Entries in GrizzlyFest (1)


Sarah Palin Supporters Meet Online to Discuss Life After Her Decision

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sarah Palin’s most passionate supporters held an online forum on Saturday to assess what they should do going forward, now that the former Alaska governor has announced she won’t enter the GOP 2012 field.

Participants of the forum, called Grizzlyfest, came together for three hours to praise Palin, plot how they will continue their grassroots political organizing in 2012, and how they will choose 2012 candidates after Palin stunned the group in September when she announced she would not seek the GOP nomination. The running theme of the event was that they will stay active in conservative politics despite their chosen candidate’s decision.

Josh Painter, who runs the blog Texans for Sarah Palin, acknowledged that many supporters he knew were still “coming out of shock” at Palin’s decision, but that Grizzlyfest was an “excellent opportunity” to assess “where we are and where we are going.”

The forum at times sounded like a support group aimed at re-energizing the group who had devoted so much time to supporting Palin—some even moving to early states to campaign for the non-candidate—convinced she would run for president.

Palin did not participate in the event, but her brother, Chuck Heath Jr., called into the forum.

Panelist Nicole Coulter, an editor at the pro-Palin site Conservatives4Palin, asked the question that kept popping up on the event’s chat page where listeners could ask questions of the panelists: Can you convince Palin to change her mind?

“I can’t convince Sarah of anything,” Heath said. “But I will definitely work on her. I understand the reason that she had for not running, but I look at the other choices and it was painful for me, too. Honestly not because she’s my sister, but I honestly thought she was the best candidate out there. I’ll keep working on her.”

He said Palin’s early days in beauty pageants, which he said she did to get a college scholarship, “gave her a bit of confidence” and that “kind of snowballed into what happened now.”

Some supporters said they would look to whom Palin endorses in the 2012 races—including Senate and congressional elections—but they wouldn’t blindly follow her decisions.

Despite pledges to remain active and continue their work on behalf of other conservative candidates, there were no concrete decisions on candidates to support or politicians the group would coalesce behind in 2012. The goal of Grizzlyfest was to try to re-energize a group deeply disappointed by Palin’s decision.

One thing that was clear by the end: real disappointment remains despite a willingness to try and stay together as a cohesive group without a leader.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio