Palin’s insurmountable problem is simple. As Americans know her more, they like her less.

Satirists despair: Palin won’t be President

We all love a bit – well, more than a bit – of Sarah Palin bashing. When we hear of Palin in the UK, it tends to be because she has launched another scathing attack on Barack Obama. And we see a crowd utterly captivated by her word and a terrifying thought crosses our mind: this woman is, somehow, going to be the next President of the United States. Quite how can this be so?

But it ain’t so. It may sit uncomfortably with the way in which Palin is typically portrayed here – as the most influential current Republican – but her political career could well be toast. Almost every month her approval ratings reach their apparent nadir – only to get even worse. They now put her on roughly the same standing as President Nixon during his final, disgraced days in office. Amongst possible candidates for the Republican nomination in the 2012 presidential election, she often comes fifth in opinion polls, with support barely reaching ten percent. And in match-ups with Obama, Palin fares significantly worse than other potential Republican candidates.

Palin’s insurmountable problem is simple. As Americans know her more, they like her less, as her views are exposed to analysis that leads to ridicule. Moreover, Palin has not helped herself. Resigning her post as Governor of Alaska in 2009, saying her constant need to legally defend herself from ethical charges was undermining her ability to do her job, badly damaged her credibility as a serious politician. If she could not last a full term in Alaska, could she be trusted to be President of the United States?

Then there were her comments after the attempted assassination of Arizona House of Representatives member Gabrille Giffords in January. Palin was accused of helping to incite the attack, after she had earlier used her website to put ‘bullseye’ icons on “Obamacare-lovin’ incumbent seats” – including that of Giffords. In a speech after the attack, which resulted in six dead, she launched a counter-attack on her critics. The tone was more political than statesmanlike, and seemed more concerned with her critics than her victims. Her use of the loaded term “blood libel” (associated with anti-Semitism) showed Palin at her über-tribal worst. A viable head of state she certainly did not appear.

Palin often seems unwilling to tolerate those who disagree with her views. While she both appears on Fox News and gives speeches regularly, she is clearly much happier when her words don’t face challenge, and she seldom comes off well from question-and-answer sessions. The influential right-wing talkshow host Bill O’Reilly – previously sympathetic to Palin – has criticised her several times, saying: “she’s not engaging directly. When I had her on this program, I asked her some specific questions she didn’t want to answer. She wanted to give a speech, this that and the other thing.” This is seen as emblematic of a lack of political courage – a major deficiency in any potential President. Moreover, these traits risk Palin being a caricature of herself, in quasi-political irrelevance as a figure only willing to preach to the converted. If serious about running in 2012, she would be wise to engage with a much broader range of opinions. If she were really brave she would do interviews with media bodies that weren’t right- wing, but Palin has shown no inclination to do so.

Palin’s problems mean she is not capitalising on a thoroughly mediocre set of potential challengers for the GOP 2012 nomination – one so uninspiring that Donald Trump is leading polls. ‘Marmite’ political figures can win presidential elections, as George W Bush and Bill Clinton proved. But in order to do so they need to be able to unite their party – something Palin, disliked even by many Republican voters, conspicuously cannot do.

So deep are her troubles that she is no longer even such a Tea Party favourite. Even amongst self-described ‘Tea Party supporters’, to whom she should appeal to above all, she has a miserable 12 percent of support. Others, like Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann, now provide glamour and love for guns. Bachmann has the advantage of being much less divisive than Palin – partly because she’s much less known.

To a degree, Palin has been misfortunate too. Her social conservatism, her real raison d’être, seems less relevant when economic issues so dominate the political discourse. Palin has long been exposed as no economics expert; with around 70 percent of voters considering this the most important issue, Palin’s deficiencies are damaging. In this area, too, she has no unique selling point: her fiscal conservatism differentiates little from other Republicans.

Satirists will not get their wish: Palin will never be President.


