Is She In? Is She Out? Reading The Sarah Palin Tea Leaves

Once again, Sarah Palin has made herself the center of attention in the political world.

She’s going to be the subject of a two hour theatrical film. She’s going on a multi-city tour. She’s beefed up her advisers. And, now, she’s bought a home in Arizona. She’s the last major holdout among prospective Republican candidates for President. Everyone is wondering, once again, what Sarah Palin is planning:

Taken together, the moves are at odds with conventional wisdom — if not wishful thinking — among establishment Republicans in Washington that Ms. Palin has decided not to run. That thinking has been voiced increasingly as the party’s professional political class, which Ms. Palin has railed against, has sought to declare the field of candidates closed.

Ms. Palin would undoubtedly be able to raise substantial campaign financing and attract constant media attention if she ran. But she is a divisive figure in the party, and would have to overcome what polls have consistently suggested is skepticism and even opposition to her among some fellow Republicans.

Still, supporters of Ms. Palin say that her constituency beyond the Beltway remains eager, and aides and associates have said she is receptive to their calls of “Run, Sarah, run.”

“All indications are that she will be in — her supporters have an intuition about it,” said Jeff Jorgensen, chairman of the Republican Party of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, where Ms. Palin came in second in a straw poll last week. “People are looking for somebody, a Ronald Reagan reincarnate, who does not seem to be out there yet.”

If she did enter, she’d most assuredly have advantages over most of her competitors because of her enthusiastic supporters within the GOP:

The former governor’s team expects to have one advantage that other prospective 2012 candidates do not—due to her stature in the party, they don’t believe they have to operate by the same rules as the other campaigns. Those who would make up team Palin are counting on a flood of small dollar donations if she enters the race and believe her strong core of support and near-universal name identification keeps them from having to take part in the early stages of the long slog toward Iowa.

She could decide to wait to enter until later this summer, for example, just before the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa perhaps, where she could theoretically pull off a victory based just on her star power alone. Or, she could simply choose to refuse to engage her opponents until absolutely necessary, a practice which would certainly be consistent with her two year long strategy of restricting herself to the unquestioning arms of Facebook, Twitter, and Fox News Channel.

So, is this the real thing, or is Sarah teasing everyone again, as she’s done so well in the past? Chris Cillizza isn’t convinced this is anything new:

[A]nalyzing anything that Palin does through a “politics only” lens has proven to be decidedly problematic over the past three-plus years.

The reality is that Palin is as much celebrity as she is politician — call her a “celebritician” — and only by evaluating everything she does in that light is there a possibility of properly understanding the motivations and goals of her actions.

Viewed that way, the Palin movie is not a radical departure but rather entirely consistent with her transformation from small-state politician to worldwide celebrity.

(…)

Reading too much political calculation into anything Palin does is a fool’s errand. The movie could be setting up a presidential bid. Or not.

The only way we will ever know what Palin is truly plotting politically for 2012 is when she decides to make that decision public. And, she’s set no deadline to do that as of today.

So, we wait — and read the tea leaves. Even though we know it’s futile

Which is probably exactly what Palin wants. And yet, Palin is too big of a political force in the GOP to simply ignore, whether she runs or not. She’s got a large base of enthusiastic supporters. She is running second in the newest poll of the GOP field. Call her silly, call her vapid, point out that she cannot win a General Election. They may all be true, but any serious political pundit who thinks they can ignore Sarah Palin is fooling themselves.

Nonetheless, the fact remains, that the GOP would be absolutely idiotic to nominate her in 2012 unless it just wants to hand the White House back to Barack Obama and prepare for 2016:

Sarah Palin can’t be underestimated; she could still grab the nomination since no one else has taken off. A lot would depend on whether, a year from now, Republicans see President Obama as ripe for the picking. If Obama can be beaten, then the G.O.P. may turn a bit cautious and try to choose someone who can capture swing voters. That isn’t Ms. Palin’s profile. In trial heats she fairly consistently loses to President Obama by the widest margin of all the better known G.O.P. candidates.

Yet if the economy is much better and the president looks to be romping to a second term, Republicans may just go with their hearts and not their heads. They’ve done it before, with Barry Goldwater in 1964. The G.O.P. was wild about Goldwater, who garnered 38 percent and lost to President Lyndon Johnson in one of the biggest landslides in history

If you doubt this analysis, I leave you with two piece of evidence. The first is the fact that Palin’s unfavorable rating has grown ever since the day she was first introduced to the public, and his now higher than it has ever been:

The second, is the fact that she is losing to Barack Obama in head-to-head matchups by double digits:

If I were a Republican concerned with grabbing the White House, or the Senate,  I’d look at those charts, and the news of Palin’s latest moves, with a growing sense of dread.

