Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin offered advice and congratulations to Sen. Kamala Harris on Tuesday shortly after the California Democrat was announced as former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate.
Palin was on the ticket with Sen. John McCain of Arizona in 2008, the second woman to be on the ticket of a major political party. When Harris accepts the nomination next week at the Democratic National Convention, she will become the third woman and first Black and South Asian American woman nominated for the role.
“Congrats to the democrat VP pick,” Palin wrote in an Instagram post. “Climb upon Geraldine Ferraro’s and my shoulders, and from the most amazing view in your life consider lessons we learned.” In 1984, Democratic Rep. Geraldine Ferraro of New York was the first woman to be on a major party ticket.
Palin offered six pieces of advice to Harris, which included, “out of the chute trust no one new,” “fight mightily to keep your own team with you,” “don’t get muzzled” and “don’t forget the women who came before you.”
The former Alaska governor offered personal anecdotes from the campaign trail and warned Harris against those who may try to change her.
“Some yahoos running campaigns will suffocate you with their own self-centered agenda so remember YOU were chosen for who YOU are. So stay connected with America as you smile and ignore deceptive ‘handlers’ trying to change you,” Palin wrote.
Palin, who had served less than two years as the governor of Alaska at the time, was plucked out of obscurity by McCain to be on the Republican ticket. She broke onto the national stage and delivered a fiery speech at the Republican National Convention, but would go on to stumble throughout the campaign and have a series of missteps and gaffes. McCain and Palin lost to Barack Obama and Biden later that year.
Palin’s advice to Harris reflects her own clashes with the McCain campaign. Days from Election Day in 2008, several McCain advisers suggested to CNN that they had become increasingly frustrated with what one aide described as Palin “going rogue.” McCain sources said Palin had gone off-message several times, and that they privately wondered whether the incidents were deliberate.
A Palin associate countered and told CNN Palin was simply trying to “bust free” of what she believes was a damaging and mismanaged roll-out.
In her Instagram post, Palin urged Harris to fight to keep her own team with her because “they know you, know your voice, and most importantly are trustworthy.” The advice comes after Biden’s team announced earlier in the day who would serve as his vice president’s staff.
Palin defined two “fun terms you may learn” for Harris, including ” ‘OTR’ – an orchestrated campaign stop that’s meant to look un-orchestrated where you ‘normalize’ in front of voters,” and a campaign “ropeline.” Harris has been in the national spotlight, as a US senator and a former 2020 presidential candidate herself.
Palin spoke fondly of meeting Americans on the rope line at campaign events, writing, “Every single handshake and holler and hug and smile melted my heart, energized my soul, and gave me the utmost hope in the greatest country on earth!”
The former governor recounted a time on the campaign trail when she had forgotten to pack her running shoes, which resulted in the “media detailing my every move trying on shoes.” She also noted the difficulty of trying to eat in front of cameras.
Palin said she would later post more for Harris, “including one of the funniest things in my life, right before my debate with Sen. Joe Biden,” but her parting advice to the senator was: “have fun!”
“This IS the greatest country in the world,” Palin wrote, “and hopefully you’ll be blessed beyond belief, like I was, with meeting new people from all walks of life and see just how great it is!”