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She's Got A Way About Her...

One of the most entertaining things about Sarah Palin is how she can throw people into huge tizzies without even trying very hard. For example, during her bus tour, she has pissed off the press (for not giving out her itinerary), Mitt Romney (for upstaging his formal announcement here in New Hampsihre), Republican state leaders (for not coordinating with them during her visits, and the commentariat (for not paying attention to them).

I figured out years ago how to understand Palin. One of the first rules is to just listen to her and pay attention to what she says.

This partly explains the bus tour (and how she does it), but it's not the whole picture. There's another aspect of Palin's personality that has also been apparent to pretty much anyone who has paid any attention to her career -- and keeps their own prejudices in check.

Two examples from Palin's career might help illustrate this:

After losing the race for Lieutenant Governor of Alaska, Palin was appointed to the Alaska Oil And Gas Conservation Commission. It was there that she discovered some major corruption among her fellow Republicans on the panel. Now, Palin had been given the job as a reward for her loyalty -- it was a "go along to get along" type of thing. She was supposed to demonstrate her loyalty by not making waves, and she's be taken care of down the road.

Sarah don't roll that way. She started kicking and making a fuss, and was told that if she wanted to keep her job, she'd shut up and let it slide. And further, she could kiss off the support of the state Republican machine in any future endeavors if she continued to raise a stink.

She (politely) told them GFY, resigned, and went public with what she knew. By the time she was done, she'd taken down a fellow commissioner and a former Attorney General -- two very big powers in the State GOP, and she was the leading candidate for governor.

Then, after losing the vice-presidential race, Palin returned to the governor's office. She tried to get back to business, but her enemies wouldn't let her. They filed bullshit ethics complaint after bullshit ethics complaint, running up hefty legal bills for her and the state as each was investigated and dismissed. Finally, when the bills for her own defense broke half a million dollars (twice her family's income, 40% of their net worth at the time) and they started going after her staff, she resigned.

The uniting theme between the two? The insight into Sarah Palin's psychological makeup that these give us?

Sarah Palin doesn't need power.

A lot of politicians are driven by the need for power, for respect, for acceptance. Not Palin. She sees public service as a duty, and she will take it up when she thinks she can achieve some good -- and can walk away without a second thought when she thinks she can no longer do good.

I might have a bit of an edge in seeing this -- I have a touch of that, myself. There are few times I've sought out positions of power and authority, and each time my motive has been the same -- "to keep that power out of the hands of pinheads." (I first used that about 25 years ago, long before I heard of Bill O'Reilly, and kinda resent his appropriating the term for himself.) I trust myself with power because I know I'm lazy, and will exercise it as minimally as possible -- and really don't like having the responsibility at all.

Palin's bus tour is, on one level, precisely what she says it is -- a chance for her and her family to tour some of the most significant places in American history. But it is serving several other purposes as well.

Palin's upstaging of Mitt Romney is a shot across his bow -- it's her way of saying "you may be the frontrunner, but you have nowhere near the popularity and charisma and passionate support I can muster." Romney appeals to the minds, but he has challenges in getting to the hearts and souls of the electorate.

Palin's snubbing of the press is her way of saying "I don't need you" -- and she doesn't. She can reach past them, cutting them out of their traditional role of shaping the news -- deciding what the rank and file need to know, and what isn't that important. We really don't need that these days of the instant media, which Palin is a master. And there's a bit of "GFY" there, too, as she believes she has been very badly mistreated by them in the past (with considerable justification).

And there's an added bonus -- by doing this, she's guaranteeing that they will have to expend a lot more resources in covering her. That means they will need to come up with something to justify the time, money, and effort they're spending on covering her. Or they'll give up and leave her alone, which is also fine with her.

Palin's snubbing of the state GOP leaders serves a few more purposes. For one, it gives her plausible deniability that it isn't really a campaign move. For another, it's a power move -- she's not coming to them as a supplicant. She's asserting dominance in the relationship, saying that they need her cooperation far more than she needs theirs. And considering Palin's popularity lies mainly in the rank and file, and little among the leadership, she has a definite point.

But the most important message Palin is sending with her unconventional bus tour is this one, the one that most people overlook, because it's so fundamental and so unprecedented that they can't bring themselves to hear it:

Palin doesn't need the presidency.

Yeah, she thinks that President Obama should be defeated in 2012. A lot of us do that.

She thinks that she'd do a better job than he has been. And a lot of us do, too. Admittedly, that's a pretty low standard -- I think most people running or thinking of running would be better.

Palin will make her decision based on two very simple questions. First, does she think that the leading Republican nominees will be better than Obama? Second, does she think that she has a better chance of beating Obama than they have?

That's all it will boil down to. That is all that matters.

