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About that Sarah Palin resignation thing ...

I suppose it's my turn to write about the sudden resignation of Sarah Palin this past Friday. As I digested the news reports and commentary this weekend, one word kept popping into my mind: "outsider".

In politics, there is something magical about being an outsider. Political consultants sell their candidates' outsider status as a kind of synonym for purity. Outsiders are expected to work for the people, not for the system, because they have not been bought and paid for by special interests.

Barack Obama's political strategists used his relatively short tenure in national politics in order to portray him as an outsider. Obama was young, smart, free from corruption, free from D. C. entanglements, not beholden to the Clinton political machine, not controlled by the DNC, etc. They directly contrasted this to the cold, calculating demeanor of Hillary Clinton, who was suddenly transformed from the idealistic, progressive sweetheart of the 1990's into the epitome of the kind of iron-fisted Washington establishment figure that Obama's "Hope And Change" was supposed to trump.

Then Sarah Palin showed up. And she really was an outsider, in every conceivable sense of the word.

We know that John McCain's campaign staff harbored a lot of resentment toward Sarah Palin. Perhaps jealousy is a better word. Palin immediately eclipsed McCain on the campaign trail, simply by being herself. She rose to the top of the ticket without minute-by-minute briefings and instructions from McCain's handlers. She planned her own schedule, she took her own phone calls, she chose her own outfits (until McCain's staff forced her to wear outfits picked by a high-dollar Manhattan fashion consultant, a move which grossly backfired). She politely, but firmly, refused to be turned into a puppet by the McCain campaign staff. And that burned them up.

In spite of the wholesome nature ascribed to political outsiders, within the world of politics outsiders are thought of as foolish amateurs, and their ignorance of the system is considered to be a dangerous liability by political veterans. Sarah Palin's natural popularity was something that seasoned political insiders within both the Democrat and Republican parties found difficult to understand. I think Palin was somewhat prepared for the attacks from Democrats (though no one could have predicted the viciousness with which liberals would personally attack her and her family, especially her son Trig who has Down syndrome). But I don't believe that she was prepared to be handled in such a rough and patronizing manner by staffers from her own party.

I think Palin learned an important lesson from her vice presidential candidacy: the Washington, DC political establishment did not like her, and no one -- not even the national Republican party -- could be trusted to back her if she decided to pursue a Senate or Presidential candidacy.

I always believed that Sarah Palin entered politics to make a real difference. That's why she got involved in her local school board, then ran for city council and mayor. When she was appointed Chairperson of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, she refused to go along with the "good old boy" system and eventually filed ethics complaints against Oil and Gas Conservation Commissioner Randy Ruedrich and former Alaskan Attorney General Gregg Renkes. Both of these men were Republicans, and Sarah's commitment to ethics above party politics is a marvel that few political figures are capable of. (Honestly, can you imagine Barack Obama taking on the Chicago Democrat political machine in a similar fashion?) I think we can take Palin at her word when she says that being a lightning rod for the Republican party has severely crippled her effectiveness as an elected leader.

So what will Sarah Palin, a legitimate political outsider, do now that she is no longer an elected official?

I think Palin knows that she is still very popular within the broad base of middle-class Americans who vote Republican. She was, without a doubt, the phenomenon that drew the crowds of tens of thousands to McCain-Palin campaign events. I think she also knows that she is still very popular outside of the circle of die-hard Republicans. During the final weeks of the 2008 Presidential election, a significant number of Americans, whether or not they all agreed with Sarah Palin's personal beliefs, found Palin's humble roots, impressive accomplishments, and devotion to her family all enormously appealing. And these same people were shocked and disgusted by the way she and her family were mercilessly pilloried by the news media and the Hollywood entertainment industry.

Again, this broad appeal is what drove the establishment crazy. No matter how hard the news media tried to portray Palin as a clueless idiot, no matter how hard liberal opinion writers tried to convince their readers of Palin's ignorance and unpreparedness for the office of Vice President, no matter how hard entertainers tried to portray Palin as an uncouth denizen of the redneck culture that thrives on teenage pregnancy, firearms, and Bible-thumping, Sarah Palin's popularity remained unchanged. The greatness of the liberal establishment's success in transforming Barack Obama into The Messiah was embarrassingly squelched by the thoroughness of their failure to destroy Sarah Palin's grassroots appeal.

As our own Hugh S., Kim, and many other conservative pundits have stated, Palin's effectiveness will be much greater whenever she becomes a private citizen. Americans have little patience for high-profile figures who deliberately savage ordinary citizens, and (as Hugh S. noted) the misogyny and contempt for special needs children that has saturated much of the anti-Palin bile spewed by liberals has left a bad taste in the mouths of the American public, and could horribly backfire in the near future if it is not discontinued.

