The Problems With Palin

The Alaskan would enter the presidential race with little infrastructure, a near complete lack of a policy agenda, and eye-popping unfavorable ratings.

By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL

Sarah Palin’s bus tour dominated this week’s news, raising to a fever pitch the question of whether she will, or will not, run for president. The better question: Does she have what it takes to become president?

Doing that sort of straight analysis is almost impossible today, given the violent emotion Mrs. Palin inspires from critics and supporters. The former Alaska governor is no longer a mere politician; she is a symbol.

Her fans have come to view her as the living antithesis of everything they find offensive—the mainstream media, cultural elites, out-of-touch Washington. She so embodies this role that it is no longer clear whether her backers support her in her own right or support her because they so dislike what she dislikes.

Mrs. Palin’s initial mistreatment, by a press (on the right and the left) that was both jeering and patronizing, has in fact resulted in an unfortunate phenomenon. It has allowed Mrs. Palin to dismiss any criticism of her—no matter how straightforward—as yet more hostility from opponents, or as hoity-toity blather from inside-the-Beltway mopes.

This isn’t healthy. Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty—all have already been through the wringer, and at the hands of conservatives focused on obtaining a competent nominee. If Mrs. Palin wants the most powerful job on the planet, she shouldn’t be averse to the same critical questioning.

Mrs. Palin’s strengths remain the very ones she displayed when John McCain first chose her as a running mate. She has practical executive experience as the governor of Alaska. She has a reformer’s instincts and a healthy skepticism of business-as-usual politics. She has a background that many Americans can identify with and is aided by her innate, and considerable, political skills.

She also has a lot of negatives, ones that she herself has created since 2008. Of all criticisms of Mrs. Palin back then, the most legitimate was that the relative political newcomer lacked knowledge and experience, in particular on foreign policy. A serious candidate, one who was determined to seize the frontrunner mantle in 2012, would’ve set about using the intervening years to bone up, to demonstrate accomplishments, and to build a team.

Mrs. Palin had a perfect perch from which to do this, as governor. She instead chose to quit that job and retreat to (let’s be honest) the easier occupation of private citizen. Rather than build a team, she has cast herself as a one-woman-show. Her supporters love this spunk, but the aggressive insularity—Sarah against the “establishment”—has also served to alienate many of the local political leaders and organizers necessary to build a nationwide campaign. That includes fund-raisers.

The stakes in 2012 are high. Mr. Obama is a sitting president. It will take a mighty GOP nominee (not to mention a lot of luck) to knock him off. Mrs. Palin would come into this race with little or no infrastructure, a near complete lack of a policy agenda, and eye-popping unfavorables. Nothing is impossible in politics, but her start is not encouraging.

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13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. californiacruisin
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 06:14:13

    “Mrs. Palin’s initial mistreatment, by a press (on the right and the left) that was both jeering and patronizing”

    Mistreatment by the press? oh please. How about Mrs. Palin’s continuing mistreatment OF the press (not that they don’t deserve it for being so shallow and lame)? Beyond that, can you even feature the Palin hillbillies in the White House? The beautiful grounds would be littered with cars, snow machines, and other junk. The perimeter fence would have a 14 foot wood extension tacked on to the top of the existing fence. The girls would be popping gum in front of the camera and looking bored while giving the middle finger to the reporters and each other. The attire of the day would be in the style of the hoochie mama president with F— Me boots, mini skirts, black bras under thin white shirts, and road-kill hair-dos. Oh, and let’s not forget the black, leather, motorcycle mama jackets.

    The nice organic vegetable garden from the Obamas would be ripped out and re-cultivated to grow a forest of Mary Jane. “Government isn’t going to tell me what to grow in my own flippin’ garden! ” Track will be the go-to guy for designer drug deals through the back fence. Todd will be living in his own mobile home on the side lawn.

    The front gate will have a neon sign above it stating, “Proud to Be Valley Trash.” Sarah will be standing in front of a large upstairs window wearing nothing more than an open robe every morning while drinking a skinny white chocolate mocha. Her latest Facebook rant will be short and to the point. “I have the nuclear codes. BWAAHAAAHAAAHA!!! BITE ME!!”

    OY! I have to go cleanse my mind of this self-inflicted nightmare.

    Reply

  2. Diane
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 06:18:22

    Her revisionist history will not sit well with the NE.
    I cannot believe how stupid she sounded, and this was supposedly after she took a tour?
    Either she is lying, or she did not listen to a word that was said about Paul Revere.
    This is grade school history, she cannot be anywhere near the WH!

    Reply

  3. climber357
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 08:04:31

    ¨Does she have what it takes to become president?¨

    No. During the ´08 campaign Republicans learned one thing about sarah that disqualifies her completely: She is a security risk.

    Her mental condition during the VP debate preps had to be hidden from the White House.

