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Friday, July 10, 2009

Sarah Palin

The Left has recently focused all of its hatred -- which is a not inconsiderable amount -- on the soon-to-be ex-governor of Alaska, who, by dint of her appointment as Vice Presidential nominee in 2008, seems to be the presumptive frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2012.

The media anointed her an instant star after her initial speech at the Republican convention. She did have some clever, cutting lines about the Democratic ticket, and she delivered them well. But it was the speechwriter who was the real star, not Palin. McCain could have hired any number of good-looking actresses to make the same speech equally well (there were no other pretty governors available, however). But Palin was given credit, much in the same way a movie star is assumed to be sophisticated because he recites the scriptwriter's witty lines.

Unfortunately, there was nowhere to go after that brief, shining moment but down. When Palin was interviewed, her lack of political grounding quickly became apparent. Yes, Katie Couric did her best to ambush her, but Palin's deer in the headlights response to the attack did little to instill confidence. When asked about her foreign policy expertise, Palin responded that on a clear day you could see Russia across the Bering Strait. (Wince.) She was equally uninformed on other issues. To her credit, she did have a track record of going after malfeasance in her own party, showing an admirable independent streak. But she also lied about her track record concerning the Bridge to Nowhere.

Palin just isn't Presidential material (any more than Joe Biden, though for different reasons). Not only is she not a thinker, she's not even a particularly effective saleswoman.

The Right invested too much of its hopes in her, and as a result the Left has invested much of its hatred in her (which in turn makes the Right like her even more). But the Left also finds her irritating because of what she symbolizes: a particularly fecund brand of white motherhood, a fervent Christianity, and a sort of Annie Oakley-style self-reliance. She even helped her husband with his fishing business (this is a dangerous occupation) in the summers. The East Coast elite finds this sort of resume, at a certain level, somewhat intimidating, simply because they know they never could or would do any of those things. So they respond the way they know best: with contempt.

The Democrats like to present themselves as the party of the common people, who stick up for the underprivileged against the privileged. But when someone like Paula Jones (who accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment) gets in their way, their true colors come out. All of those liberal women who are usually all too happy to act as pc thought police started calling Jones "trailer trash" and the like. (The usual class warfare, just fought from the other side this time.)

The same crowd has reacted in similar fashion to Palin.

The real threat to Obama in 2012 would seem to come not from Palin but from the well-informed and well-spoken Mitt Romney. He was denied last time around because he split the conservative vote with Huckabee, giving McCain the plurality, but that probably won't happen in 2012. Romney is a bit of a flip flopper (most notably on gay marriage when he ran for Governor of Massachusetts), but compared to Obama he looks like the Rock of Gibraltar. He is rich, and will not have to scrape for money in the next three years, as Palin will. And after a few more years of our economy being run by a leftist community organizer from Chicago who inevitably favors unions over companies (and even over workers), the national mood may shift. The electorate will probably start to hanker for the business savvy (or at least the presumed business savvy) of a self-made man like Romney.

As a Morgan Stanley analyst recently said, "Look for the union label...and sell it."

Imagine if Romney were to pick Palin as his VP. I hope he doesn't, because of all her negatives; but if he did, it would be the best-looking ticket ever. (Would they be able to keep their hands off each other, or would it be too much Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith?)

In the meantime, let the Left focus its virulence on Palin. She'd make a lousy Presidential candidate, but she makes a fantastic stalking horse.


Anonymous said...

Michelle Malkin wrote a good article focusing on the Left's hypocritical attack against Palin on the grounds that she should stay home to take care of her family:

Sisterhood of the Protected Female Liberal Journalists

here are a few excerpts:

"Let’s talk Mommy Wars, double standards, and the media elite. Last Friday, Obama Campaign National Finance Committee member Howard Gutman attacked Sarah Palin’s ability to be a good parent and have a high-powered public life at the same time.


“Your responsibility is to put your family first,” Gutman lectured as he singled out Palin’s Down’s Syndrome baby and pregnant teenage daughter. “The proper attack is not that a woman shouldn’t run for vice president with five kids, it’s that a parent, when they have a family in need,” should get out of the public sphere and stay home.


How would CNN’s (Soledad) O’Brien like the Gutman standard applied to her? She’s been working overtime covering the presidential campaign season, anchoring daily coverage, nighttime conventions, and producing documentaries that require large chunks of time away from home. Disney’s Family Parenting website lauds her as “a modern mom balancing a thriving career as one of America’s top news anchors along with her four children” – two daughters now ages 7 and 6 and twin boys who are 4. Where are the Palin-bashers to lambaste O’Brien’s professional pursuits?

How about Katie Couric? Her husband died at 42 when her daughters were 6 and 2 years old. With two young children devastated by the loss of a father, she opted not to quit journalism. She anchored NBC’s Today Show through his illness and death, continued working an intensive, time-consuming schedule as one of America’s most visible broadcast journalists while a single mother with two fatherless children at home, and then jumped to CBS News, where she maintains a rigorous on-air schedule, travel plans, and off-air social calendar. Where are the finger-waggers?

Also at CNN, Campbell Brown flew to Las Vegas last year to moderate a political debate while 8 ½ months’ pregnant. Fox News host and left-wing blogger Alan Colmes, last seen questioning Sarah Palin’s commitment to prenatal care because she worked and traveled late in her pregnancy, had no comment. When she initially left the Today Show in 2007, Brown said she was stepping down to devote more time to family and baby. She immediately turned around the next day and jumped ship to CNN, where she has anchored wall-to-wall CNN Election Center coverage and will launch a new nightly show in November.

And at NBC, famous balancer of work-and-motherhood (Meredeith) Viera replaced Couric on the Today Show. She has three children at home and a husband who has battled multiple sclerosis and two bouts with colon cancer. By the Gutman standard, Viera should have left the business years ago to tend to her family in need.

I don’t challenge the commitment these fellow working mothers in the media have to their home lives. What I challenge is their silence and complicity as the Palin-bashers impose a “Family First” double standard on conservatives. The sorority is closed to the Right."

- Ed

John Craig said...

Anonymous -- Thank you, that's an illuminating article.