Palin: Still Not Ready for the Spotlight

November 29th, 2009 at 2:44 pm | 31 Comments |

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As someone who was ready to give Sarah Palin a second chance after her wonderful speech delivered in Hong Kong, I must say that I am walking away with little to be hopeful about after watching the batch of Going Rogue interviews. The book itself was only partially revealing; some issues were conspicuously glossed over — her shotgun wedding, for instance — while some genuinely had light shed on them (such as the early campaign press release about Bristol’s pregnancy). But then there were the endless interviews. Has the former governor taken time to train her impulses and gain some depth on the issues? This list, which goes in order from the least-cringe-worthy remarks to the most, should reveal why I have been highly disappointed by her recent showing. She is not anywhere near ready to take on President Obama.


10. “Obama’s got it all back-asswards.”

This wasn’t folksiness. It’s just dumb.

Remarking upon Obama’s economic policies, Palin stated: “Those are back-assward ways of trying to fix the economy.” Interviewer Barbara Walters replied: “You certainly have a way with words.”

Politico had the story.


9. “My critics are lonely and need prayer.”

This just drips with bitterness. Try to imagine Ronald Reagan whining like this.

Palin said: “These are probably some lonely people, some shallow people…and we need to pray for these people…”

David Frum is in Palin’s prayers.

Read all about this one here.


8. “The ‘lame-stream media’ is out to get me.”

I have a natural aversion to self-styled victims. Especially for a woman who’s supposed to be such a fighter, this is embarrassing.

Speaking to Sean Hannity on his radio show, Palin remarked that “some on the left, that lamestream media, they’re contradicting what I wrote in the book…Yeah, lamestream…They are contradicting those facts that I laid out regarding what Reagan had to say.”

Speaking of Reagan, he used a much more potent weapon than whining to defuse the bombs laid by his critics: humor.

Politico covered this one.


7. “If you don’t agree with me by now, then I’m not even going to try to win you over.”

This was not the sign of a woman sure of her convictions. It was the sign of a politician who doesn’t know how to communicate with the public. Even conceding that there’s a good forty percent of the public who would never credit Palin with any smarts at all even if she penned the new Nicomachean Ethics tomorrow, there are certain things that an aspiring president just does not say — and one of them is “screw you.”

Palin’s remark to Greta van Susteren was: “Well, for instance, the book is a good tool to get – hey, read the book, and if you still don’t like the positions that I take or if you don’t like who I am after reading the book, unfiltered through the media, then so be it. You know, I’m never going to win you over…I’m not going to try.”

David Frum covered this the other day.


6. “The Newsweek cover was sexist!”

One thing that Sarah Palin has done extraordinarily well is reveal the latent PC nonsense in the right-wing base. The former crusaders against political correctness are now crying sexism at every turn.

Palin wrote on her Facebook page: “The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin.”

Live by the sword, die by the sword, madam! If Palin looked like Helen Thomas, she would never have been on the McCain ticket. Moreover, there is no double-standard. I know that it’s a ‘DC elitist’ magazine, but…

More.


5. “I would consider Glenn Beck for VP.”

No comment.

Read all about it.


4. “Let’s primary Lindsey Graham!”

About center-right South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham, Palin told Rich Lowry of National Review: “His constituents may want to send him a message to say ‘shore it up’ and come back to some more commonsense, conservative ideals.”

Is she kidding?

Read the interview in full here.


3. “Israel’s settlements are required due to…population growth!”

There are many good geopolitical and philosophical justifications for the continued expansion of Israel’s settlements. This preposterous explanation is not one of them:

I disagree with the Obama administration on that. I believe that the Jewish settlements should be allowed to be expanded upon because the population of Israel is going to grow. More and more Jewish people will be flocking to Israel in the days and weeks and months ahead. And I don’t think that the Obama administration has any right to tell Israel that the Jewish settlements cannot expand.

That is an answer given by someone who literally has no idea what she is talking about.

The Jerusalem Post picks this apart here.


2. “India and Pakistan need to stop fightin’, ya know?”

A shockingly embarrassing BS answer. In full, the exchange with Greta van Susteren about India and Pakistan went like this:

SARAH PALIN: Geez, well, with India, we have to make sure that we’re working closely with India, the largest democracy in the world, such a strategic partner of ours. We have to make sure that India and Pakistan know that, Hey, the last thing that this world needs is conflict between these two countries. That’s the last thing that we need. In fact, they both need to understand that each other are not the problem, the Taliban is the problem.

OK, so her remarks are: conflict is bad. “Hey, the last thing that this world needs is conflict between these two countries. That’s the last thing that we need.” A little late for that.

Read the interview in full.


1. “Has Katie Couric learned anything about Alaska yet?”

Palin can’t seem to decide whether she wants to concede that her interview was truly disastrous or continue the charade that Katie Couric was out to get her. Regardless, I don’t think that she understands that an interview with a candidate for the vice-presidency is not an exchange of ideas involving what the newscaster thinks about the candidate’s home state!

