“Why Does the Media Love to Pick On Palin?”

John Lott gets it:

Unfortunately, over the last couple of weeks, even conservative media pundits such as Mona Charen, Peggy Noonan, George Will, Joe Scarborough and Matt Labash see these attacks and warn that she can’t win the presidency. They even buy into the attacks on her judgment, intelligence, and competence. But what these conservatives don’t appreciate is that Palin is being attacked because she is smart and effective, not because she is dumb.
[. . .]
What Palin’s conservative critics need to recognize is that any other candidate who posed the same threat to Democrats would also be attacked as viciously. The desire to give up on Palin and move on to another potential Republican presidential nominee is understandable. But there is a reason why the media wants to take Palin out.

His column is worth reading in full.

Anyone who thinks that a turning away from Palin by libertarian/conservative/independent voters would bolster prospects for other Republicans is delusional. The abandonment under fire of a candidate by her erstwhile supporters would merely confirm the effectiveness of the media-Democratic strategy and encourage similar attacks against whichever remaining prospective Republican candidates appear to have the best chances of defeating Obama. Mitt Romney? The media love to treat him as the Republican front-runner when, in reality, his failure to repudiate his Massachusetts health-care “reform” disaster probably dooms his candidacy. But watch someone like Mitch Daniels or Chris Christie start to poll well against Obama and the smear machine will be turned on with full force. It’s already going after Christie with recycled bogus accusations of expense-account padding. No doubt if Daniels starts to poll well his eccentric marital history will be twisted to make him seem strange.

Palin was an obscure libertarian governor with wide popularity in her home state before McCain picked her as his VP. Nobody cared about her except Alaskans and her national libertarian fans. As Lott points out, she was attacked because she is effective, not because of her supposed personal failings. (Did the media care about Obama’s personal failings?)

Don’t believe for a moment that any Republican candidate who is half as politically effective as Palin is won’t get the same treatment that she has received. There may be valid reasons to reject her as a presidential candidate, but the fact that she has been the target of unprecedented smear campaigns isn’t one of them.

37 thoughts on ““Why Does the Media Love to Pick On Palin?””

  1. Yeah, just like any serious and substantive statesperson who leaves office to devote herself full-time to appearing on reality TV shows.

    One of the most convincing arguments against Barack Obama was his complete lack of interest in whatever job he had at the moment. He likes being a public figure, being on stage, etc. Government bores him. Palin, we thought, at least was interested in being Governor of Alaska!


    Ideologically, she’s on the right page, as far as I can tell. Personally, I like her. But the smear machine didn’t put her on “Dancing with the Stars”. It didn’t tell her not to bother proofreading or even spell-checking her social media output.

    Smart people deal with reality as it is, not as they think it ought to be. That’s another problem Obama has. His supporters think he’s a failure because he’s too smart to waste his time on the challenges he actually faces, and too smart to communicate with anybody. What b******t! Dealing with challenges and communicating is his job. If he’s smart, let him demonstrate it by figuring out how to do his job well. If he can’t figure out how to succeed, then whatever he’s got — even if it does qualify as intelligence of the highest order — is worthless to us.

    Ditto Palin. If she’s so “effective”, why does she keep sticking her foot in her mouth? Why can’t she figure out how to be effective with anybody outside her base? The “smear machine” relies on material she gives them. She could cut off the smear machine’s supply of material instantly, any time she chose.

    Obama is effective at achieving his goals: Getting elected, being famous. If Palin is effective at achieving her goals, then her goal is to be the Zsa Zsa Gabor of the North, with a little Ann Coulter thrown in. If she wants to serve the cause of liberty in public office, she’s not doing a great job of it. She’s doing a bit better as a rallying point for the base, but at the same she’s an embarrassment. I don’t want to be associated with people who say stupid things and can’t spell.

  2. Jonathan: Because she’s on the right, and she’s such an easy target. They don’t want to talk about Paul Ryan, because talking about Paul Ryan makes us look much smarter than the Democrats. Instead, they want to talk about somebody who makes us look stupid.

    Your logic is not “obvious”; it’s contorted. Are you saying that Dan Quayle was “effective”? Rod Blagojevich?