The conservative movement in this country needs a strong figure to rally around, if for no other reason than to counter the massive cult appeal of Barack Obama among the liberal chattering class. I believe that Sarah Palin could become such a figure, even if she does not run for elected office again. She has the ability to galvanize the conservative movement and organize it around a set of positive, proactive goals, which is what conservatism needs right now. The Cult of Obama has too great a hold on American popular culture for conservatives to simply be "against" the Obama presidency.

Whatever her new calling turns out to be, I wish her all the success in the world. She has certainly done enough to earn it.

...

ADDED: I thought this observation from The Bosque Boys was worth noting:

Prediction: Sarah Palin will never be president of the United States.

However, there is no reason why she can't be a Republican Al Gore, beloved and admired on her side of the aisle and reviled and ridiculed by her irate opponents. Remember, Vice President Gore has reportedly earned $100 Million during the years following his defeat in 2000. Like Gore, Palin will always have star power and the ability to draw a crowd. We can expect her to use her influence on the party faithful when needed, and we can also expect her, like Gore, to continually dangle the prospect of running for president before the press and her faithful boosters (but my hunch is, ultimately, she will never pull the trigger again on a all-out run for the big prize).

All she needs now are a "few inconvenient truths."

Instapundit Glenn Reynolds adds: "...she'd be wise to avoid Al Gore's weight gain."


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Comments (49)

Whatever her new c... (Below threshold)
jp2:
Whatever her new calling turns out to be, I wish her all the success in the world. She has certainly done enough to earn it.

Yeah, 30 months at work and then quitting. Definitely deserves it.

believe that Sarah Palin could become such a figure, even if she does not run for elected office again. She has the ability to galvanize the conservative movement and organize it around a set of positive, proactive goals, which is what conservatism needs right now.

I really hope this happens. To whom can I give money to make sure it does?

LOL, more trolling to come,... (Below threshold)
epador:

LOL, more trolling to come, no doubt.

not even the natio... (Below threshold)
RockyfromCali:
not even the national Republican party -- could be trusted to back her if she decided to pursue a Senate or Presidential candidacy.

I have not heard anyone put that thought it words, but I think you are right on the money...and that is a sad statement.

jp2:Here.... (Below threshold)
pvd:

jp2:

Here.

http://www.palinpac.org/catalog/c1_p1.html

Not that you're serious. Trolls never are. If I'm wrong, post or link to the receipt, blocking out the personal details.

ENOUGH! Enough with the exc... (Below threshold)
Chekote:

ENOUGH! Enough with the excuses. Palin is inarticulate. Her speeches just ramble on incoherently. She is uninformed. She has been peddling the same canned talking points for almost a year now. After the election, she needed to hit the books and learn a couple of things about policy.

I am on the Right, politically. I was a huge fan of Sarah when she first came on the scene. But her lack of knowledge about the issues and her refusal to remedy it, has turned me off. It has nothing to do with being insider, outsider, Trig, her looks or any of the lame excuses her supporters put out.

A couple of things seem evi... (Below threshold)
Brad Schwartze:

A couple of things seem evident to me:

1. Sarah Palin likely has big Republican financial backers, and those backers have had their eye on her long before McCain announced her as his running mate.
2. Sarah, and those financial backers, are arguably making one of the biggest political gambles in US History.
3. Which means there are likely some names behind Sarah that would surprise a LOT OF FOLKS. I would just note that Jeb Bush, for example, has said very little about either Sarah or the current direction of the GOP.

Just me thinking out loud.

Brad,Keep thinking... (Below threshold)
Chekote:

Brad,

Keep thinking.

Obama free from corruption?... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

Obama free from corruption?? Surely you jest!

As far as articulate, look at the idiot in the White House speak w/o a teleprompter

Chekote:Would you ... (Below threshold)
pvd:

Chekote:

Would you care to debate her in energy policy?

And there are plenty of middle Americans that do not have an issue with the manner of her speech. Obama can barely say hello without a teleprompter. Sarah Palin generally manages to communicate with the public just fine.

Probably the best analysis... (Below threshold)
Oldflyer:

Probably the best analysis I have seen.

There is no question that the signals coming from the party insiders were that they would not support her. Too bad for them; because the party needs Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin does not need the party because she has a life.

Too bad for them; becaus... (Below threshold)
Chekote:

Too bad for them; because the party needs Sarah Palin.

The party needs Sarah Palin as much as it needs George Bush. They both can't articulate their way out of a paper bag.