Watch the remarks in full.

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31 Comments so far ↓

  • stephen1947

    Number 10 proves she’s a phony – any real woman of the people would know that it’s “bass-ackwards.”

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    “Even conceding that there’s a good forty percent of the public who would never credit Palin with any smarts at all . . . ”

    This is simply another snide way of claiming victim status, which you condemn when when done by Palin. For far too long, Frum and others on this site have acted as if those who opposed Palin early on did so out of some form of bigotry. From the moment she gave her first public interviews after being chosen by McCain it was patently obvious that she was a joke and it only got worse after that.

    It was only after McCain lost that Frum and many other GOPers came out against her. Fortunately, most of the country did not require the defeat of McCain to observe that she was pathetic. We were able to figure this out on our own.

    So, are Frum and other conservatives slow to grasp reality, as was the case with other GOP dogmas (tax cuts as panacea, deficits do matter, hyperbolic rhetoric is counterproductive, etc.)? Or are these people willing to go along with horrible policies and politics so long as they can continue to win elections? It’s really hard to tell since they raised these objections only after McCain lost.

  • ottovbvs

    “As someone who was ready to give Sarah Palin a second chance after her wonderful speech delivered in Hong Kong, ”

    ……her wonderful speech?…….You mean you were impressed that she was able to read from a script prepared for her by one of her handlers?…..it doesn’t take much to impress you Mr Knepper does it?…….this woman is ditzy as must be apparent to a 10 year old

  • ktward

    With all due respect Spartacus, dude, you’re splitting partisan hairs.

    There were plenty of ‘Pub/Conservative voices–leaving aside the ratings whores of Limbaugh/Beck ilk–who spoke and wrote about Palin’s abysmal lack of cred as a Veep nominee during the ’08 campaign, and to this day still support that very meme in a broader context. I’ll leave out substantiating links, because I know you already know this.

    IMHO, Palin’s that rare double-edged ideological sword: she galvanizes her minority base–yes, but big deal, may make for headlines but hardly counts as majority votes at any ballot box–while equally if not more fully galvanizing her opposition. Simply put: love her, hate her, no in between. Strategically, she’s a GD glorious gift to the non-Far Right, any way you wanna slice that demographic pie.

    As critical, strategic thinkers, Frum & Co understand this only too well. Damage control is left to them, and it’s a f***ing mess.

    For me, it’s personal: both Palin and I have a vagina, and I have to work through that disturbing commonality.

  • CentristNYer

    What Otto said.

  • rbottoms

    Hard to imagine but the Republican immolation has only begun. Right now the smoke detectors have caught the first hit of particulates in the air, but next winter it will be a fully involved three alarm fire with two full years yet to burn. Meanwhile the base is rushing to bookstores to buy more rhetorical lighter fluid from Beck, Palin, Hannity, Coulter, and the rest of the far right kook squad.

    This would be painful to watch if I had an ounce of sympathy for the people who brought us George W. Bush and Karl Rove. All I can say at this point is: suffer biyatches, you deserve it.

  • JeninCT

    Is anyone ever ready for the spotlight? Her fans appreciate her and she’s able to effect change based on her immense popularity. Her critics try to diminish her and pick apart everything she says. So what? She’s plainspoken, not stupid, and she’s got natural charisma.

    And besides, if she runs and gets elected she can’t possibly be worse than Obama.

  • steelyblades

    Sarah Palin is doing the Democrats a huge favor, with her full-tilt campaign to drive every moderate, reasoned and intelligent voice from the ranks of the GOP. I’m not sure if I should pile on or give her a high-five. If she keeps this up, the only “true Republicans” left will be such an inane bunch of paranoid dimwits, Obama will cruise to a second term in his sleep.

    And JeninCT, what change has she effected, really? Identity politics have been around for quite some time, and self-identified “Christian moms” have never lacked for issues to be scared or outraged about. The only real change Sarah Palin represents is her own bank account balance.

  • JeninCT

    Steelyblades, one example of her ability to effect change would be her ‘Death Panel’ comments, where she was able to raise awareness about the commissions that would be created in the healthcare reform bill. Obama even began referring to the term so you know she was effective. And from a facebook page, no less.

  • mlindroo

    >… if she runs and gets elected she can’t possibly be worse than Obama.

    Interesting claim!
    What major disasters and calamities do you think Obama has caused, so far?

    The last time I checked, there had been no terrorist attacks against Americans and the ones who are disappointed by his rather modest and cautious homeland security reforms tend to be leftists.

    He has started no new wars either, which is something we should be grateful for…fools rush in where cautious men fear to tread and the U.S. will remain stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. Thank George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for that.

    As for non-military related foreign policy, there are no conclusive results after just ten months but the early results aren’t bad … most polls show America is considerably more popular in other NATO countries as well as in the Muslim world. He has even received the Nobel Peace Prize already:-) His critics of course scream about appeasement, indecision and weakness (as if the Bush-Cheney years were any better…). We will see where he stands three years from now, I guess.