Update: Another possible tea leaf to read comes from Fox News, which said today that there are no plans to change Palin’s status with the network:

Fox News Channel said Thursday that Sarah Palin will remain on air as a paid contributor, despite renewed speculation over whether she will run for president.

Palin’s political action committee announced she was launching a week-long bus tour Memorial Day weekend, beginning in Washington and heading to sites of historical significance on the East Coast.

The return to public appearances comes as she prepares to debut a flattering movie about her career next month in Iowa, and reports said she was buying a house in Arizona.

Asked by CNN if there was any change in Palin’s role or if there was discussion of a deadline for a decision by Palin, Fox News Executive Vice President of Programming Bill Shine said in a statement, “We are not changing Sarah Palin’s status.”

In the past, Fox has suspended the contracts of Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, and sent Mike Huckabee hints that he needed to make his mind up, due to the speculation regarding their Presidential ambitions.

 

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Politicians, Sarah Palin, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    What’s the thing with the AZ house? Does that make any sense to you, aside from wanting to be in the sun and the hell out of Alaska?

  2. Falze says:

    Meaningless, insignificant, guaranteed loser…yet you spend nearly 1,000 words on her because she’s taking a road trip on Memorial Day weekend.

    You have a picture of her under your pillow, don’t you?

  3. jwest says:

    “The reality is that Palin is as much celebrity as she is politician”

    I seem to remember someone being elected to the presidency who was far more celebrity than politician – someone devoid of any qualifications or accomplishments – but it was a “historic” election. About the only “historic” election we haven’t had would be one in which a woman is elected.

    Cillizza is correct that if the economy becomes much better, gas prices go down, home prices rise, unemployment drops substantially, cold fusion is invented and pigs start to fly, Obama will cruise to an easy win. Barring that, Obama and most democrats are headed for an electoral bloodbath not seen since Carter and Mondale.

  4. @Michael,

    It’s been said several times that being based in Alaska makes it next-to-impossible to effectively get one’s message out in the news cycle because of time differences and the like.

  5. @jwest

    You go with that. That’s what Democrats thought in 1988 and 2004 and what Republicans thought in 1996.

  6. jwest says:

    Doug,

    You place a lot of faith in polls, but ignore that Bush 41 was 65 points ahead of Clinton at this stage of the game. The only poll that ever mattered this far out is right track/wrong track, and that says Obama is going down in flames.

    http://realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/direction_of_country-902.html

  7. @jwest

    Of course, Clinton wasn’t hated by 60% of the public 18 months before the election.

    Palin is poison, but hey if you GOPers want to nominate her go ahead. I’ll just sit back, laugh about it, and write in my dog’s name in November 2012l. He’s more qualified than either one of them anyway

  8. Neil Hudelson says:

    Mr. Reynolds,

    Ben Smith has a very brief rundown of the AZ speculation. Something about McCain and Goldwater and Gabrielle Giffords.

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0311/Palin_would_base_campaign_in_Scottsdale.html

  9. hey norm says:

    let’s skip this Sarah post and get to the post about Cheney worshipping Paul Ryan.

  10. Does a man without a heartbeat believe in a god?

  11. Wiley Stoner says:

    Doug, you use the word hate pretty freely. I do not believe a very large percentage of the likely voters hate Palin. I thing people like you would have us believe that, but it is simply not so. I think she scares the Stalin out of about 20% of the people. Those are the ones who would replace our form of government with something America has fought against for a very long time. Communists have made inroads to this country with real advances in th 1960s. Those seeds planted back they have resulted in what we have in the White House today. All the poll reactions you quote are the result of what the left has painted Palin to be. When she actually campaigns and people hear what she has to say, and they will hear what she says, The contrast to what Obama represents will be so stark as to leave no doubt about who should and should not be President. That knowledge scares the living hell out of anti-Americans like yourself. You and your twin, Reynolds.

  12. michael reynolds says:

    Doug and Neil:

    Oh, of course. Time zones.

    I don’t buy the Giffords thing but Mountain Time sure beats whatever the hell Alaska is on. AZ gives her that mountain west vibe, rugged pioneer cowgirl, not part of either coast.

  13. Wiley-Zels,

    People have been “hearing what she has to say” for nearly three years now and her unfavorable ratings are at 60%, and she gets decimated in head to head matchups with Obama. You’ve been saying for a year now that the turn around is going to come and it never does so pardon me if I don’t buy into your prognostication this time.

    And for the ten-thousandth time, please get it through your head that I oppose that vast majority of what Barack Obama has done. I will not be voting for him in 2012. If Sarah Palin is the GOP, though, I won’t be voting for her either.

  14. Wiley Stoner says:

    You make the same mistake over and over again. The American people have NOT heard Palin. They have heard her filtered throught the bias media. I guess what you fail to understand is that if you do not vote for the GOP candidate, no matter who it is, you ARE voting for Obama. I thought you claim to be a political scientist.