Would you care to debate... (Below threshold)
Chekote:

Would you care to debate her in energy policy?

This brings up the question, if Palin is such an energy expert why hasn't she emerged as the national Republican spokesman on this issue? What hasn't she given a detailed, comprehensive policy speech to counter Obama's cap and tax folly? I will tell you why, she can't. Her energy "expertise" is limited to talking about drilling ANWAR. Building the pipeline and repeating the line "hungry markets" twenty times. I have never heard her explain energy like T. Boone Pickins although people like you want to pretend that she is at the same level as T. Boone.

Chekote, the troll that tal... (Below threshold)
sue:

Chekote, the troll that talks like a lib but wants you to believe she/he is a conservative.

They always think they are so smart even though they can be spotted a mile away.

Sad, really.

Sure Sue. Accuse anybody wh... (Below threshold)
Chekote:

Sure Sue. Accuse anybody who doesn't rant and rave at the great Sarah Palin of being a troll. Let's see Krauthammer. Troll. Jonah Goldberb. Troll. Powerline blog. Trolls. We are all trolls for realizing that Palin is not ready for the national scene. Never has been.

You mean Pickens and his wi... (Below threshold)

You mean Pickens and his windmills?
LOL.

ANWR, not ANWAR. Concern tr... (Below threshold)
Jeff Medcalf:

ANWR, not ANWAR. Concern troll who's not up on the issues. I'm supposed to be convinced?

Chekote:Alaska ... (Below threshold)
pvd:

Chekote:

Alaska Energy: A First Step Toward Energy Independence which was Palin's plan presented this year drew high praise but not from the folks that you would predict.

Environmental groups praised Palin's proposal.

"We just became a leader among states in committing to renewable energy as the power source of the future," Pat Lavin, attorney for the National Wildlife Federation, told the Anchorage Daily News for its January 16 story.

Lavin called Palin's proposal "a defining moment in Alaska's history."

Kate Troll, executive director of the Alaska Conservation Alliance, offered praise as well.

"We think the 50 percent renewable energy goal by 2025 is a laudable goal. We would like to see it incorporated into the energy plan. We would also like to see the demand side addressed, in terms of energy efficiency. Palin has acknowledged the need for this in her public statements, and we would like to see this cemented in the plan," Troll said.

Maybe she was actually doing her job, you know, the Governor gig in Alaska rather than prop up the GOP/

I mean a national energy po... (Below threshold)
Chekote:

I mean a national energy policy. You know this is a blog. Picking on spelling is a waste of time. It is supposed to be sloppy. Where is Sarah's proposal to counter Obama's cap and trade? Did she ever deliver a speech or conducted an interview explaining why Obama's cap and trade policy is a disaster? All she does is send out disjointed tweets and her fanitical following gushes about the brilliance of the woman.

Maybe she was actually d... (Below threshold)
Chekote:

Maybe she was actually doing her job, you know, the Governor gig in Alaska rather than prop up the GOP

Then why did she quit? If she was doing such a wonderful job? Please don't bring up the ethics stuff. Every politician goes through that. Besides, it was her own ethics reform that allowed people to file stuff like wearing and Artic Cat jacket.

Chekote:I don't kn... (Below threshold)
pvd:

Chekote:

I don't know why she quit. Her stated reason was that the ethics compliants were taking up inordinate amounts of time and she could not properly serve the State.

And no, not every politician goes through that. To date, none of the ethics complaints have been found to have merit.

Your post #19, in addition to moving the goalposts, smacks of "Not my dog. He didn't bite you. Besides you kicked him first..."


An unabashed "climber" know... (Below threshold)
Trajan:

An unabashed "climber" known as Hillary trans-
formed herself into an icon, hanging on des-
perately to a serial molester of women. Her
"bitch on wheels" persona somehow morphed into
the "smartest woman in the world". She was
so close to the Presidency that she, her
adoring fans, and Bill could taste it. The
inner power elite went for the "dark horse."
Palin will never get the same orchestrated
resurrection that Hillary got, but she may
yet play a role in Obama's Waterloo. As
flawed as she seems to be, she's got more
Y chromosome in her than most Repub office
holders.

Chekote:You are in... (Below threshold)
Thomas Jackson:

Chekote:

You are inarticulate. You cannot present evidence, argue your points or present a coherent arguement. You bray like a donkey. Your ignorance is demonstrated by your evidence you present which apparently is that its that time of the month and you are on the rag.

When you can present something coherent and reasoned why not present it. Till then wouldn't you find the DU or Huffington more suitable for your "huge" skills and talents.


