Sarah Palin: Going Rogue All the Way to the White House?

Tue, November 17, 2009

Democrats, Republicans, Women in Politics

Going Rogue shirtSarah Palin in 2012?  Some are chuckling, but they might want to rethink their take on the first woman on a GOP presidential ticket.

Conservative pundit David Brooks laughed out loud at the suggestion, calling her a “joke”.  Others point to 2008 wannabes Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee as more qualified and doing better in polls than Palin when people talk about GOP Presidential hopefuls.  Of course, most thought that quitting her day job as Alaska Governor was the death knell for her political career, but I think this is just the beginning of Palin’s national political career.  After all, she was just on Oprah!

Seriously, as I have to remind some who’ve accused me of being a closet Republican, I’m no political fan of Palin. But when people dismiss her out of hand, I keep thinking one thing — remember the last politician we scoffed at as not even close to being competent enough for the White House?

Yup — George W. Bush.  And then we said, “Oh, well, at least he’ll only be a one-termer like his father.”  We were 0 for 2 on that front.

It turns out that the “smart” Bush wasn’t the one people related to — as a nation, we preferred the  baseball-loving, brush-clearing, recovering-beer-swilling-guy.  More people liked Bush because even though he has two Ivy League degrees, they saw the “common” man in him, and that made them connect with him in a Dr. Phil sort of way.

People also related to Barack Obama in spite of his Harvard degree because he, too, had a good dose of the “everyman” in his life story — son of a single mom from middle America who struggled with his identity and didn’t have things just handed to him on a platter.

But voters wouldn’t find a working class story appealing with Palin, right?  Think again.  There are plenty of voters who find her accessible and according to a recent Rasmussen poll, a majority of Republicans like her and think she shares their values. You can “betcha” Palin will use that angle for all it’s worth.  According to an excerpt in the New York Times from her book, Going Rogue:

We know what it’s like to be on a tight budget and wonder how we’re going to pay for our health care, let alone college tuition. … We know what it’s like to work union jobs, to be blue-collar, white-collar, to have our kids in public schools.  We felt our very normalcy, our status as ordinary Americans, could be a much-needed fresh breeze blowing into Washington, D.C.

Plus there are still plenty of women who are smarting over Hillary Clinton’s loss and who just might vote for Palin if she’s the candidate in 2012 because they don’t want to wait one more second to see a woman in charge of the Oval Office.

Don’t laugh too hard!  Democrats aren’t doing such a bang up job at the moment –  they’re dragging their feet on Paycheck Fairness, throwing reproductive health under the bus  and we still aren’t further on paid sick days even though we’re all spreading the swine flu to each other like wildfire.

Palin is a wily one so I’m not counting her out for 2012, but I wonder if she’s got something else on her agenda.  I’m betting that being President is a little too much real work for her and that she’s angling for something else.

My official prediction is that Palin wants Michael Steele’s job as head of the Republican National Committee.   Even though Steele has taken his share of jabbing and isn’t the most effective one, the position of RNC Chair can be an extremely powerful position — maybe even more powerful than President when it comes to selecting candidates for races around the country.  Plus, you don’t have to worry about all those pesky voters, campaign debates and whistle-stop tours!  One of the most important roles of a party chair is to be fundraiser-in-chief and that’s something that Palin has proven she excels at.

As much as many would like to dismiss her from the national stage (myself included), Palin isn’t going quietly.  Whether you like her or not, one has to acknowledge the power in that.  Whether she runs for President in 2012 or sets her sights on some other political plum, she’ll definitely have plenty of pocket change to look for a pied-a-terre in the lower 48 where she can set up base camp.

What do you think?  Are Palin’s 15 minutes up or is she the new secret weapon to lure women back to the Grand Old Party?

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10 Responses to “Sarah Palin: Going Rogue All the Way to the White House?”

  1. Claudia O Says:

    Excellent insight. “being President is a little too much real work for her and that she’s angling for something else.”

  2. jodifur Says:

    I think she will run, but I doubt she will get past the primary. And then I see her as a commentator on fox news, or some such nonsense. Sadly, I don’t see her going away any time soon.