  15. CB says:

    I think she scares the Stalin out of about 20% of the people. Those are the ones who would replace our form of government with something America has fought against for a very long time. Communists have made inroads to this country with real advances in th 1960s. Those seeds planted back they have resulted in what we have in the White House today

    i nominate this for most awesome comment ever. this kind of stuff takes skill.

  16. CB says:

    You make the same mistake over and over again. The American people have NOT heard Palin. They have heard her filtered throught the bias media

    and he tops it!

  17. michael reynolds says:

    Wait, we’re doing Communists? I thought Obama was a Nazi. Or an Islamist.

    Couldn’t we do something a little newer? I heard Obama is a Scientologist. Let’s work that one for a while. Then we could go historical with, oh, Anarcho-Syndicalism. And finally, just before the election: Morisco! It would be a brilliant shift by the GOP, a surprising change of identity because, as you know: no one expects the Spanish Inquisition.

  18. The American people have NOT heard Palin. They have heard her filtered throught the bias media.

    Ah yes, the “biased media” of Fox News Channel, and Palin’s own Twitter and Facebook pages

  19. mantis says:

    I guess what you fail to understand is that if you do not vote for the GOP candidate, no matter who it is, you ARE voting for Obama.

    Yeah, dummy! You fail to understand this thing that is totally not true. What’s wrong with you?

    Then we could go historical with, oh, Anarcho-Syndicalism.

    Come see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed!

  20. Hey Norm says:

    @ doug 15:50
    Evidently a guy with a heartbeat provided by the largess of the government thinks we should abolish Medicare for the rest of the pre-dead.

  21. sam says:

    @Zels

    “The American people have NOT heard Palin. They have heard her filtered throught the bias media.”

    Au contraire , they’ve heard her loud and clear through the screams of anguish and pain of those who’ve so nobly given their last that we might enjoy the bountiful fruits of liberty (of which they is one).

  22. ponce says:

    Is She in? Is She out?

    If there’s a buck in it…she’s in.

    Is it worth getting lavish travel and living expenses for you and your family paid by a campaign for a year or so if you have to start giving speeches for free?

  23. Gustopher says:

    Perhaps the house in AZ is to set up residence there for a senate run.

    She may be vain and stupid, but she may not be so vain and stupid that she wants to lose on the national stage again, and there will be an open seat in 2012.

    Or perhaps she is testing the waters for both President and Senator.

  24. Wiley Stoner says:

    We will see.

  25. Mike Farrell says:

    Mataconis has truly lost it

    “Palin is too big of a political force in the GOP to simply ignore, whether she runs or not.’ which is a direct contradiction, in essence, to his earlier statement.

    His showing the Pollster poll for the third time shows he simply doesn’t get it- it doesn’t matter a whit what the wider public thinks at this point, the only poll that matters is the Gallup one which shows her nearly tied with Romney as the rank and file will decide the nominee, not the wider public at this point. and certainly not Mataconis. As for her current head to head polling with Obama-Reagan was 30 points behind Carter at the start of the election year.

    I have saved his oh so confident statement about her losing against Obama-we will see who is right and will happily admit I was wrong if I am and will happily reprint his comment from today if it goes the other way.

  26. Rock says:

    Is it worth getting lavish travel and living expenses for you and your family paid by a campaign for a year or so if you have to start giving speeches for free?

    Ask O’Bama.

  27. Jay Tea says:

    I discovered years ago that the easiest way to understand what Palin is up to is to simply listen to what she has to say, read what she has written. If you just put aside the routine filters we all use for most politicians (saving the maximum-strength ones you need for people like, say, Biden or Obama), she actually talks like the average person and not a professional pol most of the time.

    Which means in this case, she hasn’t said anything definitive one way or another. So speculating is rather pointless. She can — and probably will — do a lot of groundwork for a run just to keep her options open, but not commit one way or another until 1) she has to, or B) she’s good and ready.

    That’s one reason I haven’t blogged about her in…oh, at least six months, maybe longer. And that was, I think, in relation to “Dancing With The Stars.”

    J.

  28. tom p says:

    We will see.

    Nahhh…. We will see, you however….

  29. An Interested Party says:

    Dick Cheney has a heartbeat? Really?

    As for her current head to head polling with Obama-Reagan was 30 points behind Carter at the start of the election year.

    The president really isn’t Jimmy Carter and Sarah Palin certainly isn’t Ronald Reagan…except for those two facts, your idea is fantastic…

  30. Jib says:

    Oh baby, you bet she is in. But she will come in late. Maybe too late. She has neither the stomach nor the skill set, either as a campaigner or as a manger of campaign staff, to slug it out in a long primary slog. She will wait, and wait, and wait. And then enter late enough to make sure no one has can wrap up the nomination.

    Why? Because she does have the charisma to take the nomination at the convention.

    One of the advantages of this strategy is that she can always NOT enter if someone runs away with it earlier. Then she will be a good republican soldier and campaign hard for the nominee with no taint of a loser (because she is undefeated donchaknow).

    Unlike past years, this is a feasible plan, The republicans have changed their primary rules so that delegates will be appropriated based on votes, not winner take all. This will mean that it will take much longer for anyone to get over the max needed for nomination. And with the internet and her rabid support base, she can get her message out even if the boyz at Fox ignore her.

    This is going to be fun. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy flight!

  31. anjin-san says:

    If you are going to be traveling a lot in the U.S., the Phoenix area is a very good hub to work out of. I know several people who moved there specifically for that reason.

  32. jukeboxgrad says:

    jwest:

    Bush 41 was 65 points ahead of Clinton at this stage of the game

    Really? “65 points?” Are you sure? In May 1991? Which poll showed that result?

    In May ’91, the D frontrunner was Cuomo. I see a poll at that time which showed Bush ahead of Cuomo by about 40 points.

    I can’t find any polls from that period that match Bush and Clinton. Can you?

    =======================
    Jib:

    Why? Because she does have the charisma to take the nomination at the convention.

    I think everything you said is exactly right.

  33. Kylopod says:

    Reagan never had an unfavorable rating anywhere near 60 percent. For example, a Cambridge Report survey from Jan. 1979 showed Reagan’s fav/unfav rating to be 38/39% (with Carter at 46/43%). While that isn’t exactly an ideal rating for a presidential candidate, it is roughly in the range of where Romney is now (36/35% according to the poll of polls).

  34. Don L says:

    hunting metaphor:

    Is she running? That’s still a sane question? Let’s try viewing it as a hunting metaphor. When someone buys a new deer rifle, deer ammo by the case, gps , maps, a license, sights the scope in, puts her boots and red jacket on, and head out into the woods they usually are not going fly-fishing. That big campaign-like mo-vie, that constituion bus tour, that daily twitter, that constant attack on her target -she’s on the hunt -while her competiton is back in their living room watching hunting movies.

    If there’s one thing that is undeniably true, it is that Sarah has spent her life hunting – she knows how to plan her hunts, stalk her quarry while it doesn’t know where she is, she reacts to, and perseveres,in spite of unfavorable conditions, she selects,aims,and drops her quarry – and gosh -she knows how to look good standing over her trophy.

    And for those who doubt her leadership and presidential skills, she knows how to gut it out, carry it out, prepare it a million different ways, and guard what she loves ferociously.

    The rest of the GOP candidates are the city-slicker or aw schucks types, who would hire her, in a second, hoping to use her great skills as a guide, that they might claim to be great hunters too.

  35. Pug says:

    It’s just a publicity stunt. She doing a Trump.

    If she was going to run, Roger Ailes would have suspended her contract with Fox News just like he did with Santorum and Gingrich.

  36. Don L says:

    If she was going to run, Roger Ailes would have suspended her contract with Fox News just like he did with Santorum and Gingrich.

    Could be true but it’s not. They finally learned and took a page from the dem playbook and just eliminated the competiton to showcase the winning horse. You’re not thinking out of the box – winning aginst the evil Alinsk-ite crowd requires equal cunning – it works for honest folks too.

  37. sam says:

    What Pug said. She’s just shoring up her brand, so she can continue milking boobs like Wiley-Zels, Farrell, and jwest of their money.

  38. sam says:

    “You’re not thinking out of the box –”

    Let me add Don L to the boobocracy for Palin.

  39. Don L says:

    Let me add Don L to the boobocracy for Palin.

    Whoa, very good, lots of brilliant insight, clever objective argument, classic debate formula, high leverl rational thinking, especially – the cheapshot, typical leftist, childish, personal attack, avoiding and deflecting the content of my point.

    Shooting the messenger actually degrades the gunbearer – not the target, but that would require a sense of embarassment to recognize that shooting with a bent barrelled gun is not brilliant and little more that an attempt at an end run around intelligent discourse.

    Using the word boob -OCRACY merely exposes what Sarah is fighting – leftist control-freak bureaucracy, the power god so loved by the left. Totalitarian control freak bureaucracy – to control other’s lives – is the very essence of anti-freedom loving peoples.

    Nice try, but it’s off to remedial debate class for you.

  40. mattb says:

    Again, for what it’s worth, here’s my Palin prediction:

    1. She will run.
    2. She will not run seriously — in that I mean, she is at most intending on winning (or at least finishing top 3) in some primaries.

    Palin, despite lots of claims to the contrary is not stupid. But she also isn’t an intellectual or remotely a policy wonk. As per a previous conversation with Jay Tea, she is sort of the second coming of GWB, this time with even more social conservatism.