    Reply

  4. molly malone
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 08:41:51

    I’m beginning to think she really IS stupid. At first I thought she might be suffering from a serious mental disorder–which I still don’t rule out–but the silly bus tour, the inane Paul Revere tale, her account of the patently ridiculous “Wild Ride”, and her inability to speak in-depth on any subject makes me wonder if her IQ might be well below average.

    Since her old high school yearbook lists her as an honors student, she may have been bright enough at one time, but it appears that she’s blown some fuses since then. Seriously.

    Reply

  5. Xenon
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 09:01:11

    “Her fans have come to view her as the living antithesis of everything they find offensive—the mainstream media, cultural elites, out-of-touch Washington.”

    I would add that her fans are also fools enough not to realize that Palin is the very embodiment of that which she despises.

    That is, she is nothing without mainstream media coverage and thus cannot thrive without it; she herself now walks amongst the elite (how many “real Americans” get to scoff down pizza with Trump and/or buy mansions in Arizona?); and is her self so out of touch with Washington as to flame, misinterpret, and bastardize its workings and history with a disregard that would astound most elementary school students.

    She is a train wreck of a human being, as is the Tea Party from who she gleans her ill-gotten fame.

    Reply

  6. Sarah HalfTime
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 11:29:07

    Okay, my sister and I are sitting here in beautiful Wasilla, wondering why the hell a mom does not buckle up the kids while driving?

    It is the most simple of safety nets provided to a parent that can be accomplished.

    And Sowah is documented over and over, again and again with kids in a moving bus with out restraints.

    Must be a Palin Family Value thing…

    Reply

    • Syrin
      Jun 03, 2011 @ 12:36:55

      Well darn! I wish I was hanging around town. My husband and I are heading up to lil Su at the end of Burma road.. We’re off doing some camping! Around the campfire reading the books to friends in my acerbic fashion! Ha! Just fill me in if the ‘town liar’ makes up anymore. American history!

      Reply

  7. sunnyinak
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 12:36:49

    Wow! the lastest video with Palin’s remarks about Paul Revere is making me truly ill. The least she could do is read up on the historical facts before she starts giving interviews. I know if I could take my family (including my parents) on a wonderful vacation we would all be studying the history of places we were visiting. It is almost sad to see how little attention she pays to Piper who just trails behind. I think I would be a little more protective of my child. One has to wonder how far the bus would go before anyone missed Piper if she wandered off??

    Reply

  8. californiacruisin
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 13:59:26

    Sarah is definitely the worst mother ever. She doesn’t buckle up her kids or herself. She is the worst morals/ethics example ever. She enables the children’s criminal behavior by calling in favors. She is never around to actually “mother.” And last but not least, she appears to be using some kind of illicit drugs. And the CRAPPY MOTHER of the YEAR AWARD goes to……(drum roll) to SARAH PALIN, the Witch of Wasilla!!!!

    Reply

  9. Elizabeth
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 14:36:02

    One thing that bothers me is that her fans are in love with her persona, not the real Sarah Palin. They seem unable to see the contradictions. When they carry on about what a wonderful mother she is, I want to scream, “Look at her children!”, but they don’t see anything wrong. If their children behaved like that, they would be doing some discipline now.

    Reply

  10. mary b
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 15:27:58

    I have to disagree with her so-called “unfair treatment” by the Media.
    No politician in History has gotten away with all the outright lies and distortions that $arah constantly spews.
    In fact, if we had a decent media, she would have been butchered on her governence alone during the campaign with McCain.
    $he is a pathological liar, a terrible Mother and a sorry excuse for a human being.
    The MSM have given her a HUGE pass! No one dares ask her a real question or a follow up. Even now, with the other GOP Contenders, they are asked policy questions and are asked to follow up. But not $arah. All she has to do is give a little wiggle and a wink and the Corporate Media is fine with it.
    And don’t even get me started on the so-called Liberal Media. We have not had one since Walter Cronkite retired. It was never even Liberal. Just factual.

    Reply

  11. carrie
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 16:38:10

    I also disagree with the statement that she was mistreated by the media. In fact, she has been given more passes than any public political figure in history. Winking her way through a National debate? Can you imagine a man getting away with that behavior? Not knowing the role of the VP… Getting the role of the VP wrong… Couric interviews….on and on and on.

    Newt is tanking because he had an account at Tiffany’s. Remember wardrobe-gate and Palin spending almost 200k on clothes for herself and her family. Yet, she gets a pass. Again and again….she is forgiven and no one asks the tough questions of her. I’d say, she has had a free ride.

    Reply

  12. akbagirly
    Jun 05, 2011 @ 23:01:21

    The most hilarious thing was Palin’s youngest daughter repeatedly “body checking” a reporter that Sarah had engaged in conversation.

    Can you imagine if one of the Obama’s daughters had done something like that? It would have been all over the Conservative Radio and Television circuit about what horrible children they are, and if Obama raises kids like that, how can he possibly run the country?

    When Palin’s little Diva does it, we hear nothing. They really are the Lamestream Media!

    Reply

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