook posting, or a video, or even just a comment on air, it generates attention. If Palin decides to run in 2012, anyone else entering the race will have a hard time gaining any traction. When Palin made a campaign stop for Michelle Bachmann of MN in April she drew 11,000 people, an unheard of crowd for a congressperson months before an election, or even during the election. Afterwards, she hosted an hour long fundraising event which raised $500,000+. Bachmann is now 11 points ahead of the democrat challenging her.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

July 14th, 2010
7:54 pm

Well, by definition the average I.Q. is 100. Palin’s got her niche.


July 14th, 2010
8:52 pm

Jan Brewer signed a law searching out the illegals even though crime in Arizona has dropped and illegal immigration is at a low and deportation at a high. She did not fund the bill. The bill was simply to make a political statement. Is that what we expect from Handel? Sign bills but don’t fund them so they are ineffective. Be afraid, be very afraid but be afraid of political hogwash.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

July 14th, 2010
9:28 pm

Any effort to thwart the Roman Anti-Christ’s invasion for conquest of Our Nation, openly published for all to read, as “The National Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry,” is a good one.

G-d willing DuBose and Carol Porter will also agree that the border must be sealed and Rome’s enunciated treasonous stratagem addressed by the People’s justice: full expropriation of the Roman Anti-Christ’s fascist plutocracy.

Without the “Fifth Column’s” treason and Rome agents removed from our shores, those wishing to become legitimate credal Americans can then be heard.

David Farrar

July 14th, 2010
9:38 pm

First McCain and now Handel. It is becoming harder and harder to think of Sarah Palin as a real grassroot leader. It seems to me she is more interested in earning her Republican Party establishment street creds in these winner-take-all primaries than her Tea Party creds.

ex animo

T Knight

July 14th, 2010
9:59 pm

Oh for the love of all that is sacred….. will someone please go and get Len and David….. they’re playing in the democrat dog poop pile again….

Rafe Hollister

July 14th, 2010
10:02 pm

I love the argument you liberals always come back with, which is if you are a conservative you are unintelligent. You smeared W with that although he had a higher SAT and grades than John Kerry. You frown on Palin because she didn’t attend an Ivy League school and had little foreign policy experience. Reagan was just an actor with no original thoughts, according to the intelligencia.

How you guys can make that arguement when all the statistics show that the Dems are the party of the uneducated masses. Sure you run out the brainiacs like Carter and Clinton, but neither accomplished much of anything. Clinton enjoyed spending the “peace dividend” while we cut our defensive readiness. Carter thought us to wear a sweater when we are cold. Obama is perceived to be smart, because his friends in the MSM say he is. We have no educational records to examine to determine how smart he is. He speaks well when reading off his teleprompter. Sarah rules as at least she can draw a crowd because people perceive her to actually believe what she is saying, which comes from her heart not a teleprompter.

She should redo her favorite line, to read, “I can see Social Justice from Obama’s forehead”.


July 14th, 2010
10:22 pm

Palin the half termer.


July 14th, 2010
10:25 pm

Rafe…come on now, repeat after them…….Palin is a Moron, Palin…… If they repeat it every day at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks, it makes them feel really superior.


July 14th, 2010
10:27 pm

Say JL. I’ve heard a lot of hogwash in my time but you sir/mam take the cake. You obviously don’t live in Arizona, but I do. Crime is not down. In fact we are #2 in the world mister for kidnappings. Yes illegal immigration is down this year, but I wouldn’t say 485,000 apprehensions is low. And authorities estimate that for every apprehension two get through. And as far as unfunded, there is nothing to fund in this bill other than processing them through to I.C.E. States don’t deport.

Tom Paine

July 14th, 2010
10:28 pm

I note with amusement the usual sneering drivel about Sarah Palin’s intelligence.

Sarah Palin is infinitely (note: infinitely) more intelligent than any brain-dead vegetable that voted for former ACORN lawyer and half-term senator Baroque Oblabla.


July 14th, 2010
10:51 pm

Now Tom, that’s really mean. You are going to hurt the self esteem of the “Palin is a moron” people (you know, the ones who repeat it blog post after blog post, so they can feel really superior)!!


July 14th, 2010
11:04 pm

Snow White leads The Seven Dwarfs

The GOP will soon be known as the Party of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs with Sarah “Snow White” Palin leading such GOP Dwarfs as Huckabee, Gingrich, Pawlenty, Thune, DeMint, Romney and Ron Paul. When Snow White leads, The Seven Dwarfs follow.