20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bigtoe
    May 06, 2011 @ 10:55:54

    Palin doesn’t do Q & A’s because she doesn’t know anything. It’s as simple as that. It isn’t that she can’t sell her ideology, it’s that she doesn’t know anything. She doesn’t have an answer to “Who do think is the most influencial journalist”; she doesn’t have an answer because she doesn’t read any of them. “What newspapers/magazines do you read”; she doesn’t know because she doesn’t read any. “Name a Supreme Court decision, etc., etc. ” The exxon decision concerning her own state had just been ruled on. She just doesn’t know anything. Imagine if she had been the Pres when info about bin laden crosses her desk. “This is hard; Toad, does my hair look okay?”

    She doesn’t know anything or cares to!!!


  2. AFM
    May 06, 2011 @ 11:01:11

    We can only wish she won’t run. She will further divide the hate in this country. I don’t know any other politician that would say things like your state is where real americans are. All she will produce is divide, divide, divide. Nothing good will come from her. She hasn’t been out there to much other than being a twit on twitter and someone writing on her facebook. She thinks that is going to get her in the 2012 elections. She thinks she doesn’t have to do real work by meeting with everyone not just the rightwing media and ass kissers. She can’t help herself, she will run but will lose the golden ring. As she should. Otherwise we will have a Liar in Chief. Or a Quitter in Chief. Either way it’s bad for the country.


  3. Sally in MI
    May 06, 2011 @ 11:35:50

    Her supporters on ‘conservatives 4 palin’ are so idiotic that they haven’t even realized she has done a 180 on foreign policy. She now favors NOT being the arbiter of every country’s problems, NOT using our troops for every battle, and actually having stated that we need a purpose before we do anything. That’s a fa cry from her unabashed support for the Afghan surge and for every million dollar/year soldier in Iraq. And yet, her ‘bots are so pleased that she is showing ‘leadership,’ while echoing the current administration’s policies.
    I think what concerns me most about her supporters is that, like her, they never see or admit that anything she does or says is wrong or a lie. Those of us who voted for President Obama have been very vocal in our concerns over his Gitmo decision, the surge in Afghanistan, and many other things. While the right decries his every thought, we are honest enough to call him out when we disagree. No one on her ‘team’ ever disagrees with her. It is scary.


    • Just_a_Mote
      May 06, 2011 @ 14:07:59

      Please forgive my shark, but it becomes easier to understand when you substitute ‘conservatives4palin’ with ‘cretins4palin.’ They don’t have a clue. They love Princess Sparkle Burst because she is the ‘anti-Obama.’ Critical thinking isn’t their forte. In fact, they don’t really think at all. If it wasn’t Palin leading them off the giant Frisbee that is the world, it would be someone else. They would be trying to grab the tail of comet Hale-Bopp with Marshall Applewhite.


    • newmeximan
      May 06, 2011 @ 22:03:08

      Sea of Pea refers to her as a non-politician, but that isn’t what her Facebook page says. If states her occupation as politician.

      That wasn’t a true statement even when she was the governor.


  4. Diane
    May 06, 2011 @ 11:43:43

    If she had shown one iota of improving her knowledge expanded her foreign policy credentials and suggested policies to help unemployment and the deficit, she could have been a help to the republican party.
    But, no, she has done nothing except make money and promote bristol.

    She tweets and uses facebook like a kid so she does not have to answer any questions. No solutions, no ideas, just criticize, complain and blame.


  5. climber357
    May 06, 2011 @ 12:00:50

    What people learn about sarah is how much she does not live up to her own ethics and standards.


  6. RonniNY
    May 06, 2011 @ 12:07:39

    She will get as close to running as she possibly can. She has to because she needs the material. She’s going to give every indication that she’s considering it seriously, but she’s not. She only needs to make folks think she’s still ” in it to win it” but, in the end, she’ll pull out , playing either the victim card or the “God has other plans for me” card. ” I don’t need an office or a title. My servant’s heart is ready to be where I can do the best work for Him. ”



    • Lou Todd
      May 06, 2011 @ 15:02:37

      “God has other plans for me” card. ” I don’t need an office or a title. My servant’s heart is ready to be where I can do the best work for Him. ”

      Are you sure you are not Sarah Palin?

