Howard Dean Thinks Sarah Palin Could Beat President Obama in 2012

If the economy doesn’t improve, anything is possible.

Posted: 06/06/2011 03:36 PM EDT
Howard Dean

Don’t underestimate Sarah Palin. Maybe she could beat President Obama in a contest next year after all. That, at least, is the advice of former Democratic National Committee chairman and once-presidential contender Howard Dean.

 

“I think she could win,” Dean told The Hill political newspaper. “She wouldn’t be my first choice if I were a Republican, but I think she could win.”

 

Dean, who has been credited with helping Democrats win both chambers of Congress and the White House in 2008, warned that inside-the-Beltway Democrats should recognize the damage that a sluggish economy and high unemployment figures inflict on Obama’s re-election prospects.

 

“Any time you have a contest — particularly when unemployment is as high as it is — nobody gets a walkover,” Dean said. “Whoever the Republicans nominate, including people like Sarah Palin, whom the inside-the-Beltway crowd dismisses — my view is if you get the nomination of a major party, you can win the presidency, I don’t care what people write about you inside the Beltway,” Dean said.

 

James Carville, the colorful former adviser to President Bill Clinton, who coined the phrase “It’s the economy, Stupid,” agrees that if the economy doesn’t significantly improve, 2012 is going to be a very rough year for Obama.

 

“If 54,000 new jobs is the new standard, it’s going to be a very, very rough 2012 for President Obama,” he said Monday on the Don Imus radio show. “I can’t tell you what’s going to happen, but if this last jobs number is an indication of future jobs numbers, it’s going to be very, very rough,” he said.

 

(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

From Our Partners