    So why won’t she run to win the presidency: I don’t think she wants it badly enough to risk what she has. She knows her numbers and she knows her base. And, having been a governor, she also understands that she would need to become more moderate to win in a general election (unless she’s the Veep again).

    The problem with going moderate (which arguably she used to be) is that her current appeal is based on the rhetoric of being a hard line conservative (grizzly). And any shift away from that would risk her base.

    Given that the odds are still in the incumbent’s favor, I don’t think she wants to risk losing either the election or her base. It’s better to be the candidate that people wished had run than to be the candidate who ran and lost.

    So the best path for her is to run — which will keep her relevant — and capture a few delegates. That makes her serious enough to have been a contender, allows her to re-energize her base, and will secure her pundit position. If she get’s the VP nod, then she can again take her show on the road and she doesn’t have to shift middle.

    Beyond that, the other thing about the AZ house is it will make media appearances far easier.

  41. sam says:

    @Don L

    “Whoa, very good, lots of brilliant insight, clever objective argument, classic debate formula, high leverl rational thinking, especially – the cheapshot, typical leftist, childish, personal attack, avoiding and deflecting the content of my point.”

    As I’ve said here before, I believe in the doctrine of proportional response.

  42. matt says:

    Don : Just a FYI where I come from hunters don’t use GPS and they wear bright orange (unless it’s bow season)..

  43. tom p says:

    Whoa, very good, lots of brilliant insight, clever objective argument, classic debate formula, high leverl rational thinking, especially

    this from a guy who said:

    If there’s one thing that is undeniably true, it is that Sarah has spent her life hunting – she knows how to plan her hunts, stalk her quarry while it doesn’t know where she is, she reacts to, and perseveres,in spite of unfavorable conditions, she selects,aims,and drops her quarry – and gosh -she knows how to look good standing over her trophy.

    One of 2 things is true, either Don has never been hunting or he is an idiot. Of course, it is quite possible the answer is C: Both.

  44. mantis says:

    Which means in this case, she hasn’t said anything definitive one way or another. So speculating is rather pointless.

    So if she had said she is going to run or not going to run, there would be a point to speculation on whether she would run? Do you know what speculation is?

  45. anjin-san says:

    Shooting the messenger

    Yes, but the message you carry is “we are idiots”…

  46. hey norm says:

    give me a break – she had her daddy load her gun. she’s a hunter like cheney’s a hunter – an embarrassment to the sport. but i guess she has never shot anyone in the face so that’s a point in her favor.

  47. Don L says:

    “Don L can’t hunt- ,mmnn. mnn,mmn.”
    (Part 2 of he part of Sarah’s boobocracy deflection -remedial debate class.)

    As a lifetime hunter, 62 years ago I shot my first rabbit, It had tularemia. I’ve killed with a longbow one of the first deer ever shot in the state with bow and arrow. I have spent much of my years hunting and photograping nature and deer. I use a GPS lately (getting too old to climb mountains and trees anymore) Unlike the left’s hero -John Kerry, I’ve never crawled on my belly to sneak up on a deer. I’ve had them half again the length of a 31″ arrow’s length. I’ve taken them with both .50 cal, and .54 calibre Thomson Center Fire muzzle loaders, 30-30s and 30.06, 12 ga. shotguns, and have called and rattled them in.

    When I was 11, I carried the grown-ups snoshoe rabbits through a couple feet of mountain snow and popped more squiirrels and bunnies ruffled grouse and woodcock than I care to remember. My back yard is access to cornfields loaded in the fall with thousands of migrating geese and ducks than most hunters have seen in a life time. I’ve coon hunted at night with black and tan silent trailers and open trailers before many of you were probably born. In the Navy, I hunted boar on Cagliari Sardinia with some Navy officers and MI carbines.
    Back in the late 1940s I made my debut in Sport’s Afield as a letter writing conservation contributer before conservation was corrupted by eco-worship an leftist enviromentalism -fighting on behalf of the environment.

    You have no idea foolish you all sound with you simple name calling i.e. “Don L can’t hunt. Take him down with insults” children’s game. Next, your Alinski-ite play book will tell you to attack me for mispelling or leaving out a comma. Truth is truth, It isn’t so much that you guys can’t see it as it is that you simply hate it..

  48. matt says:

    Don L : That’s quite a speech there buddy. I’m simply to lazy and forgetful to try to list all the weapons I’ve shot, what I’ve shot and where I shot it. I do vividly remember the time I shot an old single shot 8 gauge when I was around 11..

  49. sam says:

    He’s a real Natty Bumppo.

  50. Don L says:

    Gosh, I forgot to mention I was a state sponsored NRA Hunting Safety Instruction for a decade or so, years back and I taught riflery, archery and nature studies, at a couple of summer camps. In my first masters-level ecology course back in the sixties, I was the “go-to” guy for the lab-bound, un tanned eco-science instructor. I was the ” environment teacher” at two different elementary schools, and created riverfront and forest programs coordinated with the state.