  3. Imagine yourself on the left: Would you rather try to defend Obama, Reid, and Pelosi? Or attack Palin?

    The former is difficult, and calls attention to your own side’s failings. The latter is easy, and draws attention away from your own side’s failings.

  4. I agree with Retardo, any (few) ideas I had that Palin would make a good President disappeared when she left the Governor’s office for a reality show. The Left target her because she is an easy target.

  5. So she should have stuck it out as Governor, accomplishing little while going millions into debt to fight frivolous ethics complaints? Is that what you would have done in her position? Do you also fault Obama and Hillary Clinton for giving up their Senate seats? It seems to me that she was wise, politically and personally, to get off the train tracks.

    Palin gets criticized for making gaffes because the media emphasize, often out of context, her every verbal misstep. They do not do this for other pols. Yet if you actually listen or read what she says she is generally reasonable.

    Why so quick to pile on Palin, when we’ve got such riches in the likes of Neil Kinnock Biden, President Obama of the 57 states, Harry “the war is lost” Reid, and of course Mitt of the health-care miracle?

  6. Why is Palin’s resignation of her governership considered a negative with respect to the presidency?

    Do we want people in office who seek power for it’s own sake?

    Not that she is Cincinnatus, but I like her better for it.

  7. There seems to be considerable confusion about why she resigned the governorship. She was elected as a Republican by running against the corrupt Republican machine that just elected Murkowski. The role of politicians in Alaska was to bring home the bacon. Sarah Palin ran against that machine which left her no allies on the right. Once she was a national figure, the orders to the Democrats in Alaska was to trash her. There are a lot of nuts in Alaska. For example, when I applied for my Alaska medical license, I had to be personally interviewed by a member of the Board. Why do you think that is ? They get lots of strange people moving up there to leave behind whatever trouble they got into in the lower 48.

    She went back to Alaska after the 2008 campaign and was attacked from all sides. Alaska also has a strange ethics law. Anyone can file an ethics complaint and the officeholder has to defend themselves with private attorneys. There was a flood of complaints, most of which were nonsense. The “Troopergate” story was only one example.

    She eventually concluded that she was paralyzed in office by the cost of defending herself and the fact that every action she took was grounds for another complaint. The LT Governor was a political ally so she resigned and let him carry on.

    As for her potential as a presidential candidate, we have primary elections to decide that. If she chooses to run and does well in the primaries, I suspect the independents will come around. If she does badly, she will not get the nomination. I agree that there is a huge effort coming from the left to prevent her from getting a chance to show what she can do.

    Romney has to disavow the health plan in Massachusetts or he will never get anywhere. If his ego could get out of the way, he could make an argument that it was an experiment and it failed. Nobody knew it would fail until it was tried. Unfortunately, he seems incapable of such agility and will probably go down with that ship.

  8. It’s not that she left office that I have a problem with, it’s that she left and then stayed in the public’s eye. Although the media could be blamed for some of this, the fact that she now has her own TV program shows that she is not attempting to shield herself from the Left’s scrutiny and attempt to rebuild her reputation before becoming a public figure again.

    She needs to prove that she is not Tina Fey’s caricature before I vote for her. And so far, as a moderate voter (at least I like to think I am.) all I have seen is that she’s an attention-grabber, which is possibly worst then a power-grabber in poltics.

  9. Jonathan: You’re right, she’s treated unfairly. But y’know what? Life isn’t fair. Don’t complain about the hand you’re dealt. Play it and win with it. Every easily avoidable error she makes is built up out of proportion. Yet she chooses to keep making them. Why? She does generally have reasonable things to say, yet she chooses to provide her enemies with easy cheap shots to distract from what she actually has to say. Lots of Americans who fear or dislike her would be very pleasantly surprised, if they ever heard the content of what she’s saying. But they won’t, because she helps her enemies maintain smokescreen around it.

    She helps her enemies obscure her message, to the point where most people aren’t even aware she has one. For somebody who’s only legitimate role is supposed to be as a messenger, that’s unforgivable incompetence.

    On the other hand, if her goal is media exposure itself, she’s doing very well indeed.