      You sound just like my wife!


    • AFM
      May 06, 2011 @ 15:53:13

      Ron, I wish it were true. This quitter honestly thinks god has chosen her to be president. If she would use any critical thinking on her part she will realize god chose Obama as president. There is no way she will win the general election. She will run. It is in her DNA.


      • RonniNY
        May 07, 2011 @ 01:28:05

        AFM – The way I understand this twisted version of Christianity that she seems to be following, they are out to infiltrate all aspects of culture ( 7 mountains mandate thang ) in order to ready the world for the return of Jesus. If you’ve been called by God you are supposed to go through whatever door opens up for you and become a leader in whatever “pillar” or “mountain” of culture it leads you to. But, if that doesn’t work out quite right, then you wait for the next door. So for Palin, the government mountain was initially calling her, but then the media mountain opportunity opened up for her through Fox and then the entertainment mountain/pillar.

        I agree she has no critical thinking skills and believe that this is dangerously combined with her feeling that she’s been called by God to be a leader. My feeling is that she cannot deal with failing so she’s not going to make a serious run. Oh, she may go through the motions but it’ll only be so she can use the story for another book and more speeches. I think that in her head she’s doing God’s will by doing everything she can to remain in the spotlight putting His word there. She knows she can’t win but she’s got to make a show of it so that she can remain “out there” while she waits for the next door to open.

        The irony is that while she’s out there with her big ol’ ego, blustering about, spewing crap and believing she’s on a mission from God, she’s actually one of the very WORST representives for Jesus, like… ever. She had better hope he’s not coming back any time soon because she’s got to be right up near the top of the ” gonna get a beat down” list.

  7. FactChecker49
    May 06, 2011 @ 15:03:59

    We wouldn’t even be discussing Palin if the rest of us in Alaska had simply heeded the warnings from Wasillans when she ran for governor.

    Thanks for keeping up the pressure and for revealing more of Palin’s many lies, her stupidity and her utterly unstable and frightening personality.


  8. Jolly Roger
    May 06, 2011 @ 17:34:34

    Michele is certainly no better, or smarter, than Mama Grifter is, and she seems to be every bit as Narcissistic to boot. Of course, the mainstream media here is tying itself in knots trying to avoid reporting on Michele, but this can’t last forever. Not when she’s making a name for herself.


  9. Linda1961
    May 07, 2011 @ 05:42:06

    It happened in 2008 – the more Americans learned about Palin, the more we disliked her. In the time since, she has done nothing to improve herself or to appeal to all Americans. As has been noted, she hides behind Twitter, Facebook and FOX News. She’s learned nothing about foreign policy, economics or how Washington really works. All she’s learned is how to squeeze money from her dwindling group of supporters.

    She will run, she feels that God has chosen her for POTUS, but unlike King David and Queen Esther in the Bible (God chose them), she doesn’t realize that she has to make real efforts to accomplish the goal. God may have opened doors for David, but he had to walk through. Palin doesn’t even want to do that. She will fail miserably when she runs for POTUS, because Americans don’t like her, she does nothing to appeal to most of us, and she’s lazy. Palin will be quick to blame others for her failure, as that is what she has always done.


  10. Sammy
    May 07, 2011 @ 18:54:16

    Jolly Roger, you arfe really grasphing at straws or chasing smoke.

    Mrs. Obama, the First Lady of the United States is an educated, intellegent woman who has earned a law degree. She has spent her time in the WH working for the good of the American people.

    $carah Palin is a clueless, undereducated excuse for a human being who has done nothing for anyone other that herself. How many colleges did she attend to get a journalism (or communication) degree? Was it five or six?

    It is so obvious that she spent no time in the classroom learning demonstrated by the garbage that comes out of her mouth whenever she opens it. Imagine attending college whe she surely had to take classes in the English language. One would never know it by listening to her speak.

    Now Jolly, try again, cause you have failed big time.


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