In the meantime, she's doing the smartest thing she can -- keeping her options open, reminding everyone that she's still out there, and asserting that the "rules" for candidates simply don't apply to her.

And they don't.

There is absolutely no reason why Palin should play the traditional candidate role, and plenty of reasons why not.

Will she run? Will she pass? I dunno. And I don't think she fully knows, either.

But in the meantime, she's doing a magnificent job in making her detractors' head explode, over and over and over again.

And that alone is something money simply can't buy.

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Comments (34)

"Palin doesn't need the pre... (Below threshold)

"Palin doesn't need the presidency."

Thanks. I'm been taking a lot of heat for saying this, but you are spot on.

She is proving you can be a leader "without" being a politician.

she irrelevant and not wort... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

she irrelevant and not worth discussing!

Know how I know this? :)

Because for the last 2 1/2 YEARS the Propaganda Press has bleeeeted this 24x7!

They've run hour-long "specials" articulating her "irrelevance", devoted full-page eds and editorials describing in detail how she's not worht discussing, and run poll after poll to "prove" how she isn't polling about!

yup...for 2 1/2 YEARS the media has SCREAMED "ignore her!!!" And they can't understand why we don't?!?

Just wait till the Moron.or... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

Just wait till the Moron.org, Organizing for A-Holes, and Soros Matters paid trolls chime in.

It's hilarious how they fear this real woman/real conservative and despite their efforts to smear, defame, and destroy her, they come up with egg on their face ever time.

Libtards, I recommend stocking up no duct tape to wrap your heads now before it gets scarce.

Sarah Palin is the liberals... (Below threshold)
Stan:

Sarah Palin is the liberals and RINOs worst nightmare. She is one of the so-called lower class and they don't like her rocking the boat. As others have said here and elsewhere, she lives in their minds rent free. While she is thinking about running for the Presidency, the elites are shitting themselves with speculation of what she is going to do. This has them going absolutely bananas. Them and the sycophants that hang onto their coattails, hoping for a scrap or two.

Their crass attitude comes out more and more each day that she is in the spotlight. I wonder what they would do if she decided to pack it all in and say screw it and go into hiding in the wilds of Alaska? I can imagine some enterprising New York City based state controlled media person snowshoeing into the Alaska wilderness just to dig up some dirt on her. Alas that is not gonna happen. As we all know, the intrepid NY Reporter will never get out the comfort of the hotel room.

Whether she runs or not oth... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Whether she runs or not other candidates would do well to pay attention to the lessons that are there to be learned from her experience.

1) Pay no attention to the press. They will write whatever they please about you and no matter what you do or say as a GOP candidate it will be negative. The press is not to be courted but tolerated.

2) Pay no attention to the party apparatus. The party exists to enrich itself. No one wants a Republican President that will be yet another big government liberal in disguise. Besides, the party apparatus will just say that you should get out of the way because it is Romney's turn. The party is built to reward loyalty and length of service, not competence and leadership. The party measures electability by measuring how long you've managed to hang around not by how well of a job you might actually do.

The GOP needs to take these lessons to heart. It isn't about popularity with a press that is ideologically opposed to you and it isn't about unthinking loyalty to the party in hopes of getting your turn at the front.

Drill baby, drill baby dril... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

Drill baby, drill baby drill!... All the way til' 2012'!

Months ago in an interview ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Months ago in an interview Palin was asked if she would run. She explained that if the republican candidate has conservative views that will fix the country, she will support that candidate. If there is no one with the conservative credentials running, she will have to decide at that time.

JT is right. Just listen to her. ww

If this post had bee... (Below threshold)

If this post had been written before the select your favorite/best Wizbang author...I would have given it to Jay Tea hands down.

Best analysis of Sarah Palin I have ever read, and it is completely the reason she resonates so well with so many of us.

Many of us have this inside. We cheer for the underdog, fight for the right, and do not need spotlighted to do the right thing. We enjoy the television, the movies, the politics etc, but none rule us. We aren't all reality shows. Some of us actually want to make a difference for the pure goodness of it. Some of us truly believe in our Founders and that the United States is and has always been a beacon of hope around the world.

Sarah Palin-21st century Patriot-may we all follow her lead.


And just like Andrew Breitb... (Below threshold)
LeBron Steinman:

And just like Andrew Breitbart,she knows that the left/media hive will act just as rats in a maze-utterly predictable every time. They can't help themselves.

Like Judo masters,they both use the media's blind ideological and politically motivated aggression against them.

"asserting that the "rul... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

"asserting that the "rules" for candidates simply don't apply to her."

And they don't until the time comes that she is a candidate.

Blind hatred follows no rul... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

Blind hatred follows no rules. Mama Grizzly has the demented lefturds frothing incoherently every time she spanks the affirmative action zero with the plain truth..