    As you and Tom Crispin say, she may have been wise to get out of the governorship — but what she has chosen to do instead is preposterous. DANCING WITH THE STARS? Are you kidding me? She could be polishing her credentials as a serious political figure. Instead, she’s honing her chops as a serious challenger to Jennifer Aniston.

    She makes Obama look serious. OBAMA, a man who would otherwise be the least serious American politician since Grant. A man who makes Joe Biden look good.

  10. So McHale, you want her to hide away from the public while rebuilding her reputation in seclusion. That would be a neat trick. I’d also like to know how an “attention-grabber” could be “possibly worst[sic] than a power-grabber”. Do you mean I’ve been worried all this time about the government infringing on my rights when the real threat comes from whoever shows up on People magazine?

    If she’s so “effective”, why does she keep sticking her foot in her mouth?

    Such as? There was the time she knew what year the Boston Tea Party occurred. That was a fiasco. Or remember when she claimed the Vice President served as President of the Senate? What a maroon!

    It didn’t tell her not to bother proofreading or even spell-checking her social media output.

    I’d appreciate a link to the spelling error that you think disqualifies her from office.

  11. DANCING WITH THE STARS? Are you kidding me?

    Bristol Palin was a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars”. Making that kind of easily avoidable mistake marks you as a buffoon with nothing valuable to say.

    What a loser. Thinks Sarah Palin was a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars”. Moron.

  12. Bgates: North Korea is an ally? Simple proofreading error. Could’ve read what she’d written before she hit “submit”, didn’t bother. “Refudiate”. Probably a typo for “repudiate”, possibly a broken malapropism. Either way, she hit “submit” on a word that any spell-checker would flag as gibberish.

    Yeah, she can’t help that the clowns at NPR (or wherever) are too ignorant to know when the Boston Tea Party happened, and too stupid to look it up. She gets a pass on that one. But I’m not talking about that one. I’m talking about all the times she DID shove her foot in her mouth.

    Like when she chose to appear on “Dancing with the Stars” as a contestant’s mother. And what the hell was her daughter doing on there to begin with? I take your point about how what I said could be deliberately misread, and that I am not therefore necessarily an idiot — but again, I am talking about the stupid — or trashy and trivial — things she says and does which are NOT misread or misrepresented.

    She has a reality TV show. Is that a figment of the left’s imagination? Are they making that up? Explain to me how Sarah Palin is not responsible for her own decision to star in a reality TV show. Please. I’d love to hear it.

    Sarah Palin had a golden opportunity to make a serious contribution to the political dialogue in this country. Instead, she choses to be a reality TV star, one of the lowest forms of public figure we’ve got.

    If she did nothing dumb, and said nothing dumb, she would be attacked. But the attacks would have enormously less force. If she were not a reality TV star, she would still be called trivial — but she would be able to defend herself against that charge. Instead, there she is on the tube. To everybody who is not already a Palin partisan, the charge of triviality appears to be self-evidently true.

    That is a problem she created for herself. Is she really dumb enough to think she can do reality TV and still be taken seriously? If so, she’s too dumb to be president. But I don’t think she’s dumb. I think she just likes being famous and knows how to keep the publicity coming.

    If you’re serious about working in government, you get a job in government doing the most serious and responsible work you can, and you do the job as well as you can. Build up some experience running things. Learn how to get things done in government. Learn what works. Palin can’t be bothered. She’s not serious.

  13. I wanted John McCain to win last time. I would really like to see Sarah Palin as the US president.

    Why, it would be really funny, and entertainment is all I need from the USA these days. The fact that fools will finish your empire sooner than smart people factors in too.

  14. I don’t want another 8 years of the bizarre kind of crap that came with Bush Derangement Syndrome. Look at Portland, for instance. On the other hand, I also don’t want to give in to their insanity. She is literate. That Obama (and the MSM) appears to know little, to confuse pontificating and condescension for intelligence is hardly Palin’s fault. That they consider themselves scientific is a joke. And, yes, they will try to destroy anyone else as well – look at how smoothly Obama moved to his Senate seat. Do we want someone these people admire?

