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Sarah Palin vs. Barack Obama: The 2010 money race begins

Alaska Republican Governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin talks with Senator Joseph Lieberman near Democratic President Barack Obama at a January banquet in Washington

Just when you thought it was safe to start checking your e-mail and snail-mailboxes again, possibly the two biggest names in political fundraising today are hitting the money trail again.

President Barack Obama. And Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Is this a very early pre-season matchup for 2012, at least moneywise?

Now that he's snuffed the recession and gotten the economy back on track, the new president will headline an event for the Democratic National Committee in Washington on March 25, just before he starts his first overseas trip as chief executive.

It will be an early test of Obama's presidential moneyraising skills, given the complications of a sour economy and what D.C. Democrats admit is "donor fatigue" after Obama's $750-million haul during the presidential campaign of 2007-08. While his popularity remains in the low 60s or 59%, according to a new Pew Poll, that's about normal for this early in a new presidency.

Jimmy Carter holds the recent record approval of 71% while Ronald Reagan had only 55% early, both much better than the 34% George W. Bush left office with.

Palin remains probably the biggest Republican name out there. Despite numerous invitations and interview requests in recent weeks, she's clearly made a decision to stay close to home for the legislative session and be seen to focus on the business of Alaska, where she faces an election next year.

The governor, however, has agreed to be the main speaker for the House and Senate Republicans' biggest annual fundraiser June 8 at the Washington Convention Center. After suffering two consecutive losing congressional campaigns, the GOP faces another tough schedule next year, defending more seats than Democrats.

Even if Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal hadn't gotten such negative reviews for his GOP response to Obama's joint congressional speech, no one else yet matches the buzz and celebrity power of Palin on the Republican side; hence, the invitation and a royal coming-out opportunity for her on the big Washington stage.

The newly reelected Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, calls Palin "a breath of fresh air from the business-as-usual crowd in Washington."

Our pal Mark Silva has some more on Palin's event here and on Obama's fundraising here.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Clarence Page / Chicago Tribune

Comments () | Archives (11)

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Nice way you moved numbers. Jimmy Carter may have "recent" record approval..which means I guess the approval after LEAVING office...but compare his exit points to those of Bush. See any difference?
Compare them both to Reagan's exit points, and they both fall FAR short.

Those of us who remember Carter's ONE TERM as president remember that it started off with hope and ended in dismal failure.

For the sake of the country, I hope that when Obama leaves office that he fares better in points because he served his country well.

As to the writer of this article: you intentionally used numbers in a noncomparison to advance your own agenda. Way to go! You fit right in to this paper's version of objectivity.

Rumor has it that Gov. Palin's Political Action Committe, SarahPAC, is starting to cut into GOP/RNC fundraising efforts, and this is one of the reasons she has been tapped for this fundraiser.

It should also be pointed out that the pro-life event she is scheduled to attend in April in Indiana has sold out its usual 2,000+ tickets with demand still high, so they have opened up a new area that seats 2,500 for a simucast of the event. The Down Syndrome event she is attending, also in Indiana, has likewise sold out.

Funny how the media keeps referring to Bush's exit approval numbers but not his entry approval numbers, or for that matter his re-election approval #s or the ones after 9/11...

" Jimmy Carter holds the recent record approval of 71% while Ronald Reagan had only 55% early, both much better than the 34% George W. Bush left office with."

Drew, your unprofessionalism is showing again due to your bias rhetoric. You start by talking about Obama's current approval rating, then compare it to Carter's and Reagan's approval ratings without qualifying when, and then slam Bush by exemplifying his rating according to you at the end of his term. Give us a break or get you act together...

One can only hope that the GOP would choose to back Sarah Palin in 2012 as their candidate for president. Sarah Palin epitomizes the ineptitude, ignorance, and arrogance that is the Republican Party.

I just LOVE how our President just does not seem to even notice that "she" is there! How dare she have the audacity to approach him, after her hateful and vile remarks at her KKK rallies during the election. "Sarah WHO?"

"Now that he's snuffed the recession and gotten the economy back on track..."

Do you live in fantasy land?

"Jimmy Carter holds the recent record approval of 71% while Ronald Reagan had only 55% early, both much better than the 34% George W. Bush left office with."

Please cite the source of these approval percentages.

Crazy questions, both men are smart, but if you asked which had integrity, Obama would be the only one. Rush is just a big mouth.
As for Palin, being from Alaska, and knowing her lack of substance, I would say she was a mistake for McCain and for Alaska. She is young, beautiful and inprincipled. Do we need another politician like that? We have more than we need already.
McCain had a lot of smart women to choose from. The question is why did he not do that?
This young woman is a light weight intellectually, her ethics are questionable, and her work history scant. She takes the headlines without doing the work.
Alaska deserves better. We have had our fill of the rush for oil guys and their children. I just wish they would go home and take their tin can churches with them.
They have invaded our beautiful land, scraping the land of trees and soil, and building tin can churches on the gravel. Not a way to honor the beauty of Alaska or Gods gifts.

"Now that he's snuffed the recession and gotten the economy back on track.."

I haven't laughed this hard in ages! At first, I missed the joke, and I had to read that line over again; my eyes in disbelief. Thank you, sir, for your great sense of [dry] humor-- a bit of comedic relief is sorely needed on occasion, particularly in these tough economic times.

An absurd situation.

Palin would not win the Republican nomination.

These types of articles grab attention but are politically and intellectually inept.

Write an article how she could possibly win a Republican nomination and you would grab some attention.

Thinking she could be Huckabee, Romney, Jindall and Pawlentte or Newt is just stupid.

Palin will PWN Obambi in 2012 and become America's GREATEST POTUS of ALL TIMES for she is GOD's CHOSEN ONE, GOD INCARNATE and the LIVING EMBODIMENT OF GOD HERSELF! She will put all MALE POTUS TO SHAME for they are ALL HER DICKLESS and BALLESS BITCHES and PUSSIES! She is starting her ascension to POTUShood and will fulfill her destiny because it is GOD's WORD and WILL and GOD HERSELF SAID SO. After Palin, ONLY WHITE WOMEN can be POTUS and VPOTUS because men are the inferior sex.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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