Deciphering Palin’s Ayotte Endorsement

July 19th, 2010 at 9:57 pm David Frum | 83 Comments |

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Kelly Ayotte is a conservative politician, but she is not exactly a Fox News red-meater. She supported the Sonia Sotomayor nomination, she supported the expansion of the expensive SCHIP program for children’s health, and sided with law enforcement against the NRA during a recent state legislative battle.

How then did Ayotte gain the Palin endorsement?

Three theories:

1) The “early states” theory. Palin wants to earn favors in early primary states: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina. In those states she is endorsing likely winners even when (as with Iowa’s Terry Brandstad) that likely winner tilts more to the middle than Palin’s current political identity.

2) The “go with the winner” theory. Palin is seeking to make herself look more powerful within the party by claiming credit for other people’s successes.

3) The “woo women” theory. Palin has endorsed women candidates against men she might have been expected to prefer: eg Carly Fiorina over Chuck DeVore in California. These endorsements enabled and justified Palin’s recent “Mama Grizzlies” ad. By positioning herself as a champion of women in politics, Palin distracts attention from one important weakness of any Palin candidacy: her unpopularity among women voters. It’s working too. Kathryn Jean Lopez at NRO today quotes Kellyanne Conway:

Women make up a majority of the workforce and account for 83 percent of household purchases. Palin is encouraging them to become more active and demanding as political consumers. Some are enraged, others engaged, but most are coming to a ballot box near you. Palin is a good messenger for this mobilization because she is one of them. They may like her — or not — but they are like her: a working mom with no Ivy League degree who thinks Washington’s ‘new math’ does not add up.

Kellyanne is a good pollster, and so she inserts that “or not” caveat. But of course the caveat is the truth: Women don’t like her. Even Republican women don’t like her. The summer’s interesting question is: by elbowing her way to the front of the parade of Republican political candidates, does Palin help herself – or hurt them? This will be an especially interesting question in New Hampshire, an open primary state in what you would not think of as Palin country. Ayotte challenger Bill Binnie has pooh-poohed the Palin endorsement. He said today: “I have consistently stated that I will win my campaign in Tilton, New Hampshire, not Washington DC.” Now he has the further opportunity to make that endorsement an issue. Will he? The deep-pocketed Binnie has done well at fundraising, so he certainly has the resources to try.

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83 Comments so far ↓

  • TerryF98

    “On outlawing sodomy, I hope she starts to campaign on that, because I too would like to see ALL forms of non-vaginal intercourse and interplay outlawed, being the offense to natural law that it is. When can I expect her first stump speech?”

    If you did that it would stop many GOP lawmakers having sex altogether!

  • Traveler51

    From Anniemargaret:

    Well, jenin, you sure do get personal don’t you? OK…I’m Italian so give me a break…I AM ‘long-winded.” I will try to be more succinct in the future. As far as my not writing well, … well, so what, who cares? I am not paid to be a blogger. Here’s a suggestion – skip over my commentaries.

    And what I’ve been saying about Palin is asking pertinent questions regarding her capabilities to define and argue her case about issues facing America, instead of just parroting slogans repeatedly or talking points. I asked when she would get out of the cocoon.

    Well, you usually have enough meat in your comments to force me to think. I enjoy your posts (and most others here) and am glad you won’t get easily shut down.

  • anniemargret

    traveler51: thanks!

  • JeninCT

    Annie wrote: “And what I’ve been saying about Palin is asking pertinent questions regarding her capabilities to define and argue her case about issues facing America.”

    Nice try, but as far as I can see you’re too busy with her uterus to be concerned with her policies.

  • Xunzi Washington

    Jen said: “Nice try, but as far as I can see you’re too busy with her uterus to be concerned with her policies.”

    Nice try with the uteri smoke and mirrors, but we’re still waiting for the specific policies that Palin argues for that has you so willing to wave the foam finger. C’mon, none of this ‘she courageous’ and ‘she’s authentic’ garbage – give us some specific proposals she has argued for.

  • TerryF98

    JeninCT

    has been on this board for some time. She spouts idiocy usually when she is not plain telling lies. She is in effect a troll though I don’t like that word. She does not bring facts, will not usually answer genuine questions on her posts and runs away at the first sign of being caught telling lies.