    I do think Palin will get into more problems than others. Her family is likely to be scrutinized and they are going to be human. Her beauty, her accent, her forthrightness, her fecundity – these embarrass people who don’t remember when the tea party actually took place, who are vaguely uneasy with the military, who are not committed to tneir children, their mates, or their country. That’s a pretty big contingent out there and might well mean she would lose. And they would vote because if she won that would prove that all their assumptions are the feathery, weightless, substanceless stuff that they are.

    By the way, Murkowski’s vote on ear marks helped me understand how she got those write-in votes and that Palin cut her teeth in a world where geography and weather were not the only antagonists to a reforming politician.

  15. Stuff came up while I was gone. I don’t do travelogues, but Palin’s Alaska appears to be less a “reality” television show than a Chamber of Commerce Alaska adventure – more Rick Steves than Jersey Shore. And what’s this with “she gets a pass” on the tea party date. You aren’t some arbiter that patronizingly cuts her slack. She was right. These remarks are why I don’t want us to spend eight years discussing this kind of bullshit (the oh, kerry is so much smarter lines that can go on and on and are not just irrelevant and superficial but demonstrate the bizarre modern definition of intelligence and education). Of course, do we who like her really want to let this kind of condescending crap make our choices for us?

  16. Great. More drivel from somebody who doesn’t even know who was a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars”. Why would anybody ever listen to you? You’re a punch line. You’re an embarrassment. If you can’t even manage to figure out who was a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars”, how can you hope to have credibility on serious political topics?

  17. “Do you mean I’ve been worried all this time about the government infringing on my rights when the real threat comes from whoever shows up on People magazine?”

    Although Bgates, the government taking our rights is something we should work against, having a celebrity from People Magazine hold political office without first proving that they can effectively govern is also something that should be prevented. And the more I see of Sarah Palin as time goes on, the more I see her as a celebrity then a politician that I would want representing the Republican party, let alone run for President.

  18. I wrote my last reply before seeing Ginny’s post, and I would like to add that I had not seen “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” and assumed it was a reality show. My mistake, I should have remember what they say about when you assume. Any time I wrote “reality show” I meant Sarah Palin’s Alaska, not Dancing with the Stars. I understand that Sarah would have no control over what her daughter does, and it would be impolite, and the media would probably make a big deal if she hadn’t been present for her daughter’s performance.

  19. I think we should avoid trashy tv hosts of programs like “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” or General Electric Theater, and look for a candidate who will be acceptable to extreme leftists who hate our values.

    Traveling around Alaska with your family is the same as drinking and humping your way through Atlantic City, and Sarah Palin is the cast of Jersey Shore is William F Buckley because they’ve all had tv shows.

    Sarah Palin has done so many stupid things that I can’t think of any of them right now. Because I am nothing if not gracious, I will deign to state that she has been correct in certain particulars which have been brought to my attention.

  20. You didn’t say that “having a celebrity from People Magazine hold political office without first proving that they can effectively govern is also something that should be prevented”, you said that an attention-grabber would be worse than a power-grabber. Care to defend that assertion?

    Care to explain Palin’s >70% approval rating in her home state in virtually every poll taken before the Democrats decided they had to destroy her reputation among the weak-minded? How about her endorsement record – candidates she endorsed this November went 33-20. That’s not a bad record of getting allies into office.

    Name somebody else outside of office who’s had a more substantial impact on political debates over the past two years. Name a Republican inside office who’s done as well.

    When appointed to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, she acted against a fellow commissioner, the head of her own state party, and an ally of the governor who appointed her because the commissioner was acting unethically. After she resigned (quitter!), she took her complaints public and the guy was fined $12,000. Then she beat the governor even though she quit her last job like a big quitter because nobody should ever leave a job ever company man lifer ftw! Her first veto while in office blocked a bill that would have denied health benefits to gay partners of state workers, even though she’ll never have much of a gay constituency, because she thought the bill was unconstitutional. That speaks of a commitment to ethics, a belief that there are causes more important than holding on to a political job, and an unwillingness to use the law as a cudgel to hurt political opponents. What would ineffective governance look like? She was in office over 2 1/2 years – what did she do wrong?

