Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman

Why I’m Bullish on Sarah Palin’s Prospects

The day Sarah Palin announced her resignation as Alaska governor, I wrote a post speculating on whether there was anyone who could stop her from getting the Republican nomination. (Answer: Huckabee). I was surprised to see that most of the subsequent commentary was not on whether she was a lock for the nomination or merely the frontrunner but rather whether her political career was destroyed or merely grievously wounded.
Why am I so much more bullish on Palin than most pundits?
The sources of her appeal remain undiminished. Her popularity never came from her track record as governor, so failure to finish the term won’t matter that much to her supporters. She’s beloved largely because of who she is and what she’s accomplished as a person not what she’s accomplished as a Governor. The most important fact for the religious conservatives who love her remains that she gave birth to a baby with downs syndrome rather than opting for an abortion. Everything else pales in comparison. She’s viewed as a pro-life politicians who practices what she preaches. Each conservative politician who ends up caught in the men’s room with a male prostitute or in Argentina with a soul mate, only makes Palin’s authenticity more powerful.
(And Palin is aware of the political importance, saying that the birth of Trig allowed her to “walk the walk” in her pro-life views. “I feel so privileged and blessed to be, I guess, chosen to have Trig in our life,” she told James Dobson, “because I do want to help us in in our cause here.”
She wears Christian protective armor. She uses every attack on her as proof that someone is out to get her and in fact many Christians believe that anti-Palin bias is anti-Christian bias. Like some superhero with special powers, the more she’s attacked the stronger she becomes.
Religoius conservatives will be as important if not more so in the 2012 Republican primaries. Evangleicals acocunted for a bigger percentage of John McCain’s general election vote than of George Bush’s meaning that these voters have become amore central part of the party coalition. Two of the three early states (Iowa and South Carolina) have large evangelical populations, the third (New Hampshire) liking “mavericky” types.
IOU Collection Machine – The most important advantage for Palin is the most simple: she can travel. She’ll be sought after to raise money and campaign for Republican candidates around the country. The more she does, the more IOUs she collects. Within two years, she’ll go from a popular outsider, to a woman with a lot of friends.
Her behavior since the election has not positioned her well with independents or for a general election. But politicians like her usually focus on the nomination first, and viewed through that prism, her decision to resign is neutral to positive for her.

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posted July 14, 2009 at 9:14 pm

Palin sought after by Republican candidates? Desperate Republicans in the Christianist South, maybe. But I doubt she’ll travel that well nationally. And if her rabid fan base, which doesn’t seem to mind that she is a lame brain — which embraces the lame brain, in fact — is large enough to win her the GOP nomination, then heaven help the Republicans. Heaven help us all. Could someone so drastically underqualified, underprepared and devoid of intellect ever be elected President of the United States? Oh, right. W. I shudder.

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posted July 15, 2009 at 6:25 am

Tim insults Sarah Palin and her supporters. Drastically underqualified and underprepared? She wasn’t for VP and she won’t be for president in 2012. Devoid of intellect? Wow – she has done pretty well for someone devoid of intellect. “Heaven help the Republicans.” ?? That’s ironic, because with Sarah Palin, heaven is helping the republicans and the only “lame brains” are those republicans who fail to see it.

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posted July 17, 2009 at 8:45 am

All of Sara”s “qualifications” have to do with her victim hood. What is her vision for our nation…what policies does she advocate at the presidential level…what kind of leadership can she provide. From my perspective she is a total no show, and perhaps worse on these issues. And we continue to confuse the points made by Mr Waldman with somehow qualifying her for leadership. Huckabee and Romney would eat her lunch on these issues and that’s what voters will be looking for…let’s stop wasting time here.

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posted July 18, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Sarah wiil kick butt!

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posted July 21, 2009 at 6:53 am

it seems to me that one of the key differences between those who are positive towards Governor Palin, and those who are not is this. Those who are positive have taken more trouble to examine her record closely; those who are negative have not, or if they have have chosen to ignore or surpress that record. People are, of course, attracted to Palin for her values, but by any standard her record as a Governor is impressive. Arguably, in her first 16 months as Governor, from January 2007 to the end of the second legislative session, she had already delivered on all her promises to the people, the gas pipeline legislation, taxation reform, ethics reform, fiscal rectitude, etc. As a result of her stewardship Alaska is one of few states that is fiscally sound, with large savings accounts instead of debt, is not in recession and is growing jobs. Interestingly, Governor Palin achieved these outcomes with massive cross-party support. Ougoing polls indicate that she would easily win re-election with 56% of the vote to 35% for any democratic rival. And this in a state where 43% of voters are independents.

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Heath Townson

posted July 22, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Tim you said “Could someone so drastically underqualified, underprepared and devoid of intellect ever be elected President of the United States?” First Tim you should have said unqualified and unprepared but we can talk about that another time. It is obvious to all of us that you did not apply this same evaluation to Obama before you voted for him. Now we all are reaping this bad decision.

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posted July 13, 2011 at 8:35 pm

As I watched her do her so-call bus tour I never once saw her stop where there are people of color????? Always surrounded by will to do looking white folks?? This is a savoir of people?? The last time I looked in the bible, about an hour ago saying prayers, God is all inclusive of all peoples.

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