    This latest Briebart BS she is encouraging and the mindless defense of Palin has been the end for me personally. I am no longer responding to her posts or even reading the drivel. Make your own judgement.

  • Xunzi Washington

    I tend to agree with Terry. After her idiocy at the end of the Palin English thread, I don’t think she should be taken seriously at all.

  • anniemargret

    jenin: I asked specific questions about Palin in another thread on her. I repeat:

    What exactly would she be willing to sacrifice in non-discretionary spending and entitlements? As a millionaire, how does she view the unemployment benefits for thousands of Americans who are facing bankruptcy & foreclosures? Does she believe in corporate bailouts? Is she serious about the debt, and if so, is she willing to make some cuts in unnecessary defense spending?

    And …she appears to be a puppet for the neocons as she has a militaristic viewpoint. Is she? Would she want to invade Iran?

  • JeninCT

    Wow Annie! Great post! Great questions! Too bad no one asked Obama any of them when he was running. Oh, maybe they did, and they fell asleep because he took 17 minutes to answer them?

    I can assure you, the minute she throws her hat in the ring ‘officially’ she’ll answer all the media’s (and your) questions, but until then you’re just going to have to wait. But PLEASE don’t pretend that any of it will make any difference. We all know how much you hate her, and her unterus ;-)

  • JeninCT

    TerryF98 wrote:

    “JeninCT has been on this board for some time. She spouts idiocy usually when she is not plain telling lies. She is in effect a troll though I don’t like that word. She does not bring facts, will not usually answer genuine questions on her posts and runs away at the first sign of being caught telling lies.”

    Wow, what a case of the pot calling the kettle black. You’re such a hypocrite!

    “I am no longer responding to her posts or even reading the drivel.”

    I hope this is a promise because you’ve done nothing but harrass me for months now.

  • TerryF98

    “I hope this is a promise because you’ve done nothing but harrass me for months now.”

    You should be so lucky that a man would wish to have anything to do with an old twisted man hater like you.

    Sod off and watch Fox for a few hours. You are a cretin.

  • Xunzi Washington

    Jen said “I can assure you, the minute she throws her hat in the ring ‘officially’ she’ll answer all the media’s (and your) questions”

    Um, this is funny given that she already threw her hat in the ring in ’08 and answered zero questions. Why would it be any different in ’12? I’m operating from past experience here.

    Jen further says: “But PLEASE don’t pretend that any of it will make any difference.”

    Funny, I was thinking this about you. When she “throws her hat” in the ring in ’12 and answers zero questions again, and instead insists on being interviewed by “hard hitting” Hannity and mock debates moderated by beat-reporter Greta, it won’t make any difference to you, will it?

    I mean you’re waving the foam finger furiously right now for her and yet you can’t name a single specific policy she holds.

  • JeninCT

    Well, Terry, you’re predictable, I’ll give you that much.

  • JeninCT

    Xunzi wrote: “When she “throws her hat” in the ring in ‘12 and answers zero questions again, and instead insists on being interviewed by “hard hitting” Hannity and mock debates moderated by beat-reporter Greta, it won’t make any difference to you, will it?”

    IF that happens, I will lose respect for her, but I’m willing to wait and see.

    ” mean you’re waving the foam finger furiously right now for her and yet you can’t name a single specific policy she holds.”

    Her specific policies don’t matter as much as the fact that I trust her to lead and put the country first. I know enough about her general policies (smaller government, fiscal conservatism) to know that she’s someone I prefer over Obama any day. I don’t even care that she’s religious.

  • JeninCT

    Also, she was managed by McCain’s people in ’08. If she does run again, I expect to see a very different campaign.

  • Xunzi Washington

    “IF that happens, I will lose respect for her, but I’m willing to wait and see.”

    Good lord, a truthful statement at last. To be honest, I will keel over and have a coronary if it doesn’t happen. We have zero — that’s right, zero — evidence that it won’t be. Has she ever — and I mean ever — given any indication that she’s ready to actually be vetted in a proper fashion?

    “Her specific policies don’t matter as much as the fact that I trust her to lead and put the country first. I know enough about her general policies (smaller government, fiscal conservatism) to know that she’s someone I prefer over Obama any day. I don’t even care that she’s religious.”

