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Republicans question Palin's value -

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LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Six months after Barack Obama swept to victory in the US, the Republicans
are still looking beaten.

The party, which had laid claim to the moral high ground for decades, has suffered some serious
blows.

And there are more questions about whether Sarah Palin, once considered the party's future, is
perhaps more of a liability.

North America correspondent Lisa Millar reports.

MARK SANFORD, SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR: So the bottom line is this: I've been unfaithful to my wife.
I developed a relationship with a - what started out as a dear, dear friend from Argentina.

JOHN ENSIGN, SENATOR: Last year, I had an affair.

SARAH PALIN, ALASKAN GOVERNOR: I will not seek re-election as Governor.

LISA MILLAR, REPORTER: Three Republicans, all possible Presidential candidates, delivering three
political bombshells to a party still reeling from its massive defeat in November

JOHN BATCHELOR, WABC RADIO HOST: They've got to clean up their act - that's the first thing. What
we don't have right now is a reason to be a Republican, which is why I think the party's dying. In
fact, it might be dead.

LISA MILLAR: John Batchelor is a nationally syndicated radio host. A conservative, he's watched in
horror at the tumbling fortunes of the Republicans.

JOHN BATCHELOR: Sanford is a disgrace, and chiefly he's a disgrace because he abused liberty. He
abused the woman in Argentina, he abused his family, he abused the state that he serves because he
lied.

LISA MILLAR: That's Mark Sanford, the South Carolina Governor who flew to Argentina to meet his
lover but told his wife and staff he was going hiking. Caught out, he found solace in the Bible.

MARK SANFORD: I've been doing a lot of soul searching on that front, and what I find interesting is
the story of David and the way in which he fell mightily, fell in very, very significant ways, but
then picked up the pieces and built from there. And it really began with first of all a larger
quest that I think are well expressed in the Book of Psalms on the notion of humility.

LISA MILLAR: And then there was Senator John Ensign, whose parents paid cash to his mistress, who
happened to be his best friend's wife. His friend went public with the tangled tail.

DOUG HAMPTON, HUSBAND: Close friends - we've been close friend a long time, very close while we
live here in Nevada. And while living in the house, Cindy and John got together.

LISA MILLAR: And the last of the three bombshells: the resignation of the high-profile Alaskan
Governor Sarah Palin.

SARAH PALIN: And though it may be tempting and more comfortable to just kind of keep your head down
and plod along and appease those who are demanding, "Hey, just sit down and shut up." But that's a
worthless, easy path. That's a quitter's way out. And I think a problem in our country today is
apathy. It would be apathetic to just kind of hunker down and go with the flow. We're fishermen; we
know that only dead fish go with the flow.

LISA MILLAR: In a rambling 18-minute monologue, the failed vice-presidential candidate attempted to
put it in perspective.

SARAH PALIN: Let me go back quickly to a comfortable analogy for me, and that's sports -
basketball. And I use it because you are naive if you don't see a full court press from the
national level picking away right now a good point guard. Here's what she does: she drives through
a full court press, protecting the ball, keeping her head up because she needs to keep her eye on
the basket. And she knows exactly when to pass the ball so that the team can win.

LISA MILLAR: Two days later, she went fishing with the media.

JOURNALIST: Are you running for President in 2012?

SARAH PALIN: Don't know what the future holds. I'm not going to shut any door that - who knows what
doors open? Can't predict what the next fish run's going to look like.

LISA MILLAR: And gave the late night comedians more fodder.

DAVID LETTERMAN, 'THE LATE SHOW': Sarah Palin is - you know, she's stepping down. And then the next
day, there was footage of her, she went fishing. And I thought, "Well, that's pretty good." But now
here's the point. But now here's the point: is it just me, or is anybody else having naughty
thoughts about Sarah Palin in those waders?

LISA MILLAR: Laughs aside, Sarah Palin's resignation does underscore the party's woes. It's
approval ratings remain low and it has just 18 months to turn those around. That's when the
mid-term Congressional elections will be held - its first big test, where it needs to regain the
ground it's lost over the last years.

John Batchelor doesn't think that will happen, blaming veterans of the party like former speaker
Newt Gingrich for holding it back.

JOHN BATCHELOR: What we see are these characters on television telling us about conservatism
-telling us demagogic remarks about what's wrong with Sotomayor, what's wrong with Barack Obama.
That's not the Republican Party. That's not anybody's party. And in fact, I wish this Republican
Party would admit that it was dead. Because that would be its first honest statement in several
years.

LISA MILLAR: But the party's loyal believers won't be delivering that message. They're confident
the comeback has already begun.