Kristol on Palin’s Speech (and Hume on her Presidential Ambitions)

Both Bill Kristol and Brit Hume had interesting observations about Palin's "blood libel" speech today on FNS.

On today’s Fox News Sunday panel, the topic of Sarah Palin’s “blood libel” speech came up:

WALLACE: Do you think she — to the degree that she has electoral political ambitions, do you think she hurt herself?

KRISTOL: A little bit. And I think it’s part of a pattern, honestly, where she has been engaging — I mean, I say it as a fellow person. I mean, she fights back against all her critics, but probably one of the things that you should do when you’re either a governor or running for president is you should pick your fights a little more carefully.

If Bill Kristol is willing to allow that the speech hurt Palin even “a little bit” then I think it is fair to say that it was a net negative.

Interestingly, in the same interchange, Britt Hume saw the video as evidence that Palin is running for the GOP presidential nomination. Said Hume:

What I did take away from it is if you’re not running for president, and you are caught up in a controversy like this, why would you have this highly-produced video? I mean, it smelled like a presidential candidate to me. And I had my doubts about whether she is running for president. After this episode, I’m beginning to think that maybe she will indeed run.

FILED UNDER: Sarah Palin, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. I think Hume underestimates Palin’s narcissism

  2. Eric Florack says:

    If Bill Kristol is willing to allow that the speech hurt Palin even “a little bit” then I think it is fair to say that it was a net negative.

    Kristol is far too GOP establishment to allow himself to take Palin seriously. He’s been damning her with faint praise foa long time, now

  3. michael reynolds says:

    Character tends not to be malleable beyond a certain point. This is all about Palin’s character. Doug is right: she’s a narcissist. Like most narcissists she over-estimates her own abilities, relies too much on an exaggerated sense of her own infallible intuition. And of course while optimists see her as a person capable of improvement, she doesn’t see herself that way at all. She sees herself as a completed work of art.

    If she actually had some of the talents she assumes she has then the narcissism might not be fatal. After all, narcissism is hardly unknown in politics (or business, or sports, acting. . . Or in my line of work.) As it is she’s a mediocrity with a wildly overblown self-image. It’s that disconnect that makes her so obnoxious and un-sellable. Picasso can be a narcissist and get away with it; Palin is a 5 year-old with a box of crayons who thinks she’s Picasso.

  4. wr says:

    Eric — I realize you live in a world of your own creation, but even you must know that it was Kristol who created Palin as a national figure, and has been pushing her ever since.

  5. Eric, I beg to differ. Kristol was one of the main people that pushed McCain to select Palin as his running mate and has been a cheerleader for her for sometime. He has backed off somewhat since she has been so exposed, but make no mistake, Palin owes more to Bill Kristol than she will ever repay.

  6. floyd says:

    Micheal;

    All this assumes Picasso did what he did on purpose… and not as the result of some sort of inherent visual dissonance that others find entertaining. (lol)

  7. Smooth Jazz says:

    “If Bill Kristol is willing to allow that the speech hurt Palin even “a little bit” then I think it is fair to say that it was a net negative”

    Please give me a break; Kristol has no clue whether it hurt or not, and neither do you. I’m sure Mr Kristol was buried under the avalanche of the NY/Wash DC vortex opinion heads that overwhelmingly her video hurt her, and perhaps he was just going along with beltway/New York liberal echo chamber conventional wisdom.

    After all, this blog was not bashful about hiving up post after post about how the viedo reponse hurt her, as if your blog represents a cross section of America insofar as the public responded to Gov Palin’s video. The only “poll” we’ve seen is that 1400 respondent survey that indicated the video helped her. At a minimum, the survey indicates the video didn’t hurt her as mush as this blog and the Liberal NY/DC ecosystem believes. All you guys were doing with your “the video hurt her posts” was parrying the Liberal conventiional wisdom, and looking for something, anything, to reinforce your biases.

    This site is as anti Palin as they come, with every hit piece by the beltway echo chamber amplified, and every pronouncement that she is “finished” being touted as being representative of what America thinks. This time I think your “Palin’s VIDEO hurt her canard” is not supported by the facts. I’m not sure if this blog is capable of processing a poll that is favorable to Gov Palin. You all probably trip over each other trying to “refudiate” it.

  8. john personna says:

    These things take a couple months to settle out. Sentiment will probably ring back and forth for a bit, until it finds whatever level.

    And, obviously it isn’t static. Palin’s next statements can change things.

  9. as if your blog represents a cross section of America insofar as the public responded to Gov Palin’s video

    And where has that been claimed?

    And if you think this site is “as anti Palin as they come” may I suggest you haven’t looked hard enough elsewhere. But yes, I think it is fair to say that none of the main authors here will be voting for her.

    If these posts bother you so much, why bother reading them, let alone commenting?

  10. Steve Plunk says:

    I’m quite happy with the comments by Smooth Jazz. The Palin fetish displayed here needs to be called out. Should those of us who comment just remain silent if we disagree or should we engage in debate? Rise to challenge Dr. Taylor and debate rather than insinuate those who disagree with you should stay away.

  11. @Steve:

    1. I didn’t tell anyone to go away. I opined that I find it odd that if the posts in question cause Smooth Jazz such consternation, that s/he bothers to read them. It would seem that if s/he finds them so annoying and predictable that s/he might as well avoid them. I just always find it odd, if not amusing, when people repeatedly read what I write and then complain about the topic in question. Of course, in honesty, I have my doubts that the persons in question read much more than the title and the first couple of line before commenting.

    2. I am happy to engage. Indeed, the posts about Palin are the definition of engaging the topic. However, practically ever time I or Doug post on the subject we are told we have a “fetish” and should quit talking about the subject.