    But the general policies are meaningless without specifics. Smaller government means zero if you have no actual policies to explain what you mean. Clearly she’s for DOMA — is that a small government policy, ya think? As for fiscal conservativism — if she’s for cutting spending, clearly not to Medicare, because that would get between the patient and his/her doctor. Clearly not to the military, cause we know Sarah loves her some guns. Is she going to raise the retirement age for SS? Cut benefits? No way. So what’s her even somewhat specific plan?

    She don’t have one. But she has many bumper stickers to sell, and you’ve bought a bunch of them.

  • Rabiner

    JeninCT:

    ” Her specific policies don’t matter as much as the fact that I trust her to lead and put the country first. I know enough about her general policies (smaller government, fiscal conservatism) to know that she’s someone I prefer over Obama any day. I don’t even care that she’s religious.”

    If her specific policies don’t matter than why do her platitude matter? Platitudes don’t miraculously become law, they have to be deciphered into nuanced legislation. ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ is a slogan rather than legislation. So what does that even mean when she gets down to supporting legislation that she’d want to sign into law as President. She was owned by O’Rielly when she wouldn’t answer more specifically about what she’d do with regards to illegal immigrants already in this country. She has no answers to anything regarding immigration after ‘keep the boarders safe’. Well no shit keep them safe but what do you do with the 12 million people here already? Do you increase fines and enforcement on business? How much would your proposals cost and how would you pay for it? Would you have a guest worker program for farm workers?

    I’m sorry but she’s failed to answer basic questions let alone nuanced ones. When she starts to do that perhaps I won’t see her as just a famous face with the brain of Paris Hilton. At least with Huckabee I can disagree with him but respect the fact he puts his thoughts out there for the public to know.

  • florishes

    Jenin:

    Palin’s uterus, like her policies, smell fishy. And nobody is fascinated by that except you…stop talking about Palin’s uterus..you disgust us all. why are YOU so caught up in Palin’s uterus? WOW!

  • florishes

    Based on Jenin’s posts above…

    … I suspect Jenin has some real sweaty sex-sexy, sex-sex obsession with Palin’s uterus.

  • ktward

    As JeninCT illustrates, Palin supporters will–with inexplicable fealty–continue to defend Palin. That there exists no specific, issues-based, credible defense is simply irrelevant. (But she’s a Grizzly Mama! Or Mama Grizzly? Something like that.)

    JeninCt: in rebuttal to anniemargret, the best you could come up with is that she hates uteri? [chuckling]

    Whatever.

    I have contended elsewhere–and still do–that thanks to Palin’s gift for polarizing the masses, her loyal base has virtually zero possibility for growth. Simply put: those that do not already love her, already do not like her at. all.

    Pol viability in the GE ultimately rests on their ability to appeal to voters outside of their own base. Palin will never appeal to anyone outside the JeninCTs– way too much crazy water under that bridge, and Palin manages to double down on that surety every time she opens her mouth.

    But Palin is first and foremost a neon opportunist, and it’s completely reasonable to suspect her endorsements are meant to strategically position her for a potentially lucrative ‘queen-maker’ moniker. Makes all kinds of sense. Nevertheless, NH GOP voters aren’t all that fond of Palin, so we’ll see how well this endorsement actually plays out for Ayotte. It certainly doesn’t hurt Hodes’s campaign one teensy bit, and is altogether likely to help him.

  • Cforchange

    This endorsement perfectly explains why there is a GOP rift. Palin and her grizzlies are 1 issue pro life activists. They were pacified with George Bush because of his social promise stance but they didn’t understand nor care about the financial implications of his term.

    The grizzlies are simply one issue voters and it has nothing to do with issues of finance and economy. The endorsements are irrelevant for the issues that really matter – creating better citizens (and families and parental conduct) through prosperity. The grizzlies are noisey but clueless. The American majority is not confused about their game.

    There’s my 2 cents about the “new” mission: Creating better citizens through prosperity.