    I have hunted gun and bow in most New England states and have never been asked a town clerk or store owner, “where can I get me a huntin license around here?”
    But I give you guys credit for deflecting the issue -she’s running -Go Sarah and give them both barrels of truth -they can’t handle it.

  51. hey norm says:

    I am tremendously amused by the great hunter calling others foolish for their name-calling, yet generalizing all who disagree with his rabid hero worship alinski-ites. you really can’t make this sort of stuff up because it’s too inane to be believable.

  52. Don L says:

    I think name calling – isolate your target is pure Alinski-ite process. What is silly and classic Alinsky is the personal attack deflection of calling somone an idiot (or a non-hunter) with absolutely no rational basis to make either judgement – other than pure Palin hatred against anyone who dares to support her. By the way, one doesn’t have to be a pro-Obama lib to use Alinsky tactics.

    I think I’ll leave for a more rational site where discourse supercedes name-calling and deflection.

  53. Rock says:

    I am tremendously amused by the great hunter calling others foolish for their name-calling

    That’s what lefties do best.

    I would call some of you here world class misogynist, but my daughter would disagree so I can’t do that. She’d call most of you Male Chauvinist Pigs.

  54. jukeboxgrad says:

    don:

    What is silly and classic Alinsky is the personal attack deflection of calling somone an idiot (or a non-hunter) with absolutely no rational basis to make either judgement

    There is indeed “rational basis” to conclude that “Sarah Palin is No Hunter.”

  55. hey norm says:

    look – you only had to watch the caribou episode of “Sarah’s Alaska” to know that this woman is no hunter. daddy was loading her gun fer christ’s sake. and it took her six shots to take the thing down. (i’m sure you will make a bunch of excuses – which only proves my point – if she was really a hunter there would be no need for excuses)
    and another thing: not respecting Sarah Palin — someone who abandoned her post, abdicated her responsibilities, and is almost certainly a pathological liar — does not make someone a mysogynist. i don’t respect ochocinco – does that make me a racist? i don’t respect donald trump – does that make me whatever someone who hates bad hair-pieces is called?

  56. Socrates says:

    “And for those who doubt her leadership and presidential skills, she knows how to gut it out…”

    Ah yes, “gut it out”. Do I have to say it?

    Quitter.

  57. mantis says:

    Who’s this Alinsky person and why is he so important to wingnuts?

  58. Liberty60 says:

    I think Lawrence O’Donnell had a sharp observation last night, that Palin doesn’t really want to be President, so much as she wants to be the martyr who ran.

    Note that her movie portrays her as Joan of Arc, note how she has little of no interest in actually governing anything, whether it is a small town, state, or nation.

    She loves momeny,craves attention, that is clear, and seems to be intensely brittle and narcissistic, and I think she really just wants to be famous and boost her price tag on the punditry/ speaking circuit.

    I think she might enter a few primaries, then withdraw and sulk about how the lamestream media unfairly stabbed Real America in the back.

    My prediction is she becomes this generations Phylis Schlafly. For those who don’t keep tabs on Wingnuttia, it may surprise to know that woman is STILL out there, writing columns, selling books, doing speaking tours.

    In 2040, Palin will still be seen shaking hands and autographing books at county fairs and John Birch Society conventions, and embody the Lost Cause of twue Conservatism.

  59. Liberty60 says:

    uh, she love money, not momeny.

    But that, too, also.

  60. jukeboxgrad says:

    mattb:

    Given that the odds are still in the incumbent’s favor, I don’t think she wants to risk losing either the election or her base. It’s better to be the candidate that people wished had run than to be the candidate who ran and lost.

    I don’t think she really cares about losing to Obama. Being the first female major-party candidate for president will be a great thing to add to her resume, and it will help cement her status as a permanent political celebrity.

    I think Palin knows that an actual president has to do a lot of actual work, and I think she’s not really that interested in having to work that hard. Also the job doesn’t pay that well.

    And she won’t lose her base. She and her base will happily blame her loss on the lamestream media.

    she also understands that she would need to become more moderate to win in a general election

    After she is nominated, she won’t become more moderate. Why? Because I think actually beating Obama isn’t her highest priority, for the reasons I explained.

    ==================
    Liberty60:

    I think Lawrence O’Donnell had a sharp observation last night, that Palin doesn’t really want to be President, so much as she wants to be the martyr who ran.

    I haven’t seen what O’Donnell said, and I wrote my above words before I saw what you said. But what you just said is exactly what I’m trying to say.

    I think she might enter a few primaries, then withdraw and sulk about how the lamestream media unfairly stabbed Real America in the back.

    I think she wants to be nominated, and she will be nominated. There are a lot of people out there just like jwest, Stoner, Farrell, Don L et al. They will be enough to get her nominated.