I am sure you'll present a better analysis once your teleprompter is fixed.

Hillary Clinton was accused... (Below threshold)
Chekote:

Hillary Clinton was accused of being responsible for Vince Foster's death. Not to mention the whole Meena drug trafficking charges. Not to mention the suggestion that Bill and Hillary were responsible for the deaths of several people who "got in their way". Not to mention that Hillary had an independent counsel looking into everything she did from the time in AK to the White House. Their legal bills were in the millions. Did Hillary quit? NO! Palin tucked her tail between her legs because of 15 complaints and a legal bill which was easily covered by SarahPAC contributions. So much for the pitbill with lipstick.

Hey Thomas! Are you the Tho... (Below threshold)
Chekote:

Hey Thomas! Are you the Thomas Jackson from PP? If yes, missed you.

jp2: (derisively) "<... (Below threshold)

jp2: (derisively) "Yeah, 30 months at work and then quitting. Definitely deserves it." (praise)

jp2, yes Obama was only in the Senate for 30 months before abandoning his duties as Senator...but he DID at least sell his seat to Burris, who has been a PEACH!!

But I don't think Obama's total lack of accomplishments during those 30 months should disqualify him from "higher office". Do you?? :)

jp2...give the Big 'O' a break.

JustRand,Obama did... (Below threshold)
Chekote:

JustRand,

Obama didn't quit his job until he won the presidency. Palin should have finished her term and then announce that she was not seeking re-election because she was going for POTUS.

chekote,You're sla... (Below threshold)
pvd:

chekote,

You're slamming Palin on multiple sites tonight. Why?

Chekote a troll?? ..nahhhhh... (Below threshold)
Knightbrigade:

Chekote a troll?? ..nahhhhh
The correct term is MOBY....

Enough anti-Palin pro-Hillary bs, now go get your f'n shinebox!!!

Not ready for the National ... (Below threshold)
914:

Not ready for the National scene Chekote?

Oh thats right, You must be able to put the country 3 trillion in debt and drive unemployment to 10% create a recession and aid terrorists and Dictators across the Globe to be ready for the National prime time scene!

I will go with the Country Girl, Thank You.

You're slamming Palin on... (Below threshold)
Chekote:

You're slamming Palin on multiple sites tonight. Why?

Because I am sick and tired of all the execuses being made for her behavior. The time and energy conservatives spend on defending and promoting Sarah would be better spent on defeating Obama. The woman is a waste of money and time.

chekote,Hillary di... (Below threshold)
pvd:

chekote,

Hillary didn't have a job during the period you describe.

Obama never showed up for his.

And Alaska was grinding to a halt because the Governor was spending more time answering bogus ethics complaints than working. The same goes for her staff.

Was quitting the correct action? Dont' know yet. Ask me again in twenty years.

914I am so sick an... (Below threshold)
Chekote:

914

I am so sick and tired of people not being able to defen Palin on her merits. Yes, Obama is a disaster. So we conservatives should have our own version of a cult of personality, disaster?!

chekote,A word of ... (Below threshold)
pvd:

chekote,

A word of advice. It's usually far more productive to act in support of your beliefs than to fight against and belittle the beliefs of others.

chekote, Do you fo... (Below threshold)
pvd:

chekote,

Do you follow basketball at all? If so, you'll understand the concept of drafting on potential. Many teams will take a potentially game-changing player, especially one that buys into a team concept, rather than a solid known commodity.

The game-changer can win championships though it may take seasons of maturation and pain first.

The solid role player helps you get to the playoffs - and can't get you past the first round.

pvdPeople have bee... (Below threshold)
Chekote:

pvd

People have been pushing her as the next Reagan. I am still waiting for her rendezvous with destiny speech.

Well, send her a note (with... (Below threshold)
pvd:

Well, send her a note (with smiley faces) and ask her pretty please to indulge you in your needs.

pvdIf she had done... (Below threshold)
Chekote:

pvd

If she had done that at the CPAC this winter, most of the doubts that people on the Right have about her would have been put to rest.

If she had gone, an ehtics ... (Below threshold)
pvd:

If she had gone, an ehtics charge would have been filed for using her position for personal gain.

Catch-22.

She also cited the need to get things done in state and the CPAC convnetion occurred in the middle of the legislative session.

Sarah Palin has done worlds... (Below threshold)

Sarah Palin has done worlds for Alaska. It's outrageous that the media and left have dedicated their efforts to paralyzing the governing ability of a state governor. I would love to see her seek a higher office, as I believe she is a candidate I could fully support without reservation, however, I would never want someone to sacrifice their family for public office (nor should they have to). Of course, some politicians willingly choose to sacrifice their families (Sanford?...). She is an upstanding lady, a smart woman, and an incredible leader. As an Alaskan, I am proud to stand behind her.

