Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel for U.S. Senate in Georgia on Thursday, emphasizing Handel’s pro-life stance and success against crony capitalism.
Palin has often mentioned that Democrats could not gin up the “war on women” rhetoric in 2010 when the women-powered Tea Party movement, including plenty of “Mama Grizzlies” candidates, fueled the GOP’s historic midterm gains. She said that the “Georgia Senate race is very important to the Democrats and has long-term repercussions for 2016 as Democrats test the waters to see if they can win big in a red state with a woman candidate” in Michelle Nunn. Democrats have indicated that Nunn’s candidacy may be a trial run to see if what a liberal woman candidate must do to win Georgia for Democrats ahead of a potential Hillary Clinton candidacy. Bill Clinton won the state in 1992.
“That is why the GOP needs a strong contender like Karen Handel,” Palin wrote. “She is the conservative candidate who can win this race and hold this seat for the GOP.”
Palin quoted Margaret Thatcher, who often said, “If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.”
“This quote rings true in the U.S. Senate race in Georgia in more ways than one. This year’s elections are about who we send to Washington to help restore our country after six years of a disastrous administration,” she wrote. “It’s not about who has the best rhetoric, the loudest voice, or the best TV ads. It’s about who we trust to keep their word to fight for conservative principles and grow our movement at the same time.”
Handel said that she was “thrilled to have the support of such a strong conservative leader.” She added, “I am humbled she thinks I am the person to get the job done in the U.S. Senate for Georgia!”
Saying Handel was “just that candidate” to replace Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) in the Senate, Palin noted that Handel is “a champion for protecting life and a proud voice in support of it – one we could use in the Senate.”
Palin also listed Handel’s fight against crony capitalism, noting that as “Chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, she made a name for herself fighting corruption, passing ethics reform, and recouping millions of dollars in stolen taxpayer money.”
“She balanced the budget every year as well,” Palin noted. “As Georgia’s first Republican Secretary of State, Karen took on the Obama administration to keep Photo-ID in place and ensure that only U.S. citizens vote in Georgia.” Furthermore, “She cut her department’s waste by nearly 20%, and under her leadership, the Secretary of State’s office became Georgia’s first completely transparent agency by putting all the agency’s expenses online for every taxpayer to see.”
“Karen has walked the walk when it comes to cutting government waste, providing ethical leadership, and fighting back against big bullying government,” Palin wrote. “We can count on Karen to take her real life skills to Washington to help balance our budget, fight for lower taxes, and do everything she can to keep the government out of our lives.”
Palin asked voters to look at a candidate’s record and beyond the “flashy campaign ads of establishment candidates and the bombastic rhetoric of candidates who claim to be the most conservative in the race.”
“Listen to what Karen says in her debates and candidate forums, and you’ll hear a true conservative leader who can win in November,” she also wrote. “GOP voters in Georgia have many choices if they want something said, but Karen Handel is the only choice if we want something done. Karen will get the job done.”
In 2010, Palin’s endorsement of Handel propelled her to the runoff in the gubernatorial contest, which she narrowly lost to Nathan Deal by around 2,500 votes. Currently, Handel places fifth in a crowded field with about 10% of the vote, and she trails the frontrunner, Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), by 11 percentage points in the most recent poll on behalf of Channel 2 Action News.
After promising to roll out her “Mama Grizzlies” endorsements this week, Palin endorsed Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) for U.S. Senate in Iowa and Lizbeth Benacquisto for a House seat in Florida’s 19th congressional district.
Though Handel is fifth in the polls, Palin’s support resonates. Her endorsement is considered the most impactful in GOP primaries. For instance, Palin endorsed T.W. Shannon in Oklahoma when he trailed by 30 points, and Shannon has closed that deficit to single digits, according to a poll taken four days after Palin’s endorsement. Shannon told Breitbart News that Palin’s endorsement simply brings “more than money can buy.”
Photo: Shealah Craighead