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Bill Kristol: I'm not encouraging Sarah Palin to run for Senate

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After making waves Sunday by laying out a road map for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s return to politics, conservative pundit and Weekly Standard Editor Bill Kristol clarified his position on Tuesday.

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, Mr. Kristol — one of the most vocal defenders of Mrs. Palin and a widely respected conservative thought leader — said he’s not encouraging her to run for U.S. Senate, or for any other office.

Instead, Mr. Kristol said, he was merely acting as an analyst on Sunday when he suggested Mrs. Palin’s best path back to national politics would be to run for the Senate in 2014.

“I was asked, ‘Does Sarah Palin have a future?’ and I just tried to give an analytical answer, which is I don’t think she does, having resigned as governor. I’m not urging this,” he said. “If she wants to have a serious future in American politics … she should run for office. Running and winning takes away a lot of the baggage of the past.”

Mr. Kristol added that he was “really disappointed” when Mrs. Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, resigned the governorship in 2009, not even a year after she and Sen. John McCain, her running mate, were defeated in the election.

Her decision to resign, Mr. Kristol said, could doom a future campaign.

“Until [she resigned], she had been a popular governor. Fine, you’re a defeated vice presidential candidate, you have a couple of bad interviews, you can survive that,” he said. “Quitting the governorship in your first term? People don’t understand that.”

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