  21. Ginny: re: “She gets a pass”, that was poorly phrased. I meant to suggest that what she said there was factually correct, at least as far as the date was concerned.

    But you’re right, her show is technically not quite a “reality show”. So there’s no reason to imagine that she might be more interested in being on TV than working in government, and you can safely ignore my point about her going out of her way to maintain the appearance of unseriousness.

    As for who I am to patronizingly cut her slack, well, I’m a taxpayer and a voter.

    And Kerry?! People claimed that Kerry was smart because… well, he was a Democrat, and because he spoke in long, long, rambling sentences that nobody could parse. I actually heard that excuse from a friend back in 2004. She was serious. Incidentally, she’s smart too (PhD, well-read), and fun to argue with at a cookout — but I wouldn’t hire her to walk my dog without supervision: She’s a functional idiot with a high IQ. Unlike Kerry, who appears to be a functional idiot with just a middlin’ IQ.

    As far as I’m concerned, smart is as smart does.

    Anyhow, I’m not calling Palin stupid. From what I’ve seen, I’m convinced she’s smart enough to get herself taken seriously if she really wants to be. Therefore, I don’t think she does. But maybe she’s just an arrogant amateur who doesn’t listen. Like we need another one of those in the White House.

    Bgates: You wore that joke out already.

  22. Bgates, don’t worry about extreme leftists. Worry about the center and the moderate right. We don’t take her seriously, because she appears not to be a serious person. Her views sure don’t scare us, because we voted for Ronald Reagan in droves, and he believed pretty much the same stuff.

    Reagan was governor of California for eight years, after his acting career (and many, many years of political experience in the SAG). By 1980, he had 40 years of practical politics under his belt, including two terms as governor of a state that’s larger than most countries. Furthermore, he was able to state a case for limited government which resonated with American swing voters.

    And if you think Palin’s TV career bears the faintest resemblance to that of William F. Buckley, you are out to lunch. “Refudiated”, for God’s sake! Buckley could practically recite the OED from memory.

  23. Say what you wish, however the MSM is obviously scared s…less of her. If she was so non-consequential they would not give the time of day for her.

    BTW-The MSM did the exact opposite with McCain. They kissed his rear to pump him up until he became the nominee. Then they let loose the hounds.

  24. “attention-grabber, which is possibly worst then a power-grabber in poltics” Is what I said, Bgates. If I agree with what the power hungry politician plans to do as they climb the political ladder, that would be better then a politician who will do anything just so they are being noticed. Otherwise, yes, they would both be terrible traits for a politician.

    And I don’t know anything about how Sarah Palin was as Alaskan governor, I have only heard of her since McCain picked her as his running mate. I am sure most Americans are the same way. What we have seen is that as the Democrats (and some Republicans) badmouth her, she leaves office, and then continues to stay in the public’s eye with things such as; a book, campaigning for Tea Part candidates, and her own show, and etc, without giving a response to the Left’s criticism that lasts in public knowledge as long as their insults and mockery.

    Her reputation is a damaged goods, and as long as it stays that way I would not vote for her or even take her seriously as a politician. And having a non political TV is not how she is going to fix her reputation.

  25. “Why Does the Media Love to Pick On Palin?”

    I believe that there are a few factors working at the foundations of this question. The primary factor is a variant of the process that Nozick identified when he asked “Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?” Nozick’s essay provides a lot of material which is directly applicable to this question. Consider:

    By intellectuals, I do not mean all people of intelligence or of a certain level of education, but those who, in their vocation, deal with ideas as expressed in words, shaping the word flow others receive. These wordsmiths include poets, novelists, literary critics, newspaper and magazine journalists, and many professors . . .

    Intellectuals now expect to be the most highly valued people in a society, those with the most prestige and power, those with the greatest rewards. Intellectuals feel entitled to this. But, by and large, a capitalist society does not honor its intellectuals. Ludwig von Mises explains the special resentment of intellectuals, in contrast to workers, by saying they mix socially with successful capitalists and so have them as a salient comparison group and are humiliated by their lesser status. However, even those intellectuals who do not mix socially are similarly resentful, while merely mixing is not enough–the sports and dancing instructors who cater to the rich and have affairs with them are not noticeably anti-capitalist.

