Monday, November 10, 2008

What's Next for Palin?

So, with the presidential election over, Barack Obama will become President of the United States, Joe Biden will become Vice President, and John McCain will serve out the rest of his time in the U.S. Senate. Sarah Palin’s fate is less certain—she has an interesting political future ahead of her.

Her situation at present is not without precedent. On one side of the ideological fence, Palin is nigh-universally loved and respected. Over eighty percent of Republicans have a favorable view of Palin, and she seems to be the Republican frontrunner for 2012. She is viewed, at present, as Miss Conservative; a perfect model of conservative thought.

To the other half of the country, she’s a punch line. She’s seen as frighteningly extremist; as well as laughably unqualified. An entire Palin mythology has sprang up among Democrats—she didn’t know that Africa is a continent (is that even possible for a governor?), she was unaware of which countries are in NAFTA, she “went rogue” and started going after William Ayers without campaign permission. She is a sort of Democrat bogeyman, a terrifying “what if” to frighten the base.

Sound like anyone we know? Yes, Sarah Palin occupies the exact position once occupied by Hillary Clinton, except the parties are reversed. And we all know how the Hillary saga turned out. She came very close to winning the White House—had it not been for an unexpected, smooth-talking Illinois Senator, Hillary Clinton would probably have beaten McCain and become our first female president.

Palin could do nearly the same thing, except she could actually win her party’s nomination. The Republican party tends to embrace the next person in line as its nominee (the last time they didn’t was in 1964, with Barry Goldwater), and Palin is the next in line. And Palin is probably the politician most identified with the Republican party, which would have to be an advantage in getting the nomination.

Palin’s other advantages are pretty obvious. She is (at times) articulate and compelling. She has a sky-high approval rating as governor of Alaska. And she is, of course, attractive and has a wonderful family, and seems to embody the American Dream.

Further, there really aren’t that many strong Republican candidates on the horizon. Mike Huckabee is far more articulate and funny than Palin, but he lacks support from the conservative base. Mitt Romney has money, but no charisma or ability to connect with voters. Bobby Jindal is smart and conservative, but little known (though that could change before 2012).

On the other hand, Palin has some tough obstacles to overcome as well. Over half the nations thinks she’s stupid, which is a bit of a problem when running for president. And her situation in Alaska might not be as secure as it looks—being an oil producing state, Alaska depends on $74 dollar a barrel oil to balance its budget. Oil’s at $60 right now. And as Hillary Clinton proved, highly polarizing candidates don’t always play well with voters.

Palin has a lot of room to succeed—and a lot of room to fail. She will have to eradicate the impression that she is unintelligent, which will be quite hard—Gerald Ford was perhaps the most athletic president ever, but one trip and fall gave him an unshakeable reputation as someone exceptionally clumsy. But hard or not, Palin must succeed.

Palin has one more weapon that could help her do so. America voted Barack Obama into the White House because he promised “change” (tempered, of course, by “hope”). Palin represents much the same attraction—she bills herself as an original, outside-the-Beltway thinker. That isn’t a qualification for the presidency, or any other office, but if the word “change” could make Barack Obama the most powerful man in the world, then it is not inconceivable that “outside-the-Beltway” could do much the same for Palin. Palin’s attractive and inexperienced, but don’t underestimate her—she managed to go from mayor of Wasilla to three and a half million votes and a heartbeat away from the presidency in less than ten years.


At November 11, 2008 at 7:04 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

"What's next for Palin??"

Depends who you ask I suppose. I think at this point there is a clamoring for a new direction within the party without question (a move wholly necessary as moderation always fails as a winning strategy). It's so distressing for many party members that they are apparently ready to annoint Sarah Palin as the future of the Republican party. But, to do so is to further exacerbate the very problems that have led us to this point.

The Republican Party sold Sarah Palin to its members. In so doing, they used code words like: hockey mom, NRA member, et al. all the while the party's membership knew very little about her.

Even George Will recognizes this in so rightfully proclaiming in Sunday's editorial:

"Some of the Republicans' afflictions are self-inflicted. Some conservatives who are gluttons for punishment are getting a head start on ensuring a 2012 drubbing by prescribing peculiar medication for a misdiagnosed illness. They are monomaniacal about media bias, which is real but rarely decisive, and unhinged by their anger about the loathing of Sarah Palin by similarly deranged liberals. These conservatives, confusing pugnacity with a political philosophy, are hot to anoint Palin, an emblem of rural and small-town sensibilities, as the party's presumptive 2012 nominee.

These conservatives preen as especially respectful of regular — or as Palin says, "real" — Americans, whose tribune Palin purports to be. But note the argument that the manipulation of Americans by "the mainstream media" explains the fact that the more Palin campaigned, the less Americans thought of her qualifications. This argument portrays Americans as a bovine herd — or as inert clay in the hands of wily media, which only Palin's conservative celebrators can decipher and resist.

These conservatives, smitten by a vice presidential choice based on chromosomes, seem eager to compete on the Democrats' terrain of identity politics, entering the "diversity" sweepstakes they have hitherto rightly deplored. We have seen this movie before. Immediately after the 1972 election, some conservatives laid down the law — the 1976 Republican nominee must be Vice President Spiro Agnew."