    3. Perhaps you could point me to the substantive points that SJ made so that I can engage them, as they appear to have escaped me. As best I can tell s/he is simply griping that I am not positive enough about Palin. What debate is being proposed that you want me to rise to?

    I did write a post about the poll s/he referenced already and see no need to recapitulate it here.

  12. ponce says:

    “Kristol is far too GOP establishment to allow himself to take Palin seriously. He’s been damning her with faint praise foa long time, now”

    Eric,

    Kristol is the wingnut who discovered Palin and pushed the hardest to get McCain to choose her.

    http://www.observer.com/2008/media/when-kristol-met-sarah

  13. Steve Plunk says:

    Dr. Taylor, Can you honestly say your final comment to Smooth Jazz was not a suggestion to stay away if he disagrees with you? It was obvious. Your comment regarding how you perceive those who disagree with you is dismissive yet baseless. How do you know they have only read the headlines and a few lines? Do those who agree read the entire post?

    There is also no doubt that a few of you here love to pick stories that portray Palin in a poor light while ignoring anything good. I can live with that but at least admit it. I don’t want Palin to run for office but I also don’t understand the fascination and pleasure of demeaning her. Even the trivial stories get mentioned and no one asked anyone not to talk about this “fetish”.

    SJ is not griping you’re not positive enough but pointing out how negative this sight is regarding Palin. The challenge (not debate) I ask you to rise to is to not dismiss the opposition with statements akin to if you don’t like it then quit reading it and leave.

    As for substance SJ makes these points,

    1. Kristol is a Washington insider so why is his take on Palin valid?

    2. Why is the poll not important?

    3. Pointing out bias and expecting admission of that bias.

    Those seem valid for discussion.

  14. ponce says:

    I thought the title was referring to David Hume.

    Imagine my disappointment.

  15. @Steve:

    I said “If these posts bother you so much, why bother reading them, let alone commenting?” How that is to be costrued as “go away” is beyond me. It is a question, and a sincere one. A question asked assumes at least the possibility of a response (which would require a return). Was the question asked with some amount irritation behind it? Yes. I do honestly find it odd that some people gripe about certain topics. If one doesn’t want to read another Palin post, then why read one?

    (And the reason that I often think that some commenters only read the headline or part of the post is that the comments often ignore the post itself).

    In regards to your list:

    1. Kristol is a Washington insider so why is his take on Palin valid?

    Kristol has been one of Palin’s biggest booster and was very vocal that she should be McCain’s nominee. To dismiss him as “Washington insider” who is likely to be critical of here is to not be paying attention the last several years (see the link that ponce provides above, for example). As such, I found his pronouncement to be interesting. Does it prove anything in and of itself? No. However, I think that for someone who has been a Palin fan to state that he thinks that the speech might have done some damage might carry more weight than me saying so since, as noted, I am not a Palin fan.

    2. Why is the poll not important?

    I wrote an entire post on that already: click. Short version: at best, the poll shows no effect. (And for an example of why I don’t think people read anything before commenting, see Smooth Jazz’s comment and my response where s/he accuses me of not being capable of acknowledging if a poll was neutral regarding Palin when, in fact, that was precisely my conclusion). Further, the point of that post was primarily about the poll itself, not Palin per se.

    3. Pointing out bias and expecting admission of that bias.

    I am not 100% sure what you are saying here. If you are saying that I am not favorably predisposed towards Palin, that is clear. However, please tell me where I am being unfair, untruthful or even unkind.

  16. Eric Florack says:

    Eric — I realize you live in a world of your own creation, but even you must know that it was Kristol who created Palin as a national figure, and has been pushing her ever since.

    Clearly, you haven’t been reading is output of late.

    The man wants to be GOP establishment, and GOP establishment types will invariably wine and moan about anything that the woman does… if she holds her silence, she’s letting the left dictate the narrative. If she speaks out she hurts herself. The patterns been going on with this guy for months, now.

    It’s true, and he did want McCain to choose her for the role of VP. That, however was so as to serve as a foil for McCain’s establishmentish willingness to capitulate to the left. When Palin proved more popular than McCain himself, it backfired. As such, Kristol has been backpedaling ever since.

    a

  17. anjin-san says:

    > Kristol is a Washington insider so why is his take on Palin valid?

    Can you present a reasonable argument explaining why the take of a “Washington insider” on Palin is not valid? Something beyond the tea party reverse fetish about beltway insiders or going down the well worn of path recounting the perils of Sarah Victim please.

  18. To follow on from my response to Steve Plunk above (and, for that matter, to SJ): what exactly is so objectionable about this post?

    I noted that Bill Kristol said that the “blood libel” speech hurt Palin a little, which I noted was interesting given Kristol’s view on Palin in the past and I noted that Britt Hume thinks that the speech means that she is running for the GOP nomination in 2012. How in the world is this post some massive attack on Palin or indicative of some “fetish”?

    To me it is called: watching FNS and having a response to some things said.

  19. anjin-san says:

    > The man wants to be GOP establishment

    Please take three minutes and read Kristol’s bio. The man could not possibly be more GOP establishment. He is a quintessential insider, and has been for decades.

    To portray him as someone simply trashing Palin in an attempt to gain a seat at the table is rooted either in ignorance or dishonesty.

  20. anjin-san says:

    Bit – do you just completely make it up as you go along? Here are two comments by you regarding Bill Kristol in this single thread

    > Kristol is far too GOP establishment to allow himself to take Palin seriously.

    > The man wants to be GOP establishment

    Which is it? I guess in your case, it is determined by the one and only thing that really drives you. The expedience of the moment…