Parker: Palin Is a Dishonest Tease, But 'I Am Not Unfair to Palin'
The host devoted her first "Opening Argument" segment to the former vice presidential candidate. After her co-host called for the firing of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in his "Opening Argument," Parker replied, "Eliot, I want to talk about my favorite politician, Sarah Palin" and played a clip from a recent commercial made by Palin's political action committee. An on-screen graphic proclaimed, "Palin the Tease," and the new CNN host immediately launched into that theme:
PARKER: So, Sarah, are you running or aren't you? Of course, Palin won't say because the suspense benefits her. As long as her fans think she might run, they'll keep sending money to SarahPAC and they'll keep showing up for her rallies. I have to confess I never thought Sarah would grow the legs she has- no, guys, not those- the legs to keep building momentum. She has something that obviously appeals to lots of people. She has 'it'- big-time. But she's also maddening to many others, especially women. She flirts; she's a tease; and, of course, all politicians do that. Men do it. Democrats do it. That's how they raise money.Parker continued with her Palin is "coy and dishonest" line and hinted that "I know of at least one person who won't run if it looks like Sarah has the wind at her back, and he should run." Spitzer responded by trying to pry the answer out of her. The columnist didn't answer, but explained that her unnamed Republican "should run because he can win a national election, and Sarah Palin, for all her good qualities, cannot. It may be that Palin is waiting for a thunderbolt or a voice from beyond to instruct her next move." She then returned to her "tease" label of the former governor:
PARKER: In the meantime, she's teaming with RNC Chairman Michael Steele to raise money. Come on, Sarah. Drop the tease and just tell the American people you're not running. As consolation, maybe and you Michael Steele can turn your road show into a moneymaking gig for real- a TV show perhaps. You could call it 'Steele Magnolia.'Parker gave a Palin-esque wink as she made her "Steele Magnolia" line. Spitzer replied to all of this by accusing his co-host of being unfair to Palin. Parker ultimately denied this charge, but not without making a bit of a Freudian slip:
SPITZER: Clever name- we should have taken that. But you know what? I will not defend Sarah Palin on the substance of anything. But you're not being fair to her. Why are you judging her by a different standard than anybody else?You were right the first time, Ms. Parker, before you corrected yourself. Remember, Parker were the columnist who, just days after John McCain announced that Palin was going to be his running mate, compared the former Alaska governor to a character in the novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird' who falsely accused a black man of raping her. Earlier in 2010, the columnist speculated whether Palin's son Trig would be hurt by his mother's thoughts of abortion during her pregnancy with him.
SPITZER: Barack Obama didn't announce-
PARKER: Suddenly, Eliot Spitzer is Sarah Palin's champion. I love this.
SPITZER: Well, you know why, because as Democrats, we want her to run, because we can beat her.
PARKER: You never told me this before. Suddenly, we're on TV and you're a big Palin fan?
SPITZER: No, no, no, no. Here's the thing. I want you to be as fair to her as you are to everybody else. Sarah Palin should not need to decide before other folks do. Barack Obama didn't decide until late in the game. Ronald Reagan didn't decide until late in the game. Everybody who has run successfully for the presidency was counted out at one point, and was told you have no chance.
PARKER: I am not fair- unfair to Sarah Palin. I actually like Sarah Palin, and others have been very unfair. So let me just state that for the record-
PARKER: But I do think she needs to get out of the way. She's not going to run for president- for the president, and yet, a lot of people kind of hope she does.
SPITZER: Why do you presume that? In other words, I don't think she knows yet. The critical thing is here is that, like most politicians, she hasn't figured it out.
Near the end of the segment, Parker did go after Spitzer for his prediction that President Obama would win reelection in 2012, but only last Thursday, the columnist herself admitted that she didn't want the Democrat to fail.
SPITZER: I think that Barack Obama will be reelected, almost regardless of the Republican candidate. This is the debate for next year perhaps-
SPITZER: But here's the thing: Sarah Palin-
PARKER: You really did get hooked on that hope thing, didn't you?
SPITZER: You know, the hopey-changy thing- stuff is good.