    Why then do contemporary intellectuals feel entitled to the highest rewards their society has to offer and resentful when they do not receive this? Intellectuals feel they are the most valuable people, the ones with the highest merit, and that society should reward people in accordance with their value and merit. But a capitalist society does not satisfy the principle of distribution “to each according to his merit or value.” Apart from the gifts, inheritances, and gambling winnings that occur in a free society, the market distributes to those who satisfy the perceived market-expressed demands of others, and how much it so distributes depends on how much is demanded and how great the alternative supply is. Unsuccessful businessmen and workers do not have the same animus against the capitalist system as do the wordsmith intellectuals. Only the sense of unrecognized superiority, of entitlement betrayed, produces that animus. . . .

    What factor produced feelings of superior value on the part of intellectuals? I want to focus on one institution in particular: schools. As book knowledge became increasingly important, schooling–the education together in classes of young people in reading and book knowledge–spread. Schools became the major institution outside of the family to shape the attitudes of young people, and almost all those who later became intellectuals went through schools. There they were successful. They were judged against others and deemed superior. They were praised and rewarded, the teacher’s favorites. How could they fail to see themselves as superior? Daily, they experienced differences in facility with ideas, in quick-wittedness. The schools told them, and showed them, they were better.

    In short, wordsmiths believe that Sarah Palin doesn’t deserve recognition for her accomplishments because her path to political influence did not follow the path favored by wordsmiths. She’s successful but they feel she didn’t earn her success in the right way and that she doesn’t deserve her success because she didn’t come up through the system as the system “should be.” The market rewards success by reacting to how well one satisfies the market. Governor Palin’s entire political history and her rise to national prominence is clearly a testament to market success. Look at her run for Governor. She identified a market niche which aligned with her own political sensibilities – the anti-corruption, anti-rentseeker advocate. The market was wide-open and every politician in Alaska could also have come out and tried to tap that market but instead they played politics in the usual way. Palin won the Republican nomination away from a sitting Governor, itself a very rare and difficult talk and then went on to win the general election against a former Democratic Governor of Alaska. The market rewarded her for satisfying an unmet need.

    Her high popularity was earned by good fiscal management of state resources, her anti-corruption initiatives, her efforts to destroy, and when that was impossible, to minimize the rentseeking arrangements in the Alaska oil industry, her bringing to fruition projects which had stymied every previous governor of the last 30 years (because they weren’t willing to play hardball against entrenched corporate and government interests). She responded to a market and the market rewarded her with the highest approval ratings of any governor in the union.

    The press, and intellectuals, don’t value the approval of the market, they feel that approval is earned by being a wordsmith, which Palin clearly is not. I imagine that most of her critics believe deeply that they are more qualified than Palin, that Palin does not deserve the recognition she’s earned and that they are completely befuddled by why Palin is so popular. This is largely, I believe, the reason for the vicious attacks and the double standards and why Obama doesn’t get the same treatment, he’s a wordsmith, he’s of their class, and so his rise is justified because it validates their own self-worth and world view.

    The media loves to pick on Palin because, for them, it’s therapeutic. It’s kind of like when you get dumped by your boyfriend/girlfriend and you process your anger, angst, bewilderment, etc by talking about your lost lover or running them down. It’s that weird obsession and self-flagellation dynamic at work. The press surely knows that they are feeding the perception that they are irredeemably liberal but that’s a secondary concern to them for their need to prove themselves superior to Palin takes precedence. They’re compelled to act as they do.

    Building on this foundation of pathology we can add a layer of cynicism. If the press is feeling compelled to lash out then why not channel the message to best serve their purpose and try to achieve the goal of messaging becoming reality. This is the foundation of how advertising and propaganda work, repeat a message often enough and people will believe it.

    I’ll leave it at that for this message.

  26. Comment #1 still in moderation.

    Comment #2:

    Jonathan: You’re right, she’s treated unfairly. But y’know what? Life isn’t fair. Don’t complain about the hand you’re dealt.

    Don’t complain about the hand that you’ve been dealt unless complaining actually brings you more benefit than sucking it up, that is, there are benefits as well as drawbacks to complaining and/or fighting back.