  3. ilinap Says:

    In North Carolina there are plenty of bumper stickers that say Palin 2012. That alone frightens me. Her 15 minutes is not over. Dems better buck up and stop taking her and her cronies’ power and influence for granted.

  4. Nordette aka Verite Says:

    What made me chuckle most here was your connection to her potential and appearing on Oprah. Chris Rock told Oprah on her show once that it was her fault George Bush was in office. He said everyone thought Bush was dumb until she had him on her show and made him look good.

    For the record, she still rubs me the wrong way, but who knows what America if the country doesn’t do as well as people hope before 2012.
    N.

  5. Debbie Owensby Moore Says:

    When I was younger and more naive, I once voted for the “woman” over my party’s candidate. I thought Kay Bailey Hutchinson would best represent me in the “good ol’ boy” state of Texas. Her record speaks otherwise. I am wiser now. I will never vote for a woman in lieu of a democrat.

    I think Palin is a gold digger. She quit the governorship to cash in while she could. Although I think she is intellectually challenged, she does have street smarts.

    Her “15 minutes of fame” will be milked to the last drop and then she, Todd, and the kids will be laughing all the way to the bank.

  6. Daisy Says:

    I repeat: she’s dumb like a fox.

  7. PunditMom Says:

    Nordette, I had forgotten about that. Chris Rock may be a comedian, but he’s astute!

  8. BuenoBabyGirl Says:

    I agree with jodifur, she’s a keeper. Like it or not she’s here to stay and I don’t like it. I watched the Oprah interview, with my conservative father, and told him if he wasn’t going to join me in heckling her then I wanted to change the channel and watch something less annoying like Barnie.

  9. Newsericks Says:

    I agree completely that it is dangerous to underestimate Sarah Palin. Here’s my comment (in verse) about her recent activities.

    Sarah Palin, you’re back in the news,
    Once again hawking your conservative views.
    I guess it’s all part of flogging your book.
    I have to say, I like your new look.

    The last time I saw you, you were dressed in sweatpants.
    Now you’re much more fashionable (and are those new cheek implants?)
    Your Facebook page says you’re upset about that cover
    Because Newsweek did your legs uncover.

    I really don’t see why you’re complaining
    (That shot should help your campaigning).
    You said later it was sexist
    But at the time I guess you just couldn’t resist.

    It never hurts to show a little skin
    (Especially in the business that you’re in).
    And you yourself posed for the picture.
    Have you determined it’s against some conservative stricture?

    I hear you asked for $100K to speak in Iowa live.
    That’s a lot better than Bush’s $4.95.
    With all the money from speeches and your book,
    I guess you’re glad that you the governorship forsook.

    Last week you were up in arms about the $1 coin
    (I guess you hoped the PR would to your book sales adjoin).
    You were upset that “In God We Trust” had been moved to the coin’s edge
    (That’s almost as bad as taking “under God” out of the Pledge).

    You asked “Who calls a shot like that?”
    And your supporters took up the cry in seconds flat.
    If you found out who, I was sure you’d skin them alive,
    But it turns out it was George Bush in 2005.

    Still, with your book sales surging, you’d can’t feel too sad,
    Although when even Fox News corrects you, that’s bad.
    And things didn’t quite work out in upstate New York,
    (You have to admit, Hoffman was a bit of a dork).

    But at least you got on Oprah’s show
    (That’s a rare honor, you know).
    It’s too bad she brought up Katie’s question about what you read
    And that commenters said you came across as a chucklehead.

    But never mind, you’re front page news again,
    And your faithful followers flock to your church (can I get an amen?).
    In the list of influential Republicans, the Post puts you at number 1:
    Election 2012 sure will be fun!

    60% of Americans say you’re not fit to be President and 53% “definitely” wouldn’t vote for ya’,
    But never mind — you’re still our Evita.
    You were in vogue before
    And I’m sure you’ll be in vogue lots more.

    (Read more about Sarah Palin and others, watch videos, and comment at http://newsericks.com/tag/Sarah-Palin.)


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