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Palin’s Prospects July 29, 2009

Posted by Kate Ryan in National Politics, Politics, Republicans, Sarah Palin.
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ap_palin_fishing_090706_mnNow that she has departed as Alaska’s governor, will we finally stop obsessing over Sarah Palin?  The whole “what will she do now” debate is getting nearly as bad as the “what does Hillary want” discussion prior to last year’s Democratic convention. 

Most pundits think that Palin is beginning her campaign to lay claim to the 2012 Presidential nomination.  I say nomination because most analysts, even Conservative ones, do not believe she could win.  Also, leaving elective office – not necessarily leaving the public eye – has never been the way to bolster one’s credentials.  Palin will have the shadow of “quitter” over her head.  Americans don’t tend to like someone who quits things.

On Hardball with Chris Matthews yesterday on MSNBC, Pat Bucahan and Tom DeFrank (political columnist for the New York Daily News) discussed Palin’s prospects.  The panel wondered if Palin was using the “Nixon playbook” to rise to the Presidency after her farewell screed excoriating the media (the media that MADE her, after all).  Nixon made the famous “you won’t have me to kick around” statement in 1963, then went on to win the Presidency in 1968 as the “anti” candidate; anti-media, anti-liberal elite, anti-Hollywood – all the “anti’s” that Palin is focusing on.  It is obvious, DeFrank said, that this is the playbook she is following.  DeFrank describes her as “a walking culture war,”  but he also believes that Palin following the Nixon playbook will not work.  “She has no intellectual curiosity,” DeFrank said.  “Remember, Nixon was a member of Congress, he was a Senator, a Vice-President.  She was a governor for two and a half years – and she walked away.”

One thing is certain, Palin will have to work very hard to keep herself in the public eye and bolster her approval ratings.  The latest ABC-Washington Post Poll finds her negatives at 53% among all voters, and among the crucial indepent block, her negative rating is at 51%.  As one independent voter stated, “She just, to me, lacks substance and dedication,” and added that Palin “strikes me as being more interested in celebrity than in actually doing political work.”  Palin still has great numbers among Republicans at 70% approval – but as the Republican party continues to shrink – will that help her or hurt her?  Her support among Republicans to actually win the nomination and become President is only at 17%.

What is worse for Palin is the new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll released today that shows 32% of Americans believe that Sarah Palin should focus on being a homemaker now that she is out of government.  Only 14% and 6% feel she would make a good Vice-President or President, respectively.  Perhaps all of her focus on the “attacks on her family” have made Americans believe she should spend more time with them.

I make no bones about it – I don’t like Sarah Palin and the kind of politics she represents.  The last administration were masters of the game that Palin is trying to play – take the voter’s minds off big, real issues with silly distractions about flag pins,  liberal media bias, and cultural issues that the culture can figure out without help from politicians.  I also believe that  Americans can no longer afford to value style over substance and elect a person that knows nothing and doesn’t care to learn it.  Palin has unbelievable political  instincts but she is just a beautifully wrapped box – with nothing inside.  Sarah does what is good for Sarah.

I am 47 years old and I want to see a woman as President of this country before I die.  Electing this woman, however, is not on my bucket list and shouldn’t be on anyone else’s.

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