At November 11, 2008 at 11:08 AM , Blogger BB-Idaho said...

Interesting comparison/contrast with Hillary Clinton. In particular the baggage of polarizing the opponents. One suspects that her performance as governer (of a unique state) may determine her future with respect to both her conservative admirers as well as her liberal detractors.

At November 11, 2008 at 1:31 PM , Blogger Bob said...

I think that Sarah Palin is extreamly popular with the Republican base, John McCain may have run a bad campaign but I don’t think it was the fault of Sarah’s in any way.
When the conservatives look at it truthfully this year's loss was the fault of McCain , it was his fault not to go with the economy issue from the get go has that may have made a difference. Sarah Palin was the one who put the excitement into the race. And like it or not, weather the Dem’s try to destroy her or not and they will try, because that are afraid of her. She is a force to reckon with. Sarah Palin will almost certainly be a front-runner in 2012. The base loves her more than any candidate since Reagan. That's huge, no matter what the pundits think.
Remember last time out she was on John McCain’s leash It was he that mishandled her.

At November 11, 2008 at 2:11 PM , Blogger Frank the Carpenter said...

Sarah Palin was never afraid to stand up for herself and fight for what she believes in and she never shirks from telling people who she is and what she believes in. She took a beating from the left, from the Media and worst of all from those TV idiots.
John McCain picked her and he needs to back her right now. She is getting a bad rap and he could have put an end to it long ago. McCain owes Sarah Palin big time. If not for her he would have lost by another 10 points.
An the media was shameful about her coverage.
When Obambi said hands off my kids, they folded like a cheap camera, but look at what they did to her kids.
I believe she and Bobby Jindal will be big factors in the next Republican Primary. The both speak the same language, politically speaking.

At November 11, 2008 at 2:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Palin For President 2012 Website Crashes Due To Explosive Support Due to McCain Operatives Trashing Sarah Palin

The same GOP establishment Bush/McCain political operatives and “so called” strategists who failed in their campaign to elect John McCain president are failing again in their savage attempt to destroy the political career of Sarah Palin. The Sarah Palin For President in 2012 website received more traffic and support since the attacks began following the election than in the entire period leading up to the election. This campaign is similar to their attacks on Congressman Ron Paul and the results are the same.

Maybe the GOP establishment and their Neocon and Wall Street special interests should try the politics of inclusion instead of exclusion for a change and welcome real conservative supporters and candidates into the Republican Party. Although the GOP establishment has almost destroyed the Republican Party, real conservatives will come together and restore the GOP to the original Ronald Reagan vision of fiscal and social conservatism.

“At least the website crash will give us the opportunity to maybe catch up and reply to all the people wanting to join the Sarah Palin For President 2012 grassroots campaign,” says Ron Holland.

Keep up the good work, McCain operatives as your “keystone cops” approach to the McCain presidential campaign elected Obama president in the 2008 election and your attacks are just what we need to start the Sarah Palin For President in 2012 campaign for the GOP nomination for president.

Maybe these operatives should work for the Democrats in the next election so they will be defeated. Then again, considering their performance to date, maybe they were working for the Democrats during the 2008 election.

Ron Holland,
Sarah Palin For President 2012 website

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The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to the site owner reaching his/her bandwidth limit. Please try again later.
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At November 11, 2008 at 3:52 PM , Blogger An American that cares! said...

Sarah Palin was picked for the conservative base. That's it. She wasn't supposed to appeal to Obama supporters or undecided. She was selected because of the fact that it would bring together the conservative base. It was not Sarah Palin's fault we lost this election.
If some of the conservative base didn't like her, well you can't please everybody.

At November 11, 2008 at 7:48 PM , Blogger road warrior said...

Well we can talk about Palin being the next republican candidate but the liberal illuminati have tosseed under the bus enough that i think her political career is just about over. But there are enough conservative people that love i think she could be Fox's version of Oprah. TV entertainment is her called, you don't need to know about Africa for that.

At November 11, 2008 at 8:00 PM , Blogger Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

She'll continuing running the State of Alaska for awhile, and then the GOP will try to groom her for higher office.

She'll balk at being told what to do, and then she'll assemble her own team to help her figure out what's next. "Maverick" is not a bad word for her!

Whatever happens between now and 2012, she has my utmost respect.

At November 12, 2008 at 4:20 AM , Blogger An American that cares! said...

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...
"Whatever happens between now and 2012, she has my utmost respect."

As she has mine as well.

At November 12, 2008 at 11:55 AM , Blogger road warrior said...

I am not sure why totally has mine, at least not as for as the political scene goes. The liberal illuminati make a fool of her a couple time and she really fell for it. i think she would be better and more stirring in some other public arena.

At November 16, 2008 at 6:57 AM , Blogger knowitall said...

She should stay and govern in Alaska, and not put herself up to lead the party, because the media destroyed her, and this would be right up the left-wing illuminati's ally.

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