Georgia Conservative

July 14th, 2010
11:08 pm

What has Sarah Palin really done besides lose an election and quit her job?


July 14th, 2010
11:11 pm

Probably nothing

Hypocrisy Defined

July 14th, 2010
11:14 pm

Handel is being investigated by the State Ethics Commission in 3 separate cases for accepting contributions over the legal limit. She is campaigning on a platform of ethics reform and at the same time breaking the ethical guideline governing elections. What a hypocrite!

Real Georgia

July 14th, 2010
11:16 pm

Nathan Deal has been endorsed by Newt Gingrich. Newt has actually done positive things for our country and is closer than 5000 miles away from Georgia.

Legend of Len Barker

July 14th, 2010
11:20 pm

Intelligence has nothing to do with why I criticized Palin.

It’s her tactics. She attempted to get a police officer fired because he had a disagreement with her sister (detailed in the Branchflower Report). She used anti-Semitism in a mayoral election against a candidate who wasn’t Jewish. Because the man’s wife didn’t use his last name, she made a big to-do about finding out if they really were married.

Her behavior right before the birth of her son is baffling. She knew in advance that he had Down Syndrome. A month before he was due, she was at Republican Governors meeting in Texas. Her water broke. Instead of going to a hospital, she gave her speech. Instead of going to the hospital, she hopped on a plane to Seattle. Instead of going to a hospital, she hopped on a plane to Anchorage. Instead of going to a hospital in Anchorage, she and her husband drove two miles to the area hospital for Wasilla, which is not equipped for high-risk pregnancies and lacks an NICU. Not long after her arrival, her son was born. He had a hole in his heart. Why she chose to endanger her and her unborn child’s life by bypassing hospitals at every juncture until she got to the least equipped one she could find is just strange. Especially for a mother of four who has also experienced a miscarriage (or two, I can’t recall).

No, this isn’t a liberal tale, either. Palin has repeated this story. Often. She’s talked about it during interviews. It’s in her book. She gave a speech, took a plane, had a layover, took a plane, and drove two hours before getting checked out.


July 14th, 2010
11:35 pm

It’s her body, who are you to tell her what to do with it?


July 15th, 2010
12:11 am

“Newt has actually done positive things for our country”

Oh you mean like his little lovefest with Nasty Nancy in that global warming ad? How about endorsing liberal Dede in NY-23 and throwing that race before it ever got started?

“She attempted to get a police officer fired because he had a disagreement with her sister (detailed in the Branchflower Report). She used anti-Semitism in a mayoral election against a candidate who wasn’t Jewish. Because the man’s wife didn’t use his last name, she made a big to-do about finding out if they really were married.”

Yes this is what happens when people (more Newtered supporters I’m sure) starts using the MSNBC playbook.

“What has Sarah Palin really done besides lose an election and quit her job?”

I don’t know. What’s with the leftward shift of most “conservatives” this year?


July 15th, 2010
12:39 am

“It’s her body, who are you to tell her what to do with it?”

Tell her to practice what she preaches, or the hell up.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

July 15th, 2010
1:34 am

Palin insists that the law bar the victims of rape and incest from a medically sound, legal abortion. She insists that rapists be rewarded genetically and biologically by the power of the state’s forcing their innocent victims to bear, should the crime visited upon them by Evil result in a viable pregnancy.

This is not a “gray” area. This view, whether held sincerely or hypocritically, opportunistic pandering or satanic urge, is an abomination against G-d. Those who hold it are not American or human but are given over to a reprobate mind and are an undeniable manifestation of Earthly Evil – the Roman Anti-Christ.

No wonder it is the “Fifth Column” fascist plutocracy, Rockefellers’ Big Oil and the Roman Catholic Church behind inbred whitetrash, accursed Sarah Palin.

Fire Eater

July 15th, 2010
4:43 am

Regarding the comments from some over the perceived intelligence of Palin supporters in contrast with more “progressive” candidates, I propose this: Let’s have an IQ test of voters in solidly Republican districts and compare them with the intelligence level of voters in overwhelmingly Democratic districts. I am sure the liberals would love the results.

Ga Values

July 15th, 2010
6:38 am

Deal will say anything to get elected, just remember along with Maxine Waters & Jesse Jackson, Jr. he was selected as 1 of the 15 most corrupt in Washington and that is really saying something about his character.

**Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA)**
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL)
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)
Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV)
Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA)
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA)
Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN)
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Rep. Don Young (R-AK)


July 15th, 2010
6:44 am

Real Georgia 11:16 pm

Guess Tuesday is your 1st day of unemployment, hope Deal pays you what he owes you, you have surely earned it but Deal is so CORRUPT that he’ll probably pocket your wages.

Real Georgia

July 15th, 2010
6:46 am

It’s great to have WILL JONES on the Deal band wagon. You go WILL.

Bitter EX democrackkk

July 15th, 2010
6:52 am

STRIVE to be SMARTER, and VOTE SMARTER, than the EVIL original ‘party’ of SLAVERY, the democrackkks, WANT you to BE!

Karen Handel is the ONLY sensible candidate for Gov.

Dont you people remember how much we despised Roy Barnes and his ineffectiveness?
Dont EVER vote for another democrackkk, they keep us ALL oppressed!


July 15th, 2010
7:30 am

go figure dumb and dumber Sarah palin a women of no contents and a drop out of her governor job because she couldnt take the heat. Karen Handel riding the coat tail of Sonny poo poo no contents and certainly real Ideas of whats going on in the real world. If Jesus told her to give the riches to the poor she would nail him to a cross.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

July 15th, 2010
7:40 am

The Gay Old Pervert party’s Sonny Perdue, the Vietnam draft-dodging “Flying Veterinarian” whose “class” litmus test proved out in his daughter’s fidelity and marital antics at the Governor’s Mansion, gives us a Roman Catholic carpetbagger, ungraced by G-d, endorsed by accursed, inbred whitetrash Sarah Palin – fascist plutocracy’s “tea party” shill – as the next governor…of Georgia?

Forbid it G-d, all good and decent Georgians, pray.

DuBose and Carol Porter show who true Georgians are, for us, our children, and Georgia’s prosperity and posterity.

May G-d grant us the wisdom to make them Elect next Tuesday.

Buzz G

July 15th, 2010
7:48 am

Boy, does the left ever hate Sara Palin. She has replaced Dick Cheney as The Evil One. That alone means she is a very effective communicator.

No Ox, Noo Raw Deal Nooo Linger Longer Johnson Noooo King Roy

July 15th, 2010
7:52 am

Today is the day, I’m going to vote and It is obviously down to Chapman or Handel. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a Chapman vs. Handel run off but we could be looking at a Ox vs Raw Deal run off so I’ll probably be voting Handel. Of the CORRUPT THREE, I think Jamie Reynolds/Reynolds is probably the less bad so if you want a corrupt Governor Johnson is your man.


July 15th, 2010
7:54 am

republican party the grand old farce was created out the need for the south to be taxed to death not to free the slaves that was just propaganda to cover what they really wanted not to free the slaves.The money is what they wanted not the slaves.Then they also had the vote of the black people. Slavery is wrong in any form including the way they have convinced the masses into beleiving coporate money will take care of you they have never taken care of anyone except the rich pocket so go ahead and keep eating their cake.


July 15th, 2010
7:58 am

Today’s Mason Dixon

Oxendine: 31%
Handel: 23%
Deal: 18%
Johnson: 6%
McBerry: 2%
Chapman: 1%
Undecided: 19%


July 15th, 2010
8:06 am

new form of slavery corporate America you work and pay all the taxes so we dont have to.

J. Davis

July 15th, 2010
8:06 am

I think S. Palin is a great American, but I am disappointed that someone mislead her to endorse Handel. Handel is the most liberal of the current crop of Republican candidates for governor. I’ll settle for any of the Republicans except Handel. Should Handel win the primary I will vote liberterian in the fall.

East Lake Ira

July 15th, 2010
8:27 am

Palin-Huckabee 2012!!!

Run Sarah Run!!!!

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

July 15th, 2010
8:28 am

Sarah Palin is white trash. Birds of Feather flock together.

No Ox, Noo Raw Deal Nooo Linger Longer Johnson Noooo King Roy

July 15th, 2010
8:30 am

Should have been

Of the CORRUPT THREE, I think Jamie Reynolds/Johnson is probably the less bad so if you want a corrupt Governor Johnson is your man.

Bill Orvis White

July 15th, 2010
8:38 am

This is great for Mrs. Handel, but still, the real quality candidate is the Honorable Mr. Ray McBerry. I’m disappointed that Sarah didn’t want to offend the powerful MSM, but supporting Mr. McBerry, who is more in line with her very own politics. I think she secretly backs McBerry while trying to say that a fellow conservative woman should get the top spot. It’s just pressure from the far left media that is making Sarah silent on the Honorable Mr. McBerry.
God Bless,


July 15th, 2010
8:51 am

The word “honorable” and Ray McBerry don’t even belong on the same planet. I’d like a Governor who can run the State without distractions like scrawling multi-page notes, explaining why he was meeting a 17 year old girl on a deserted road AFTER a judge issued a restraining order.

In a way, if Handel is elected, she might have McBerry to thank. Her refusal to get near the creep separated her from the boys of the campaign. If you are going to oppose abortion, you should not ignore predatory behavior of older men.

God Bless our female high school students, and keep them safe from creepy teachers. Oh wait, maybe we should do that OURSELVES.

Dr. John Trotter

July 15th, 2010
8:54 am

Let me guess the top vote-getters for Governor and State Superintendent, especially while my sausages are deep frying in some extra virgin olive oil. Eggs are on the way too! I have always been pretty good at this prognosticating. I have been saying for months that it is Oxendine and Handel in a run-off and Roy winning without a run-off. Off the top of my head, among the Democrats, I say Martin and Farokhi in a run-off. Among the Republicans, Barge and Woods also in a run-off. Martin is an insider, and this may help him in a run-off, especially if Baker is not in a run-off. But, Farokhi being a female may also help her. Her Iranian (is this correct?) name ought not hurt her much; look at the name of our President. Woods has a strong coterie of Christian-right vorters who show up at county conventions and vote. But, hey, they also vote in the GOP primaries. But, something tells me that John Barge is the one to keep an eye on among the Republicans. For the record, I have not met any of these cats except Joe Martin. But, I probably was against most of the stuff that Martin was for when he served on the Atlanta Board of Education.

Now, what’s going to happen when we get a new State Superintendent? Nothing. A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y nothing. None of these folks, in my opinion, really knows what needs to happen in our public schools nor do they have the intestinal fortitude to push (and that’s about all a State Superintendent can do anyway — just “push”) to make it happen. This is the real dog and pony show.


July 15th, 2010
9:03 am

If one of Sonny’s lackeys (Handel), or any of the other three stooges (Deal, Oxendine, Johnson) get elected, I’m moving to another state.

Dr. John Trotter

July 15th, 2010
9:10 am

By the way, I think that Roy had better hope that Ox wins the run-off, but I don’t think so. I think that Handel wins the run-off and because of both women power and GOP power in the Fall, she and Roy are locked into a Titanic struggle. The BigTimeMoneyGuys don’t like her or trust her. Therefore, Roy will have all of the money, so to speak. But, he had all of the money in 2002, and this seemed to hurt him. People (voters) resent this. It’s the law of diminishing return. It’s like when Lee Scott in Clayton County appeared to have bought up ALL of the billboard space. The more he bought and the more he advertized, the more the voters resented him. Politics can be a weird thing sometimes.

The Fall Race will be 52% to 48% at its biggest spread. It will probably tighten before it is over. I won’t tell you now who will win. Stay tuned.


July 15th, 2010
9:18 am

Roy Barnes has no chance to win the general election so it really doesn’t matter which Republican gets the nomination.


July 15th, 2010
9:18 am

Rathercalmvoter — that would be lovely. Please move to the northeast.

Real Georgia

July 15th, 2010
9:21 am

“Palin insists that the law bar the victims of rape and incest from a medically sound, legal abortion. She insists that rapists be rewarded genetically and biologically by the power of the state’s forcing their innocent victims to bear, should the crime visited upon them by Evil result in a viable pregnancy.” -Will Jones @ 1:34 am

Sounds like Will Jones agrees with Handel’s view that abortions should be granted in the case of rape and incest.

Palin’s view (no exceptions granted) is directly opposite Handel’s view, yet Palin still calls Handel solidly pro-life. It sounds like when she was being approached by the Handel camp about offering her endorsement, she was not told the truth. Shocker.


July 15th, 2010
9:24 am

A Mason-Dixon poll from the 2002 Ga Governor’s race (mid-October): Barnes 48%, Perdue 39%

Actual results: Perdue 51%, Barnes 46%