Democrats criticizing Sarah Palin is nothing new. Republicans criticizing Sarah Palin? That's not new, either. Still, Monday morning brought a surprising number of GOP boldface names criticizing Palin. Former New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg has an editorial in The Hill warning insiders that primary voters in his home state won't reject Palin out of hand unless a strong frontrunner for the GOP nomination emerges; in Politico, George Will, Peter Wehner, and Heather Macdonald all express their dismay about Palin playing the victim card, a tendency The Weekly Standard's Matt Labash says threatens to turn her into "Al Sharpton, Alaska edition"; finally--and perhaps most damagingly--a new report that her controversial "blood libel" speech following the Gabby Giffords shootings came after Fox News president Roger Ailes told her not to comment on the shootings.
Here's a brief list of Palin's most prominent conservative foes, recent and past:
The Fox News impresario facilitated Palin's transition from ex-governor to full-time talking head, but she didn't heed his advice to "lie low" in the aftermath of the Gabrielle Giffords shootings, a decision New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman reports infuriated Ailes. "Going rogue might make sense when you’re only angering, say,the GOP nominee for president," explains Sherman. "But when the person you’re crossing is the head of Fox News, the risk may be a little bit higher."
The Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan speechwriter was no fan of Palin's presence of the GOP ticket in 2008, deeming it the kind of "political bullshit" best left to Democrats. In November, she called Palin a "nincompoop" for saying that Ronald Reagan was "just an actor."
The Washington Post columnist called Palin's endorsement of Christine O'Donnell over Mike Castle in the Delaware GOP senate primary "irresponsible," "capricious," and "destructive" during an appearance on Fox News in September. It was the latest in a long line of anti-Palin barbs from Krauthammer, who criticized the "thinness" of her resume in 2008 and called her "not a serious candidate for the presidency" in 2009.
The former California governor was flying to Asia in September when he decided to have a little fun with Palin's infamous "I can see Alaska from my house" gaffe. "Over Anchorage AK now," tweeted Schwarzenegger. "Looking everywhere but can't see Russia from here. will keep you updated as search continues." Unamused, Palin tweeted back 19 hours later: "Arnold should have landed: I could have explained our multi-billion dollar state surplus & US energy security efforts. What's he been up to."
Without a doubt Palin's most vocal critic amongst Republican elected officials is Murkowski, her home state senator. The origins of the feud are murky (The New York Times chalks it up to class differences, differing views on abortion, and the fact Palin defeated Murkowski's father, Frank, by more than 30 points in the 2006 gubnatorial primary), but there's little doubt the two can't stand each other. Palin campaigned for Joe Miller in 2010, branding the Republican Murkowski an "out of touch liberal." Murkowski responded by telling Katie Couric that Palin lacked the "intellectual curiosity" and "leadership qualities" to be president.
Heather Mac Donald
In 2008, the Manhattan Institute fellow assailed Palin in the City Journal for bringing the "diversity racket" to Republican politics. She echoed that criticism today in Politico, questioning Palin's reliance on "feminist strain" to sell herself as a candidate and public figure.
Officially, the 2012 frontrunner loves Sarah Palin, loves her. “She’s terrific. She really is! She’s terrific," Romney told David Letterman last March. "She’s got energy, passion – by the way, you know, be careful what you say about her.” Unofficially, some folks in Romney's inner-circle aren't too high on the former Alaska governor. In June, two Romney advisers told Time's Mark Halperin that Palin is "not a serious human being" and "[f]f she's standing up there in a debate and the answers are more than 15 seconds long, she's in trouble," comments Palin's maturely refuted as "immature"