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That’s All From Sarah Palin

So, Sarah Palin and Fox News Channel have parted ways.  [1] That’s the end of her public career. She has little real influence in Republican circles anymore, and it seems that Roger Ailes realized that Palin’s past her sell-by date. RCP quotes a source close to Palin saying that the former Alaska governor “will be expanding her voice in the national discussion.” Er, no, she won’t. She’ll be doing the political equivalent of dinner theater and appearing on “Match Game.”

While I’m not sorry to see Palin leave public life, inasmuch as she had come to represent a shallow, emotivist sort of conservatism, I find myself not thinking “good riddance” but rather, “dang, she could have been a contender.”

As an early fan of Palin’s, I was pleased that John McCain had tapped an outsider with a proven record as a reformer, and someone whose political instincts seemed populist in a good way. We quickly learned in the fall of 2008 that Palin was not remotely ready for the national stage. I suppose she probably never would have been — she was too unstable, and not as interested in ideas and policy as a president needs to be — but it’s interesting to contemplate what she might have become had she not been elevated so far so fast by McCain. If she had worked at becoming a good governor, she might have really done something, and become an effective conservative leader.

Instead, she became a Fox News personality. And now, not even that. Too bad.

63 Comments (Open | Close)

63 Comments To "That’s All From Sarah Palin"

#1 Comment By James Kabala On January 26, 2013 @ 7:13 pm

“She could have done well with the easier to grasp philosophy of a Rand Paul. I honestly could see her running for congress or senate as a Paulist libertarian.”

Even after all this time, some still want to remake Palin in their own image. Personally, I never saw the appeal, even when she was first unveiled. I respected her for not killing her baby, but that seems a pretty minimal standard that I hope any hypothetical Republican nominee could meet.

#2 Comment By Ampersand On January 26, 2013 @ 7:18 pm

“I understand how a fellow tribe member might like Biden more, but surely one’s tribalism isn’t so great ask to actually believe Biden qualified.”

Biden is absolutely qualified, though he’s obviously on the goofy side. Palin is just a proud know-nothing.

#3 Comment By M_Young On January 26, 2013 @ 7:21 pm

“Palin’s problem wasn’t a lack of intellect or surplus of honesty, it was a lack of personal discipline. If you’re going to lift that kind of people’s champion up on to your shoulders, get ready to excuse the inevitable Chappaquiddick, Monkey Business, or the chronic ailment of Rangel’s Disease.”

For probably the first time ever, I agree, in part, with Mr. Patrick. She did lack personal discipline, esp. after the 2008 campaign was over.

However, the examples you give –except for Gary Hart — are not quite exactly. Kennedy was forgiven for his role in killing just another white woman of moderate means and (I’m assuming) intellect. Rangels hung tough in face of some very muted criticism. Both, of course, had the press in their corner.

Hart seems to have succumbed to his own conscious, one of the few Democrats with a sense of shame.

#4 Comment By Judith On January 26, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

She sure was a dimwit. But one has to admit, she’s been the cause of some great comments on this blog.

#5 Comment By Jim Atherton On January 26, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

Why was he qualified and palin not?

#6 Comment By Jim Atherton On January 26, 2013 @ 9:27 pm

Palin was easily more qualified to be VP than Obama president.

#7 Comment By TWylite On January 26, 2013 @ 9:52 pm

“Political dinner theater” would be The Capitol Steps, right? I like the way Ian Faith, manager of Spinal Tap, described why the band was playing in smaller venues over time: “Their appeal is becoming more selective”.
@Charlieford, Sarah Palin is NOT the “Real America”. She was first and foremost a performer. Her early gigs were beauty pageant contestant and newscaster. That should be a clue. And like it or not, to be effective in any position of significant leadership, you need a lot more than “gut”. You need some real intelligence (doesn’t have to be MENSA-level), personal discipline, and above all, a long term perspective. George W. Bush largely governed by “gut”. We saw how well that worked out.