    Every times she hits back she validates a public perception that the media is biased and from some sectors of the populace she gets a thumbs up because they enjoy seeing the media being hit and they value a politician who holds them to account. The $64,000 question is whether she gains more support and stature by fighting back and holding the media to account or she loses support and stature by being seen as too thin skinned or combative.

    She helps her enemies obscure her message, to the point where most people aren’t even aware she has one. For somebody who’s only legitimate role is supposed to be as a messenger, that’s unforgivable incompetence.

    We’re playing a chess game here, not a game of roll the dice. What I mean by this is that when anyone is engaged in a long campaign, their actions, motivations and statements will change through the different phases, like in a game of chess rather than declaring all in one shot, like a roll of the dice.

    If Palin’s modus operandi remains constant from now until forever, then I credit your conclusion as being quite valid, however for anyone who’s seen her public persona from her pre-VP stint to today they’d recognize that their have been substantive changes. She used to be more open with the press, she wasn’t as partisan, the themes of her messages have changed over time. To me that indicates either a changed way of operating or a plan. To borrow your phrase, she’s playing the hand she was dealt. McCain needed a.) an attack dog and b.) someone to appeal to the base. Palin succeeded in both missions and this changed her persona. Now she’s playing to that persona.

    If I may be so bold to speculate on your position, I imagine that you think this press dynamic is having broad effect on her public approval ratings and that Palin doesn’t win this battle. What I think is going on is she is increasing the intensity of her support in this current phase of her public life. She’s building a brand. Her travelogue series on Alaska isn’t going to have much effect on David Frum but it will confirm to the undecided and her supporters the type of person she is “deep down” that mere policy positions and public statements can’t do. I’d argue that her supporters have a greater sense of who Sarah Palin is than the supporters of Mitt Romney have of him. Having a solid base of enthusiastic supporters who identify with a politician is by no means a bad things to have in one’s corner if one is going to embark on a lengthy campaign.

    She’s clearly innovating on how political messaging is done. Two books, leader of the opposition via mere facebook postings, tv show to personalize her, tv commentary to help build craft opposing positions, etc. It’s a nice mix of substance, trivial and personal whereas the standard model of an aspiring politician used to be strictly policy. Bill Clinton played sax on Arsenio and that was a tentative step towards a different, broader, messaging procedure. Will Palin’s method ultimately work? Who knows. If it does it’ll be copied by others, just like Clinton’s tactics have now become mainstreamed.

    She makes Obama look serious. OBAMA, a man who would otherwise be the least serious American politician since Grant. A man who makes Joe Biden look good.

    Personally, I’m withholding judgment until I see her performance in the primaries. I happen to think that her message and persona will evolve.

  27. She has a reality TV show.

    She has a reality TV show just like National Geographic is a renowned producer of reality TV programs. It seems to me that you’re purposely using misleading language in order to support your false narrative. Making up facts or coloring facts doesn’t, in the end, actually bolster your argument, it just turns people off because they view your arguments as little more than agitprop.

    North Korea is an ally? Simple proofreading error. Could’ve read what she’d written before she hit “submit”, didn’t bother.

    You don’t help your reputation by making ill-informed arguments. The North Korea error occurred during a radio interview. I’m not quite sure how you speak but every single person I know speaks without “reading” and “submitting” the worlds they utter extemporaneously.

    If you’re serious about working in government, you get a job in government doing the most serious and responsible work you can, and you do the job as well as you can. Build up some experience running things. Learn how to get things done in government. Learn what works. Palin can’t be bothered. She’s not serious.

    You’re coming across as a ranting moron. Palin has done exactly what you counsel her to do. She had executive experience as a mayor. She had administrative experience as a oil and gas commissioner. She had experience as governor and accomplished more in 2.5 years than most governors do in two terms.

  28. I have always thought that one of the reasons she resigned as governor was to avoid the obscurity of toiling in Alaska. Once she was thrust onto the national stage, it was obvious that she needed more exposure. She needed experience dealing with the media. She also needed to let people get more familiar with her. How else could she find out if she appealed to a base that was broad enough to support a presidential run?