'Its the economy Stupid!' You betcha'!

I disagree with the notion ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

I disagree with the notion that she doesn't want power. I think she understands that there are multiple paths to power, and king maker is one of the oldest.

Palin raises those touchsto... (Below threshold)
Constitution First:

Palin raises those touchstone issues that others on both sides are too cowardly to. In that way, Palin is very much relevant to the health of this Nation, regardless of whether she seeks higher office.

Then there are those suppos... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Then there are those supposed history mistakes that liberal particularly the elites who jump all over to prove she is an idiot. Only problem is she was right and the liberals\elites were wrong.

So if getting a history fact wrong is a sign of being an idiotic, then what does it say for those who got it wrong?

...and can walk aw... (Below threshold)
ConcealedCarrie:
...and can walk away without a second thought when she thinks she can no longer do good."
Palin will make her decision based on two very simple questions. First, does she think that the leading Republican nominees will be better than Obama? Second, does she think that she has a better chance of beating Obama than they have?

These two points in juxtaposition are what concern me the most about Palin. Defeating Obama is merely the first step, and perhaps not even the most difficult. Governing afterwards will be very difficult indeed, no matter which ABO takes the office. What happens if she runs and wins and then is inundated, as she would be, with legal entanglements, personal and professional attacks on herself and attacks on her family that go far beyond what she's seen to date? Does she resign when gridlock sets in and "she thinks she can no longer do good"? Better to find the right person for the job.

Concealed, if this country ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Concealed, if this country can elect someone president who has no record, voted present instead of leading, not authoring any bills of importance, sits under a racist reverend for 20+ years, Palin and anyone else would be a breath of fresh air.

JT explained why she resigned. Maybe you should read the post again. ww

Excellent piece, though rat... (Below threshold)
davidt:

Excellent piece, though rather than saying Palin doesn't *need* power or the Presidency I would say she doesn't *crave* them. A subtle yet important distinction that sets her apart from most politicians.

The reason that she is disl... (Below threshold)
Joe:

The reason that she is disliked by both so many people on both sides of the political divide is simple; the woman is thick, stupid, dense, call it what you like.

She uses a few soundbites, bats her eyelids and suddenly a whole swathe of the populace can relate to her. Says more about the stupidity and ignorance of her supporters. Sarah Palin will prove to be a disastrous president should she win the 2012 election.

A lot of excellent points, ... (Below threshold)
Jer:

A lot of excellent points, J. If she decides to run I expect to see a non-conventional race on her part. Remember how disappointed she was when McCain pretty much abandoned a couple of states? Now that she's calling the shots it's going to be different and we're seeing in now. No, she doesn't need the presidency to enhance her career or play the standard games. Patriots run because they believe they can give something rather than take everything. She does not need the presidency, the presidency needs her.

#15If you are goin... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

#15

If you are going to go through life letting others intimidate you into not doing what you think is right, well, you have already lost the game.. And the current administration end up dictating to you and stealing more of our liberty.

I refuse to let them pick the candidate this time ( like McLame ) Palin or anyone more conservative then Mao gets in office, there will be a huge economic boom which Barry will say he started before White racist America cast him out.

Let the drilling commence!!

"the woman is thick, stu... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"the woman is thick, stupid, dense, call it what you like."

No, more what you like. Sorry - I understand you're trying hard to shove a meme here, but it's a pretty flaccid one, and not borne out by the evidence.

Now, if you were talking about OBAMA we could agree. If he'd tried to fuck up the economy DELIBERATELY, what would he have done differently?

"Sarah Palin will prove to be a disastrous president should she win the 2012 election."

For the Democrats, sure. The comparison to Obama's blank slate will be devastating, and the way the Dems have been going the last year or so, you're going to be totally fucked as a party for the next decade or two.

Joe, "The reason that she i... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Joe, "The reason that she is disliked by both so many people on both sides of the political divide is simple; the woman is thick, stupid, dense, call it what you like."

Aside from the Couric interview, what do you base this on? (and CBS still won't release the un-edited interview).

Really.

Can't just be the occassional gaffe. They all do it. I've got a bunch from Obama and others. Even Chris Matthews who told us the panama canal is in Egypt.

So what do you base this on? What is it that's convinced you she's stupid.

the woman is thick, stup... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

the woman is thick, stupid, dense, call it what you like.

Perhaps, but she's still outwitting Obama. Not that that's much of an accomplishment, since he is even thicker, by far.

Anyone who graduated from middle school who considers "corpsman" an abstruse vocabulary item, and thinks that Austrians speak Austrian, is not too bright.

joe blo-"the woman... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

joe blo-

"the woman is thick, stupid, dense, call it what you like."


I call it a liberals worst nightmare! A successful conservative Woman who did not abort a fetus to further her career.