  • Fairy Hardcastle

    Cforchange — I count quite a number of issues on which Palin supporters agree: (i) abortion, (ii) stem cell, (iii) euthanasia, (iv) sodomite marriage, (v) domestic drilling, (vi) alternative energy, (vii) 2nd amendment rights (are you ok with the latest SCT ruling on that in support of private ownership?), (viii) equality for women, (ix) national deficit, (x) national debt, (xi) cronyism and corruption, (xii) human rights abuses in China and elsewhere, (xiii) supporting democratic movements around the world, (xiv) not bowing to kings and emperors, (xv) free trade agreements, (xvi) market-oriented health care reform, (xvii) stopping the growth of a bloated Federal government, (xviii) school vouchers, (xix) not taking Air Force on a date to NYC nor for pictures while scaring NYers to death, (xx) calling terrorism terrorism and not man-inspired contigent events, (xxi) simplying the tax code, (xxii) eliminating or reducing the estate tax, (xxiii) incentivizing R&D, (xxiv) improving border protection, (xxv) reducing capital gains tax, (xxvi) full transparency about past, (xxvii) not calling the military “corpse” men, (xxviii) correctly stating we have 50 states, (xxix) eliminating depending on telepromters, (xxx) elminating the multi-million dollar budget for the First Lady.

  • Fairy Hardcastle

    Florishes — you are depraved and should be slapped by your mother and grandmother for your hateful comment.

  • LFC

    JeninCT once again whined… Nice try, but as far as I can see you’re too busy with her uterus to be concerned with her policies.

    First, you never replied when I clearly pointed out how Palin, in her own words and in great detail, described how she willingly endangered her own special needs child. How can you respect a woman who puts politics before the life and health of her own child? How can she possibly be pro-life when the risk to her own child’s life meant so little? I though “Mamma Grizzlies” protected their young. Aren’t you disgusted by her behavior? I know I am.

    Second, you mention how people aren’t paying attention to her policies at 7:36 and then by 10:31 say “her specific policies don’t matter as much as the fact that I trust her to lead and put the country first. ” Why on Earth would you fault somebody for not listening to Palin’s policies when a) she doesn’t really have any and b) you personally say they don’t matter anyway? Are you schizophrenic or just plain stupid? (“Roses are red, violets are blue. I’m a schizophrenic, and so am I.”)

    Your quote shows you for what you are, a groupie that has fallen for the cult of personality. There are some pretty smart people posting comments here, and they’re going to eat you alive when you say stupid s**t … which seems to be a pretty regular occurrence. You probably should go to RedState where they will pat your head and agree with you.

  • JeninCT

    Fairy Hardcastle wrote:

    Cforchange — I count quite a number of issues on which Palin supporters agree: (i) abortion, (ii) stem cell, (iii) euthanasia, (iv) sodomite marriage, (v) domestic drilling, (vi) alternative energy, (vii) 2nd amendment rights (are you ok with the latest SCT ruling on that in support of private ownership?), (viii) equality for women, (ix) national deficit, (x) national debt, (xi) cronyism and corruption, (xii) human rights abuses in China and elsewhere, (xiii) supporting democratic movements around the world, (xiv) not bowing to kings and emperors, (xv) free trade agreements, (xvi) market-oriented health care reform, (xvii) stopping the growth of a bloated Federal government, (xviii) school vouchers, (xix) not taking Air Force on a date to NYC nor for pictures while scaring NYers to death, (xx) calling terrorism terrorism and not man-inspired contigent events, (xxi) simplying the tax code, (xxii) eliminating or reducing the estate tax, (xxiii) incentivizing R&D, (xxiv) improving border protection, (xxv) reducing capital gains tax, (xxvi) full transparency about past, (xxvii) not calling the military “corpse” men, (xxviii) correctly stating we have 50 states, (xxix) eliminating depending on telepromters, (xxx) elminating the multi-million dollar budget for the First Lady.

    I agree with most, although I am pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. I just think social issues are less important than national security and fiscal issues.

    “Florishes — you are depraved and should be slapped by your mother and grandmother for your hateful comment.”

    Well said.

  • Cforchange

    Fairy – is that “simplying the tax code” or is it “refudiating the tax code”. Thanks for your priority list which has substantiated my point further. The American public in majority does not view your i,ii and iii as issues one, two and three. Plus they are strong in their belief that they do not want other’s making these decisions for them.

    Don’t you think putting the work force back to meaningful sustainable employment should be i. This would be difficult to see if you reside in a state of meddlesome make believe. Many of your items are immaterial in the scope of the challenges we face. Including them lends an appearance of irrational foxnewsness.

    To have any credibility as a fiscally minded leader – voices should have been raised many years ago. Bruce Bartlett or Paul O’neill come to mind, certainly no grizzly mama. Number crunching men were talking – where was mama then??? Probably busy rais’n kids and building a new home “inspired” by a local community center. Oh and the expense accounts – if it cost $35,000 to transport a family for Alaska business for about one year- imagine the expenses necessary to handle an Alaskan White house family for four.

