"It didn't play well when he came with his rope lines and his motorcades," Vander Plaats said. "People wanted to sit at the kitchen table with him."
Terry Holt, a Washington-based Republican campaign strategist, said Palin "is a force to be reckoned with." She's doing some things that a candidate needs to do, he said, and "all the things that kingmakers need to do."
Following a midterm election in which voters embraced non-mainstream Republicans in many states, Holt said, "it would be a mistake to sell her short."