  29. Reagan was governor of California for eight years, after his acting career

    ____ has a history of committing rhetorical blunders that drive away voters….suggested vaguely, without proper research and consideration, that $90 billion in federal programs should be turned back to the states….once proclaimed: “The state…has no business subsidizing intellectual curiosity.”

    Worse perhaps than the verbal gaffe is ____’s relentlessly simple-minded discussion of complex problems.

    This approach to public policy continues to characterize ____’s campaign. One of ____’s proposed cures for inflation is the notion that a huge tax cut will restore the productive vitality of the economy and control price rises. Most economists believe this approach is nonsense, that it would simply fuel more inflation.

    ___’s loose statements and flabby positions will make splendid targets…____’s former campaign manager…complained publicly that ___ does not have well-prepared policy positions….”I’m not sure that ___ is now adequately briefed on matters on which politicians and the press and the people hold ___ to account.”

    That’s from Time Magazine, “But Can Palin Be Elected?”, March 31, 1980.
    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,921912-4,00.html#ixzz16vS6PfBe

  30. You wore that joke out already.

    It wasn’t a joke. I honestly think you’re not worth talking to except to make fun of. You’re a careless writer who wants to condescend to a vastly more accomplished woman because you think she made a typo during a radio broadcast. (And before that she popularized a neologism! A portmanteau, no less!) You’re stupid enough to think I was equating Palin, Buckley, and the cast of Jersey Shore with each other.

    Then there’s McHale, who still wants to imagine that Palin can alter her reputation without public exposure, and insists that somebody like Jennifer Aniston could possibly be worse than somebody like Stalin. Look out for those attention-grabbers! Once they’ve seized attention, they’re a threat, somehow, to something.

    I won’t bother with you two any more. You’ll do what Jon Stewart and Katie Couric tell you. I can’t hope to compete with the bright lights and snippets of orchestral music coming out of your televisions.

  31. Palin has accomplished a goal which few “intellectuals” have ever achieved. He has added a word to the English language.

  32. Either Sarah Palin has the grit, intelligence, and wisdom to win primaries sufficient to garner a majority of the GOP delegates or she doesn’t. But approve of her or not for the Presidency, she is doing yeoman’s work in drawing fire away from the rest of the GOP field.

    Sliming Bobby Jindal or Mitch Daniels is hard work that demands a lot of news cycles to prep the battlefield. Each news cycle that Sarah Palin sucks up is a news cycle that your other favorite 2012 presidential candidate is not being attacked. And for that Republicans owe her.

  33. TangoMan: Very nicely done; I couldn’t agree more. Palin infuriates the arrogant “intellectuals” and the so-called “opinion-makers” simply by being what she is….an attractive, smart and effective woman who has galvanized a large number of people to get involved in politics at its most basic level. They can’t stand the fact that she has done this without passing muster by them.

  34. “I really shouldn’t respond to that, Bgates, you probably won’t read it, and if you do, you will certainly misinterpret what I write and then make unfounded assumptions about me. Which is exactly what the media is doing to Sarah Palin.”

    This is what I was going to begin my counter-argument with, but then I realized that if Bgaates was the Leftist media to my Sarah Palin, responding wouldn’t do any good (especially since he said he was done). So I decided to not answer.

    But then I started to have an urge to reply, to show that I was right and he was wrong. And that is when I realized how hard it is to hide away and let your detractors get bored with insulting you and taking everything you say or do out of context.

    So. Begates, although I never said that any celebrity was worst then Stalin, if you read this, and if all of that end stuff that you wrote was a “what if you were in her shoes” gambit, you win. I understand Sarah Palin more now.

    (But if not, then you’re just a rude and confusing person.)

  35. It’s amusing to read all these critiques of Sarah Palin, like:

    Bgates: North Korea is an ally? Simple proofreading error. Could’ve read what she’d written before she hit “submit”, didn’t bother.

    The “North Korea” comment was verbal on the Glen Beck show and was one of a series of comments about the crisis between North and South Korea. She named the two countries repeatedly in a short segment and,like John McCain once famously misspoke, she got one wrong and immediately corrected it. I suppose they could have retaped the segment but then you wouldn’t have anything to talk about.

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