Michael barely posted this ... (Below threshold)
Greg:

Michael barely posted this before little jp2 jumped in. You can always count on her to be there for Sarah! jp2 = FOOL

with those kids to support,... (Below threshold)
john:

with those kids to support, a government job salary and the high lifestyle they are having it is making sense to to quit and make the real money in the private sector. speaking gig will bring mllions into her coffer. she ain't doing this quitting because she had no chance of getting elected in any place with population more than a million much less the whole nation. she knew it. leave her alone and let her make her dollars.

Palin's announcement seems ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Palin's announcement seems to have overshadowed all the media coverage of the Tea Parties. :(

Pffft. The local weather re... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Pffft. The local weather report would have overshadowed all the media coverage of the Tea Parties; because they are intent on NOT covering them.
That's ok. They are growing. There's more local coverage of them. When the economy REALLY tanks they will get too big for the MSM to willfully ignore anymore.

btw, you seem to be fixated on the Tea Parties. You keep bringing them up no matter what the subject of the post.
Phobic much?
A lot of the lefties are terrified by the Tea Parties, kind of like they are of Sarah Palin.
Why is that?
If they're so unimportant, why all the unhinged rantings about both?

At a lot of blogs there seems a lot of troll activity to dismiss and disparage Sarah and the T Parties. It's almost like it's coordinated marching orders. Something has them scared.

A very astute, comprehensiv... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

A very astute, comprehensive take with a caveat.

The GOP regulars don't get it, they are past putrifying and are petrifying. Their favorites-Romney cannot overcome Massachusetts Health care, Bush III cannot overcome two spendthrift predecessors, Pawlenty surmount his fallen bridges-to keep the pilot lit let alone start the house on fire.

Palin can attract independents who will stay home with the conservatives if the GOP chooses to go it alone again in 2012. Even Jindal or Cantor might fail to bring us in. There's no longer a Palin doggie treat to toss our way.

Chekote - "Then why did... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Chekote - "Then why did she quit? If she was doing such a wonderful job? Please don't bring up the ethics stuff. Every politician goes through that. Besides, it was her own ethics reform that allowed people to file stuff like wearing and Artic Cat jacket."

Ok, no "ethics stuff." But I see you apparently and completely dismiss the possibility she was damn tired of the cheap assed sniping directed at her family that continues to this very day.

BTW, nice try at blaming the victim, yeah you got it.

It was ALL her fault for setting up an ethics reform committee.

Let me guess Chekote, your next trick will be to blame her for being chosen by McCain in the first place.

If she quit to position her... (Below threshold)
Dee:

If she quit to position herself for another run at any office, I think she made a huge mistake. I completely agree that the press and others have been totally unfair to her and her family. So if she quit because she is done with politics, more power to her and I hope she makes millions of dollars from her reputation with conservatives.

But you don't quit when things get hard. I don't trust quitters of any sort from any party for any reason. So she will never get my vote. I wish her the best but she will never be President of these United States.

LD:Here's a clue (... (Below threshold)
pvd:

LD:

Here's a clue (put it next to your sign).

I don't, and many here don't, taking marching orders unlike most of the left. Not from the GOP (I'm a libertarian), not from Fox News (don't have TV, don't watch it), not from the political class and not from a , ...well, not from the likes of you.

So, I really don't care what you, fox news, the chattering class, the political class or anybody else opines. I'll wait and see what happens from here. Since I tend toward optimism, I expect good things from Palin.

pvd,"We all don't ... (Below threshold)
Larry Dickman:

pvd,

"We all don't take marching orders together! We all don't take marching orders together! We all don't take marching orders together!"

I've never seen so many libertarians in my life. Is it too embarrassing to admit you're a republican?

And I'm glad you don't watch the TV you don't have. Solid.

Anything else you don't use that you don't have?

LD:If you're going... (Below threshold)
pvd:

LD:

If you're going to quote me, fine. Please do not put words in quotes that I did not say.

And no, dickman, it wouldn't be embarrassing to admit I'm a republican.

It would be a lie.

Similar to inventing quotes to build your strawman.

In this case, fox news disagrees with almost everybody here. But you consider fox news to be a subsidary of the GOP. And you think we're all republicans. That get our marching orders from ...?

You need to work on your logical sequencing, dickman.

Anything else you don't use that you don't have?

Respect for liberal asses spouting talking points from their masters.




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