On Sunday's edition of This Week on ABC, a panel discussed the now-infamous CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) decision to invite Sarah Palin while simultaneously snubbing Chris Christie. One particularly peeved panelist (Matthew Dowd, President George W. Bush’s former chief strategist) said of CPAC:
CPAC to me totally diminished their credibility as an organization when you basically...Chris Christie is a national leader, and their explanation in the next day about why, it’s like an all-star game to say he did not have a good year, and they invite Sarah Palin who wasn’t competent enough to keep a Fox News Contract? But she is invited to a CPAC meeting? I mean, to me they basically, many people, Karl and many people decided that the voters out there don’t know what they are doing; that the voters who like Chris Christie and the voters that like other candidates, they are really mixed up and we are going to tell what the truth is. And whenever that is the strategy on either side, when you’re trying to tell the voters you are wrong it’s a bad move.
The remainder of the panel wasn't as scathing in their commentary - but did note that the Republican party does have a lot of wound-licking ahead of them. Wall Street Journal editor Paul Gigot called the Christie snub a mistake, saying, “If I were CPAC, I would have invited Christie and let him say what he wanted on guns or anything else. And if you disagree with him, boo him or what have you. But this is a time that the Republican Party needs to have a debate, and a pretty raucous debate.”
Can conservatives rise above their petty differences and begin to work together (rather than tear one another apart over single voter issues)? And more importantly, can they do so before the 2014 elections?
I think James Carville's reaction was the best of them all. At the end of the clip (embedded below), he said, "Any day that you have more Sarah Palin and less Chris Christie is a good day for James Carville."