#8 Comment By hattio On January 26, 2013 @ 10:55 pm

Tyro Says;
“But then on the other hand, there is a certain strain of politician who figures that being an alderman, local legislator, or mayor is a good way to get a steady job for yourself and set up your friends and relatives with good jobs and connections along with other social fringe benefits. Sarah Palin was the latter category of politician. The reason she quickly moved on to “media personality” is because she realized that doing that was an even better job than being a local and state politician. ”

I am a liberal from Alaska who is more ashamed that she’s the most famous politician from Alaska (I’m even more ashamed of her than of Mike Gravel’s run for president). I have very little respect for Sarah Palin, but this is just wrong. She was on a the Oil and Gas Commission as was the leader of the Alaska Republican Party. She caught him using State resources for party business and ratted him out. It seemed like it would ruin her political career. She did it anyway. I disagree with a lot she did. But, she was sincere…about everything. Which in some ways is even scarier.

#9 Comment By VikingLS On January 27, 2013 @ 8:11 am

@james kabala

My point is not “This is what I hope she does” but “this is what she probably will do”. She actually endorsed Rand Paul at one point. If she doesn’t handle her finances carefully she could be looking to get back into the game in a few years.

#10 Comment By Tyro On January 27, 2013 @ 9:14 am

hattio, I am pretty sure that Palin got her start as a Mayberry Machiavelli on the Wasilla schoolboard before going to the mayor’s office and using treating the office as a small business to support herself and her relatives, which went on to be fairly consistent regarding her performance in the governor’s office. Her moves on the Oil and Gas Commission were retaliation against the governor for not appointing her to the senate in 2002.

What struck me about Palin was how small she was compared to the position of being a Vice Presidential nominee. She was running for VP while still being hyperconcerned about who-said-what about her family back in Alaska and whether her vendettas against perceived Wasilla enemies were being sufficiently realized.

#11 Comment By William Burns On January 27, 2013 @ 9:40 am

Jim Atherton,

Why was Biden more qualified than Palin? Because he served in the US Senate for multiple terms including leadership positions such as Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, while Palin had not served a full gubernatorial term and had little experience with government at the federal level.

#12 Comment By Heather On January 27, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

Little known trivia related to Palin:

A couple years ago or so, Sarah Palin was one of the main questions on the English teacher qualifying exam for being admitted into the French school system (teachers are civil servants for life).

Candidates were given an excerpt of a political speech by Palin to analyze and then give a critical presentation to their examining committee – supposedly to test their English and English-related culture. Candidates that had the bad luck of having left-wingers on their committee (which is quite dominant in the French school system) and who did not equate Palin (and her politics) to the devil incarnate largely failed the test. Many suspect this was a covert, non-official way to select candidates based on their political views. Only the proper American-hating, and especially right-wing-American hating teacher could be allowed in.

#13 Comment By Sean Scallon On January 28, 2013 @ 9:57 am

It’s my opinion Palin does have natural political talents and the evidence is clear putting her on the ticket did give the McCain campaign a jolt in 2008 when it was announced and he rose in the polls (until the finacial crisis kille whatever momentum he had). She does connect with people and she has a celebrity style to her other GOP candidates can only dream about. Unfortunately she was not ready for prime time and once again the GOP cannibalized a young talent for short-term political gain (Paul Ryan too) the way bad GM’s in major league baseball send up minor league prospects to the majors before they’re ready.

Of course that was 2008. We are now in 2013. During this time it would not have killed Palin to do some word traveling, bone up on the issues and build up a campaign infrastructure if she really wanted to be President. She did none of this and the traveling she did was on the Tea Party Express bus. She cashed in on her fame yes, and that’s it. That’s all she did. There were hundreds of thousands of people who looked to her and saw in her something of themselves and bonded to her and were willing to run through walls for her. That’s not a joke. But what did she do for them? Nothing. She teased them for four years, said a lot of things on Facebook like everyone else does and that was it. That’s all folks. Indeed.