    And then after Obama crushes her she will “sulk about how the lamestream media unfairly stabbed Real America in the back.”

  61. hey norm says:

    actually part of me hopes she runs, and wins — i’ve always wanted an excuse to move to europe for half-a-term.

  62. Rock says:

    i’ve always wanted an excuse to move to europe for half-a-term.

    Why wait? Don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

  63. hey norm says:

    why in the world would I leave now? obama, while not perfect by any means, has this country headed in the right direction. we’ve got conservative health care reform legislation starting to kick in. my investment portfolio is very close to what it was before bush took over and crashed the economy. OBL is dead. it’s all good.

  64. mantis says:

    i’ve always wanted an excuse to move to europe for half-a-term.

    Win.

  65. CB says:

    Who’s this Alinsky person and why is he so important to wingnuts?

    i was going to post the exact same thing. can someone explain?

  66. hey norm says:

    I’m no expert but i am bored soooo….
    Saul Alinsky was a community organizer…so for the wingnuts Alinksy is one of those red-meat dog-whistle words. Look him up on Wikipedia.
    What makes the whole thing funny beyond description is that Alinsky was all about grass-roots political organization and populism – the very things the Tea Party claim to be about. Now, as we know, the Tea Party is really just Dick Armey and the Koch Brothers and some silly ladies with tea bags dangling from their hats, so the level of compexity and contradiction is pretty extreme. It’s sort of like Lance Armstrong bad-mouthing the inventor of blood-doping, or Dick Cheney bad-mouthing government health-care.

  67. jukeboxgrad says:

    Kylopod:

    Reagan never had an unfavorable rating anywhere near 60 percent.

    Something I find interesting about the polling is what Rs say about Palin. A bunch of polls are summarized here.

    In a poll done in October 2010, 46% of Rs said Palin is not qualified to be president. 47% said she is. 7% said “not sure.” Palin can’t even convince most Rs that she’s qualified to be president. That’s remarkable. Has anyone, anywhere, running for office at any level, ever won an election when a majority of their own party was not convinced they were qualified for the job? I suppose it’s possible, but it’s probably quite a rare event.

    I also find it interesting to look at the number of people with strong views. In a poll done March 2011, 9% of all respondents had a “very favorable” view of Palin. The number who had a “very unfavorable” view? 38%. A pretty striking imbalance.

    That 9% is the core of the GOP. Various commenters here are perfectly representative of this group. They are the tail that’s going to wag this dog. All I can really say is this: thank you.

  68. Kylopod says:

    One of the issues that made many voters hesitate to support Reagan at first was his age. I think there were polls at the time showing a large percentage of voters saying that he was too old to be president.

    But what fascinates me is how often his name comes up in connection with Palin. It’s part of the whole right-wing narrative: Obama is the new Jimmy Carter, and Palin is the new Reagan, who will come in on her white horse, trounce all the old establishment Republicans, defy the expectations of all the pundits who called her unelectable, and usher in an era of real conservatism.

    The fantasy that she’s anything like Reagan barely dignifies a response, but what’s interesting to me is the way they hold up the 1980 election as some kind of special case. There’s nothing unique or even uncommon about a presidential candidate defying expectations and doing much better than a lot of people thought. It happens almost every election. It happened to Nixon, it happened to Carter, it happened to Bush Sr., it happened to Clinton, it happened to Bush Jr., it happened to McCain, Hillary, and Obama.

    The rise of Obama looks especially incredible in light of how many pundits and commentators boldly declared he could never be elected in ’08. Pointing to Obama as a model of how a seemingly unlikely candidate can capture the presidency is not unheard of on the right: Herman Cain used it as an example in a recent interview. But in Palin world, all we ever hear is Reagan, Reagan, Reagan. It’s a testament to how much the Cult of Palin is embroiled in myth.

  69. jukeboxgrad says:

    But in Palin world, all we ever hear is Reagan, Reagan, Reagan. It’s a testament to how much the Cult of Palin is embroiled in myth.

    All excellent points.

    Speaking of nostalgia, it makes sense that Palinists/Reaganists tend to be older. Reagan took office over thirty years ago. Older people are more likely to remember Reagan. And of course Reagan himself was old.

    And speaking of myth, there’s the myth that Reagan fits the tea party ideal of a fiscal conservative. Reagan tripled the national debt, despite raising taxes eleven times.

  70. mattb says:

    Jukebox,

    I don’t think she really cares about losing to Obama. Being the first female major-party candidate for president will be a great thing to add to her resume, and it will help cement her status as a permanent political celebrity.

    I respectfully disagree. In presidential politics, the only thing that seems to matter is the winner. Failed candidates, at least in modern times, tend to fade away. It’s far better to have been a contender for the first female major-party candidate and not have been the pick than it is to be that first female candidate and lose.

