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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Bill Kristol On Sarah Palin (with updates)

He writes:

I like Sarah Palin (though I don't know her well). I respect her (though I'm aware of some of her limitations). I wish her well (though I'm not convinced she should be the 2012 Republican presidential nominee).

I am convinced, though, that she should have a chance to compete and make her case.

Um, she made her case to be vice-president, which is itself a litmus test of whether or not she could be president (the vice-president really having no other role than to be the pres-in-waiting).  And people were generally not pleased -- including the majority of Republicans.

In this, I seem to differ from many of my friends in the mainstream media and the Republican establishment. They tend not only to dislike and disdain Palin, they also want to bury her chances now as a presidential possibility. What are they so scared of?

Oh, Mr. Kotter, Mr. Kotter.  Two things they're scared of:  (1) a Palin presidency and/or (2) the further demise of the GOP.  Seems rather obvious to me.

It's silly to claim Palin has no chance to win the nomination or the presidency. The fact is, despite a rough campaign in 2008, Palin has been (for what it's worth at this stage) a co-front-runner in polls of GOP primary voters for 2012, along with Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. In a recent Pew survey, she had the strongest favorable-unfavorable numbers of the likely candidates among Republicans.

Yeah, but who ARE those candidates?  Newt?  Huckabee?

She has fervent supporters, which would presumably help her in primaries and caucuses. Among the general public, she has a not-great but not-unmanageable 45-44 favorability rating.

Thats, uh, not good.

Will her poll numbers fall because she has opted to step down early from the Alaska governorship? Perhaps. But the short-term effect of that decision will soon be swamped by judgments people make as they see her out and about, speaking and opining on the issues of the day.

Late night comedian jokes?  Dude, she's been in the public spotlight for a year.  We ALL saw her in the debates, when she really avoided answering questions of policy and decided to flirt with the camera.  That's how she opines -- by whining about the press and telling everyone she's "not your usual politician".  That's old now; it's going to be an even BIGGER joke by 2012.

Kristol ends his column by saying that Palin may run, but then again she may not.

Thanks for the info, Bill.

MORE OF THE SAME via Ezra Klein:

The Weekly Standard's Jim Prevor thinks Sarah Palin's critics have spoken too soon. Much too soon:

We don’t know what she will do in the private sector. Will she write a thoughtful book? Become a syndicated columnist whose ideas make her a “must read” for everyone? Will she found an important new think tank? An important journal? Spearhead an effort to help the unemployed? Decide to launch a business? Or maybe she will start a new political party?

Will she cure cancer? Perfect cold fusion? Translate ancient Sumerian texts? Restore sight to the blind through the power of her touch? It's hard to say. But it's just like those coastal elites to relentlessly criticize Sarah Palin for healing the blind. It's honorable for countless others to heal the sick. But there's of course a different standard for the decisions she makes.

BONUS PALIN:  In an interview with ABC News,

Palin said she was surprised by the media storm that followed her announcement to leave office, saying she thought it would not have been "such a darn big deal."

Right.  She only sent out a press release to every media outlet in the country.  Or perhaps she doesn't realize how unusual it is for a governor to resign absent a scandal.  Perhaps she thinks it happens all the time.

Palin conceded many people are still confused about why she made the decision to leave office.

"You know why they're confused? I guess they cannot take something nowadays at face value," Palin said.

Well, you didn't really give a reason, Sarah.

But then she did hint at one.

But she said a major factor in the decision was the mounting legal bills she and the state have had to incur to fight ethics charges from her political adversaries. None of the accusations has been proven but, she said, the costs of fighting them have been enormous.

Well, there were accusations which were true, and which she did not fight.

And now, the best part:

Palin said there is a difference between the White House and what she has experienced in Alaska. If she were in the White House, she said, the "department of law" would protect her from baseless ethical allegations.

"I think on a national level, your department of law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we've been charged with and automatically throw them out," she said.

There is no "Department of Law" at the White House.

I honestly don't know what planet this "politician" lives on.  Aside from the fact there is no White House "Department of Law", there is nothing that protects the President from ethical allegations, "baseless" or otherwise.  Not the Justice Department (which isn't in the White House) nor the Office of General Counsel.

By the way, The state of Alaska does have a Department of Law, but it apparently wasn’t able to keep Palin safe from some of the things she's been charged with, either.

Finally, another conservative pundit's take seems pretty spot-on:

If Palin simply had announced Friday that she was done with politics because she didn't want to bankrupt her family defending against baseless charges, you could applaud. But in leaving the door open for a run-up, Palin blew that.

Instead, the rambling remarks served to reinforce the suspicion that Palin was not up to the No. 2 slot. She's stuck in the victim gear. On the heels of her orgy of indignation over David Letterman's jokes, there's too much "poor me." Palin's attorney told CNN Monday that Palin deliberately chose to resign on July 3 as a "declaration of independence from politics as usual." You would never guess Palin campaigned for the office that she now finds so confining. "If I've learned one thing," Palin said Friday, "life is about choices." Good, because in cleaving to the victim role, Palin chose her path. Americans don't elect victims to the White House.

Of course, this entire post can be summed up with one Tom Tomorrow cartoon:

Tompalin

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