Make of it what you will, but if she's stupid, what does that say about the -22 trillion dollar man?

As usual the lib trolls res... (Below threshold)
hermie:

As usual the lib trolls resort to calling her stupid without providing one piece of evidence to support it. Just being a good little Obamabot and parrotting whatever he is told.

#18. Bad case of pot and k... (Below threshold)
Oldflyer:

#18. Bad case of pot and kettle syndrome with regards to the question of intelligence.

Your are dead wrong, stupidly wrong. She does not repeat sound bites. She creates them; and the media grabs onto them like monkeys scrambling for bananas.

You are obviously intimidated by a woman who has managed to shake up the status quo, and improve the climate of governance, at every stop along the way to national prominence. That is why, you and all of the Lefties, have howl, and attack until you resemble a pack of hyenas after a wounded and defenseless animal. Your problem, sonny boy, is that you have tangled with a Tiger by mistake.

ww: Agreed, Palin would be ... (Below threshold)
ConcealedCarrie:

ww: Agreed, Palin would be a breath of fresh air. And I did read Jay Tea's post (twice no less), and he did explain her resignation as governor. Did you?

Then, after losing the vice-presidential race, Palin returned to the governor's office. She tried to get back to business, but her enemies wouldn't let her. They filed bullshit ethics complaint after bullshit ethics complaint, running up hefty legal bills for her and the state as each was investigated and dismissed. Finally, when the bills for her own defense broke half a million dollars (twice her family's income, 40% of their net worth at the time) and they started going after her staff, she resigned.

What makes you (or her for that matter), think being President will be any less of the same? How prepared is she to deal with the onslaught and to stick it out? Hopefully she is.

He uses a few soundbites... (Below threshold)
Evil Otto:

He uses a few soundbites, bats his eyelids and suddenly a whole swathe of the populace can relate to him. Says more about the stupidity and ignorance of his supporters. Barack Obama will prove to be a disastrous president should he win the 2008 election.

Fixed that for you, Joe.

"Sarah Palin will prove ... (Below threshold)
PBunyan:

"Sarah Palin will prove to be a disastrous president should she win the 2012 election."

Disastrous to those who want a "new world order"/world wide communist government like Obama and apparently "Joe". Disastrous to those who correctly identify America as the major obstacle to the Marxist new world order and seek to destroy America like Obama and Soros.

To those who are patriotic and love America and understand that the only way to save it and to bring prosperity back is to return to our founding principles, Obama and Soros are the disease and Sarah is the cure.

(Well not just Sarah, there are other already running who appear to also be great, but she's my top pick.)

CCarie, she's gotten all th... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

CCarie, she's gotten all the experience she could possibly need in dealing with hostiles. And she's handling it quite nicely, thank you very much. She has stayed on message unerringly throughout all of it too.

If she DOES run and IS elected I can't wait to start calling everyone who utters a word against her a misogynist.

Yeah, Palin is stupid. Tha... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yeah, Palin is stupid. That's why the LA Times came out today with an article saying that she was right about Paul Revere.

Meanwhile Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is on record saying that illegal immigration is not, in fact, illegal. As for obama, the number of gaffes in the last 3 years almost eclipses Joe Biden's entire career. Everything from 57 states to speaking Austrian to his utter inability to speak without a teleprompter feeding him every word.

I think the whole stupid meme is just a bunch of liberal projection.

This just in from the Bosto... (Below threshold)
boqueronman:

This just in from the Boston Herald:

"...Revere describes how after his capture by British officers, he warned them “there would be five hundred Americans there in a short time for I had alarmed the Country all the way up.”

Boston University history professor Brendan McConville said, “Basically when Paul Revere was stopped by the British, he did say to them, ‘Look, there is a mobilization going on that you’ll be confronting,’ and the British are aware as they’re marching down the countryside, they hear church bells ringing — she was right about that — and warning shots being fired. That’s accurate.'"

And the American voter has voluntarily given the Prog-Left Democrats control of the government. At times I find myself thinking we deserve everything that is coming via the Democrats and the "Six Inches To The Right Of Wherever They Are" Republicans.

Life would be a lot easier ... (Below threshold)
LiberalNitemare:

Life would be a lot easier for certain democrats (and republicans) if Sarah Palin had been left alone in her Governors office.

Sarah Palin is the biggest mistake the left has ever made.

The problem for lifelong In... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

The problem for lifelong Indies like me isn't finding someone better than Palin, but finding one approximately as good.

Yeah, I an compromise with the haters, you just haven't done squat to meet me off your soapbox.

Cain isn't politcally adroit, has a narrow field of view and is seemingly a big business/finance insider.

Bachmann is a lawyer w/out executive experience, and anyway, a stalking horse.

Yet you clowns won't even support them. Welcome to a third-place finish losers.




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