    There’s little doubt in my mind that Palin is very aware of this and it’s why she doesn’t want the nomination (at least not for President).

  71. michael reynolds says:

    Hey Norm is on fire today.

  72. anjin-san says:

    Don. What you have posted here is indeed a rational basis for calling you an idiot. As for Palin, most of the democrats here want her to run and will send her money if she does. She had better get busy though, there is only so much oxygen in the “not terribly bright. MILF room, and Bachman is beating her to the starting line.

  73. An Interested Party says:

    …that Palin doesn’t really want to be President, so much as she wants to be the martyr who ran…

    Oh that’s perfect…she can be the new Goldwater…

    As to all the hunter talk…I admit, it will be amusing to see the faux hunter try to stalk her prey and watch as she gets completely mauled and consumed by her prey…maybe her head could be hung over a fireplace in the White House…oh, I’m sorry, perhaps that was too misogynistic…

  74. jukeboxgrad says:

    mattb:

    Failed candidates, at least in modern times, tend to fade away. It’s far better to have been a contender for the first female major-party candidate and not have been the pick than it is to be that first female candidate and lose.

    This is a good point and I don’t have a compelling counterargument. I would only say that Palin is sui generis in various ways, so this part of her story could also break the rules.

    The way I’m looking at it, she and her fans have a strong relationship, and that relationship is going to survive all sorts of ups and downs that might end a weaker relationship. They didn’t care when she and McCain lost, and they didn’t care when she made all sorts of gaffes and told all sorts of lies, and they didn’t care when she quit her job, and they don’t care that she’s being coy and playing games with us right now. So they’re also not going to care when she’s instrumental in handing the White House back to Obama. In their eyes, she’s a saintly figure who can do no wrong, and every problem is going to be explained away as being caused by someone else. That’s the pattern so far, and I expect it to continue.

    This isn’t about how she’ll be viewed by most people. It’s about how she’ll be viewed by her club of millions of admirers. When Obama beats her, they will blame everyone but her. Here’s the narrative: the GOP elite and the lamestream media ganged up on her. That’s why she lost. This martyr narrative will carry her and her fans through many happy years of book sales and TV appearances.

    For people like her and Rush, Obama staying in office is actually the best thing for business. The story they tell is all about them and their fans being oppressed and victimized. The commercial appeal of that story is enhanced by having the Kenyan Marxist staying in office.

    =======================

    Hey Norm is on fire today.

    Yup, even more than usual. Which is saying a lot.

    =======================

    She had better get busy though, there is only so much oxygen in the “not terribly bright. MILF room, and Bachman is beating her to the starting line.

    Well, you’re right that they’re in the same space, but Bachmann is just kind of a stand-in, I think. Support for her will tend to dry up once Palin shows up.

    It’s like if you really want to see the Stones but they’re not touring so instead you settle for, say, Motley Crue.

    =======================

    she can be the new Goldwater

    This idea is popping up in various places, like here.

  75. anjin-san says:

    she can be the new Goldwater

    The comparison can only go so far. Goldwater grew quite a bit over the years, and by the end of his life had considerable respect from Democrats. I have a hard time seeing Palin as the personal growth type.

  76. An Interested Party says:

    The comparison can only go so far.

    But of course…the comparison only goes to how she will be wiped out in the general election should she somehow secure the GOP nomination…

  77. Eric Florack says:

    I doubt she will. Though after four years of Obama, she’d win easily.

  78. Wiley Stoner says:

    I knew Mantis was stupid, but to claim he does not know who Saul Alinsky was is beyond the pale. Shows you what people like him (?) know about those they vote for. Obama is an Alinsky follower as is Hillary. Read his book Rules for Radical. Failing that, Mantis, have someone literate read it to you.
    If Palin runs, she wins and wins big. Obama cannot stand on the same stage as she. She loves America and would restore her, Obama would reform her to something unrecognizable except to the Soviets. For a lawyer, Obama has real disrespect for the rule of law. Where is his required plan to fix Medical when it is triggered by law? You on the left call us conservatives wingnuts, fine, but you have Obama therefore you must be certifiably nuts.

  79. Kylopod says:

    One failed nominee who didn’t fade away was Al Gore. Of course, it was partly because he won the popular vote and was believed by most of his supporters to have had the election stolen from him. But I suspect that if Palin gets nominated and goes on to lose in the general election, even in a blowout, her supporters will also come to think that she had the election stolen from her. The point isn’t who’s right and who’s wrong; as far as staying power is concerned, the truth or falsity of the narrative is less important than people’s capacity to believe in it.

  80. jukeboxgrad says:

    her supporters will also come to think that she had the election stolen from her

    I think that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

  81. anjin-san says:

    I doubt she will. Though after four years of Obama, she’d win easily.

    Damn bit, you don’t even rant with conviction anymore. Did the self-destruction of the GOP Congress hit you that hard?