    Sorry fairy, I’m looking for the real deal – proven fiscal competance and unbendable ethics. They’re out there but they may not agree with your i,ii and iii and there’s the GOP dilemma.

  • Xunzi Washington

    “(iv) sodomite marriage”

    So Fairy we are now agreed that all forms of non-vaginal intercourse (even vaginal intercourse without the intention of impregnation) and interplay must be rejected? No marriage licenses for anyone who claims to stray from this very, very, very, very narrow sexual road, yes?

    After all, if it flouts natural law it flouts natural law. We don’t want to be arbitrary here.

  • Fairy Hardcastle

    Cforchange — What do you think? Which is more important — saving an innocent from imminent torture or helping a jobless fellow next door. Talk about some seriously messed up priorities on this forum. If you asked the jobless guy he’d probably spit on you and run and save the innocent.

    I guess people on this forum would prefer the Declaration to have said “right to a job, right to put your penis in someone’s anus and call it love and marriage, right to suck out the mixture of excrement and semen, and call that love and marriage, right to women-haters to be free from protests, right to insult and degrade women you don’t agree with, right to be free from other citizens keeping guns, etc.,” Instead of, what was it again? “Right to LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    I would never ever ask the Federal government to create jobs for the jobless except insofar as it gets out of the way and reduces the burden of taxes and regulation.

    Your statement about “busy raising kids” means nothing except that you apparently are derisive of homemakers. What exactly was your favorite politician leader doing before they entered politics and carried on a non-public life. Organizing communities? Do you have a problem with mothers getting into politics?

    Watusie, I am agreed that there should be no relationships like those in Sodom sanctioned as marriage in this country, in other words, no man-man, no woman-woman, no man-animal, no woman-animal, no combination of the aforementioned exceeding two. That pretty much sums up what people were doing with each other and Fido in Sodom. You see declaring that you love some other mammal just isn’t enough to make it a marriage. People who say “you are such a bigot because we really love eachother” are themselves the offenders and assaulters. In the end I pity those people because they are the farthest thing from the true meaning of gay.

  • Xunzi Washington

    Fairy said: “I am agreed that there should be no relationships like those in Sodom sanctioned as marriage in this country, in other words, no man-man, no woman-woman, no man-animal, no woman-animal, no combination of the aforementioned exceeding two.”

    Well then in that case, you are not talking about natural law. You are talking about imposing Christian law on the American population.

  • TerryF98

    Fairy Harwhatever.

    I really wish the rapture would happen and assholes like you would just F off and leave the rest of us alone to get on with things without being preached at by people like you.

    Go please.

  • Rabiner

    Fairy Hardcastle:

    I just feel sorry for you. Apparently you’ve mistaken Christianity for natural.

    “right to insult and degrade women you don’t agree with”

    Actually I have the right to insult and degrade women if i want to. I just choose not to insult and degrade women based on their gender. I’ve taken liberty to insult you’re intelligence which has nothing to do with your gender but everything between your ears. See one of those liberties I have in this country is freedom of speech which includes insulting your stupidity.

    “right to be free from other citizens keeping guns”

    So you are critical of people wanting to regulate arms which can be used to kill them but you have no problem keeping people from having sex with others because it totally insults your personal code of morality? That’s pretty impressive hypocrisy coming from you.

  • CentristNYer

    Rabiner // Jul 21, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    “Fairy Hardcastle: I just feel sorry for you.”

    Why bother? People like this are just willfully ignorant. They shield themselves from reality and choose to live in the gauzy, fantasy world of Christian fairy tales. (CH’s handle is actually kind of ironic.)

  • Fairy Hardcastle

    Xunzi — the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is in the Old Testament and way predates the birth of Christ.

    Rabiner — all moral tenets of Judeo-Christianity are expressions of the natural law. Seems you would take issue with “thou shalt not steal” because it is in the big bad Bible you are all afraid of.

    But don’t you believe that there is no natural law in the first place, just ever-changing societal norms? Or at least that’s you might say, but in practice you surely don’t believe that. Racism is always and everywhere wrong — this is an expression of the natural law. Surely you agree with that statement otherwise you end up having to say that societies like Nazi Germany were OK.