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MSNBC's David Shuster: Sarah Palin 'Has No Future'

On Wednesday, MSNBC anchor David Shuster made a bold prediction about Sarah Palin's political future: "I've said it before, I'll say it again, Sarah Palin will never recover from this...No matter what people say, no matter what these polls, she has no future."

Shuster made the comments in the 4:00PM ET hour, following a debate between Democratic strategist David Goodfriend and Republican strategist Chris Wilson about the impact of Palin's resignation as governor of Alaska. Co-anchor Tamron Hall was somewhat skeptical of the declaration: "I don't know that the answer to that absolute." However, she then added: "But I mean, you're a very smart and wise man that I trust on these things."

The accuracy of Shuster's predictions are unreliable at best. On May 8, 2006, Shuster appeared on MSNBC's Countdown and told host Keith Olbermann: "I am convinced that Karl Rove will, in fact, be indicted." Shuster was referring to Rove's role in the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation and an indictment failed to ever come.

Shuster began the debate between Goodfriend and Wilson by wondering: "The key question is, who is suffering more in all of this? Sarah Palin or a bitterly divided Republican Party?" At one point, Wilson argued that by leaving public office, Palin would have "the opportunity now to regroup, to be able to pay off some of her legal fees and be able to go and re-engage with the public, let them - cause us to remember why it is we liked her so much during the presidential campaign, which is the case." Shuster responded by claiming: "Well, let's be clear, I think a lot of people did not like her during the presidential campaign."

Later in the segment, Shuster questioned Wilson further: "But Chris, what about the whole idea that Republicans are supposed to - what about the idea that Republicans are supposed to stand for conservatives values in terms of getting things done? You start a job, you finish it." Wilson replied: "Right, like Barack Obama did as Senator for Illinois?" Shuster ignored that response. Wilson also went on to point out Shuster's anti-Palin bias: "And you know, as I listen to your commentary here, it's really difficult to understand why 51% of the American people may think she's been treated unfairly by the media."

Coming to Shuster's defense, co-anchor Tamron Hall called for Palin and her supporters to "stop whining" about unfair media coverage: "When Hillary Clinton talked about the media, it was Sarah Palin who said stop the whining. When is she going to stop the whining and when are people who support her, maybe even like yourself, going to take her advice that she gave to Hillary Clinton?"

Shuster concluded the debate by asking Goodfriend: "Have we been too tough on Sarah Palin?" Goodfriend remarked: "Well, you can't help but feel a little sorry for her. On the other hand, if you become a vice presidential candidate on the national ticket, you know, if you can't stand the heat, you better get out of the kitchen." Hall agreed: "Right. Thank you."

Hall again portrayed Palin as a whiner: "...the media part annoys me, because I do think she's a tough woman and I think she can handle it. And I think it doesn't serve her justice to make her this damsel in distress, when she, and I keep saying this, is the pitbull with lipstick. They need to stop making her the victim. She can take it. She can fish and gut animals." Shuster agreed: "Yeah, and in fact it sometimes - sometimes truth - sometimes the truth is tough. Maybe you don't like - sometimes people don't like hearing it, but the truth can be very tough."

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

4:38PM SEGMENT:

DAVID SHUSTER: The key question is, who is suffering more in all of this? Sarah Palin or a bitterly divided Republican Party? Here to face off are Democratic strategist David Goodfriend and Chris Wilson, Republican strategist. Chris, for Palin to talk about this again and keep this going again, that cannot be good for the GOP, can it?

CHRIS WILSON: I don't think it has an effect on the GOP, but if you want to talk about the way the American people are responding to it, Gallup had new numbers out yesterday that show that actually they've responded pretty well. In fact, 70% of Republicans say they would somewhat consider voting for her for president. You have two thirds that think that-

SHUSTER: Right, but let's be careful, though, about the Gallup. Most people said it would have no impact, but actually more people said it was - it made them less favorable, 17% to 9% who said more favorable. So it did cost her, even though most people don't care.

WILSON: Two thirds say they think she should stay a public figure and out front for the Republican Party, but the interesting thing, I thought, since where we are today, is that more than half said they felt like she had been unfairly treated by the media. And so I think all this comes together and you've got to think that now through, well, should we interpret what she's doing or take her at her word? And I would suggest to you it's worth probably taking her at her word, in that the reason she did this is for personal reasons, she wants to get her family out from underneath the scrutiny that they've been under, probably regroup a bit, and if we want to go forward and talk about 2012, this is not an inexpensive process. This isn't a woman that comes from money. She hasn't made a lot of money over the course of her career and this gives her the opportunity now to regroup, to be able to pay off some of her legal fees and be able to go and re-engage with the public, let them - cause us to remember why it is we liked her so much during the presidential campaign, which is the case.

SHUSTER: Well, let's be clear, I think a lot of people did not like her during the presidential campaign, but David Goodfriend let's get to that point.

WILSON: That's just untrue.

SHUSTER: If Sarah Palin was concerned about running up the cost and her state having to pay for all of her travel while she was in office, why then, didn't she resign after the presidential campaign when she was making all the trips to Washington and everywhere else, instead of governing from Alaska?

DAVID GOODFRIEND: David, I believe you're asking me to explain Governor Palin's actions, and I cannot.

SHUSTER [LAUGHING]: Yeah, okay.

