Palin’s neo-con departure: A primary fight preview? 

After weeks of hawkish statements on Libya, Sarah Palin took a sharp turn yesterday, when she told a crowd in Lakewood, Colorado, that “We can’t fight every war, we can’t undo every justice in the world,” including President Obama’s “ill-defined” mission in Libya. Politico‘s Ben Smith reports today that the shift coincides with the departure of Randy Scheunemann and Michael Goldfarb from Team Palin:

The personnel shift carries an ideological charge. Scheunemann, the former executive director of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, is a longtime neoconservative stalwart, as is Goldfarb, a former reporter and protege of Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol. They crafted for Palin a policy platform and voice reflecting an eagerness to use American force. The pair, who helped Palin with press and debate prep in 2008, were also something of Palin’s last link to Washington’s political establishment.

With Mike Huckabee also voicing skepticism about the mission in Afghanistan, a clear divide is growing among conservatives on foreign military interventions. It is still doubtful that either Huckabee or Palin will make a serious run at the GOP nomination, but these figures do not make decisions like this in a vacuum. There is clearly a market for a more realist sounding candidate in the GOP 2012 field.

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