Establishment Republicans rushed to defend Sarah Palin from other establishment Republicans who anonymously hated on Palin's likely presidential candidacy in Politico.Ben Smith noted that Palin would use the story to raise more campaign cash. "But the politics of the 2012 nomination are three dimensional, and while each of the other candidate and the people around them would like to stop Palin--they'd like to stop one another too," Smith writes. "So each will court her, and each will try to paint the others as the Establishment figure out to stop her." First up? Rudy Giuliani.
- Cut the Infighting, Rudy Giuliani pleaded on Fox and Friends Monday, Sam Stein reports. "I worked for Ronald Reagan, you know the 11th Commandment was don't criticize another Republican. ... Let's not start this presidential race before this election is over and let's not go through the negativity we went through in the last one where Republicans attacked the heck out of each other. We have got a bigger mission here. Sarah Palin has every right to make her case to the Republican Party. How about we let the Republicans decide -- not the so-called leaders -- whether she is qualified or not?"
- Shut Up, Michael Steele demanded of anonymous GOP officials on CNN. "These Republican leaders who don't put their names in print but make comments in shadows need to shut up," he said. "We're focused on winning elections tomorrow night. We're not focused on 2012." Steele, who is less-than-popular among Tea Party activists, said the people should decide. "If she goes through the process and the Republican primary voters vote for her, absolutely I would be happy. Why wouldn't I be?"
- Elites Can't Stop Her, Mitt Romney said on Laura Ingraham's radio show. "She would be a great thing for the Republican primary process. ... It'd be a good thing for her to get in." Romney said, according to The Hill's Michael O'Brien. Palin's 100-percent-elite opponent added, "The story is nonsense. Because first of all I know Sarah Palin pretty well, and if she wants to run there's not going to be any Washington elites stopping her."
- The Establishment Is Scared, Politico's Ben Smith observes. Hence probable Palin opponent Tim Pawlenty's tweet: "Politico story is way off. Palin deserves great credit for all her work on GOP's behalf." (Curiously, the tweet appears to have since been deleted.)