GOODFRIEND: But a lot of times - a lot of times, what might seem as irrational behavior to some of us, is perfectly rational if we know what's really going on behind the scenes. And my Republican colleague alluded to the fact that Governor Palin really doesn't have a lot of money to speak of, and she has an enormous amount of legal bills and probably, I would guess, is feeling a lot of pressure in that department. There really is one thing I have to say though, we're not talking about the - the big elephant in the room, the elephant representing the Republican Party, and that is Mark Sanford, perhaps the luckiest man alive right now. If it were not for the Sarah Palin story, that absolutely big-footed the scandal swirling around him, we'd still be talking about that governor. And I will also say this, I just have to say this, because in my private practice, I deal with a lot with Alaska native corporations. They're really good folks and there are a lot of good causes up there. I'm hoping that this will be better news for the people of Alaska, that they can actually have a real focus on their issues now.

TAMRON HALL: Well Chris, David and I don't have a private practice, but we do practice TV. Let me ask you, you said it doesn't - you don't think it really matters to the GOP - or impacts the GOP - I don't want to word it wrong. But you've got Steele commenting on her, Boehner commented on her, then you toss in the Republican voters out there, they seem to like her. She does affect the GOP. She is your leader right now if we go by some of the popular polling from Republicans.

WILSON: Well, there are three people right now that are out front if you want to look at 2012, and it's Romney, it's Huckabee, and it is Palin.

HALL: No, no, but the polling shows that she - at least the recent polling - shows she leads those two. I can imagine you can say there's a trifecta of leadership-

WILSON: It's within the margin of error.

HALL: But let's just go to the top of the triangle.

WILSON: Right, it's within the margin of error.

HALL: She's - if you're going to go with the poll that she's popular-

WILSON: Right.

HALL: She's at the top of the triangle, she's your leader, so - so does affect the GOP.

WILSON: I think it's difficult to say that she is the leader right now, because she is still the governor of Alaska.

HALL: By polling.

WILSON: But look, I will say that as we come out and as she is able to go reintroduce herself to the American people, because the fact is, is once she joined the Republican ticket, was the only time that John McCain led Barack Obama. So let's be candid there, she did have a positive impact. She attracted the biggest crowds, she actually exceeded Barack Obama's crowds for most of the case - course of the campaign. And I think once she's able to re-engage Republican voters, she very well may become the leader. And she does not have-

SHUSTER: But Chris, what about-

WILSON: -the financial position-

SHUSTER: -the whole idea that Republicans are supposed to - what about the idea that Republicans are supposed to stand for conservatives values in terms of getting things done? You start a job, you finish it.

WILSON: Right, like Barack Obama did as Senator for Illinois?

SHUSTER: You get where you are because of self-reliance, not because somebody gives you something. And now, Sarah Palin, essentially, to be elevated to the national stage she was given that by John McCain and she's asking people to give her that again, if she runs in a couple years, based on 2 ½ years in office?

WILSON: I don't really think Sarah Palin's asking for anything. And you know, as I listen to your commentary here, it's really difficult to understand why 51% of the American people may think she's been treated unfairly by the media. I would say as we look forward to her future, she's got the ability to go and reintroduce herself to the American people, get out from under the scrutiny of the - of the media and be able to address them directly. Be able to earn a living, be able to pay off legal bills-

HALL: Hey Chris-

WILSON: And be able to campaign full time without having to worry about a paycheck.

HALL: We're almost out of time, I know we're almost out of time, our producer's going to kill me. But you talk about her being mistreated by the media. When Hillary Clinton talked about the media, it was Sarah Palin who said stop the whining. When is she going to stop the whining and when are people who support her, maybe even like yourself, going to take her advice that she gave to Hillary Clinton?

WILSON: I'm quoting Gallup numbers, I'm not quoting Sarah Palin's comments here. 51% of the American people-

HALL: But I mean these - I said people. I said people.

WILSON: -feel that way.

HALL: But Sarah Palin says it, too, that she feels that she's been mistreated.

WILSON: Well, I'm not talking about her, I'm talking about what the American people feel-

SHUSTER: Hey, David Goodfriend, have we been too tough on Sarah Palin?

GOODFRIEND: I'm sorry?

SHUSTER: David Goodfriend, have we been too tough on Sarah Palin?

GOODFRIEND: Well, you can't help but feel a little sorry for her. On the other hand, if you become a vice presidential candidate on the national ticket, you know, if you can't stand the heat, you better get out of the kitchen.

HALL: Right. Thank you.

SHUSTER: David Goodfriend, Chris Wilson, well said. Thank you very much. And Tamron, I've said it before, I'll say it again, Sarah Palin will never recover from this.

HALL: No, you know, I-

SHUSTER: No matter what people say, no matter what these polls, she has no future. At least-

HALL: I, you know, I don't know that the answer to that absolute, but I mean, you're a very smart and wise man that I trust on these things, but David, I - the media part annoys me, because I do think she's a tough woman and I think she can handle it. And I think it doesn't serve her justice to make her this damsel in distress, when she, and I keep saying this, is the pitbull with lipstick. They need to stop making her the victim. She can take it. She can fish and gut animals.

SHUSTER: Yeah, and in fact it sometimes - sometimes truth - sometimes the truth is tough. Maybe you don't like - sometimes people don't like hearing it, but the truth can be very tough.

-Kyle Drennen is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.