    The big problem is of course the economy, where the stimulus package wasn’t too popular. However, virtually all mainstream economists approve of the stimulus and regard it as necessary to prevent a global meltdown, although they may quibble about the details. His job approval is only 48 % approve / 46% disapprove mostly because of the economy and because of high unemployment. If the situation improves (and it will, eventually), Obama should be just fine.

    > one example of her ability to effect change would be her ‘Death Panel’ comments,

    The only thing more lame than her “Death Panel” comments is her explanation/excuse that “The term I used to describe the panel making these decisions should not be taken literally,” [The phrase is] “a lot like when President Reagan used to refer to the Soviet Union as the ‘evil empire.’
    I see…the Gipper did not literally mean the USSR was evil or an empire, then! How many thinking conservatives really believe the kind of nonsense that Palin keeps spouting?

    MARCU$

  • JeninCT

    “What major disasters and calamities do you think Obama has caused, so far? ”

    If you’re not outraged by what’s going on in the Obama administration, then I certainly won’t waste my time trying to enlighten you.

  • cpanza

    JeninCT: we live in a a 24hr outrage cycle. So you’ll have to draw some distinctions: there’s a difference between objective outrage and run of the mill ginned up partisan outrage. My guess is that your reference to “what’s going on” falls in the latter category, in which case your claim that it won’t convince anyone is probably right, but if you want to argue it’s in the former one, please feel free.

  • Grizelda

    JeninCT, please, go ahead, enlighten us. Because if you don’t it looks an awful lot like you can’t.

  • ottovbvs

    Grizelda // Nov 30, 2009 at 8:19 am

    “JeninCT, please, go ahead, enlighten us. Because if you don’t it looks an awful lot like you can’t.”

    …….Don’t hold your breath……these guys are high on outrage but low on facts

  • mlindroo

    cpanza wrote:
    > there’s a difference between objective outrage and run of the mill ginned up partisan outrage.
    > My guess is that your reference to “what’s going on” falls in the latter category

    Yep…
    So far the opinion polls suggest Obama is not particularly unpopular or controversial with the American electorate (although the shrinking, angry GOP minority of course loathes him).

    Only time will tell if “JeninCT” will be proven correct or not, though.

    George W. Bush was enormously popular in 2002-03 after all, when only the “extreme left” seriously questioned the wisdom of his foreign policy, and his agenda and objectives in general.
    Obama certainly will suffer the same fate if he executes his policies as incompetently as the Bushies did…

    MARCU$

  • BarryS

    JeninCT,

    Come on now give us the skinny, what are you hiding from.

    You obviously have all this secret information about Acornz about the Birth Cestificate. Also. And don’t forget the Socialist, Marxists, Fascist Hitler Concentration camps that Obama is setting up. Also.

    Not to forget that he is the devil and antichrist. Also. Don’t miss out that he has trebled the national debt in 3 weeks and now owns everything in the whole USA. Also. There is more much more. Also

  • balconesfault

    If you’re not outraged by what’s going on in the Obama administration, then I certainly won’t waste my time trying to enlighten you.

    Outraged? Nope.

    There are certainly some things to be disturbed about. Particularly the coziness with Wall Street that was continued from the last Administration, and the seeming decision to be willing to drop up to $100 billion/year into Afghanistan for the extended future without a realistic goal.

    Oh yeah. And someone should have instructed Obama on how to properly bow before he went to Japan. That was an outrage!

  • BarryS

    It will be interesting to see Palins reaction to the Huckabee pardon fiasco. If you don’t know he pardoned the guy linked to the shooting of 4 cops in Washington state. He has give a statement denying responsibility and blaming it on the “System”

    So the era of “Personal responsibility” goes on!

    I think he is toast if this turns out to be the case. NEXT!

  • DFL

    With the flame out of Mike Huckabee, the 2012 Republican nomination appears to be a battle between Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, a slugfest that ought to amuse Barack Obama. Romney’s a phoney and a chameleon and Mrs. Palin has little intellectual depth. Mitch Daniels and Tim Pawlenty are about as interesting as watching worms squirm. John Thune, anyone?

  • LFC

    JeninCT said… Her critics try to diminish her and pick apart everything she says. So what? She’s plainspoken, not stupid, and she’s got natural charisma.

    Why does this sound like the political version of “it has a good beat and you can dance to it?”

    Palin is the ultimate symbol of “the cult of personality.” She has no abilities, has no real ideas, she can’t defend her positions in any detail, and she doesn’t have the fortitude to stick to her job when it gets tough, but her admirers just LOOOOOVE her.

  • Carney

    The Glenn Beck thing is being overblown. Palin was clearly humoring the questioner, and her tone showed she was not serious.

    As for primarying Lindsey Graham, if you can’t primary a squish in a rock-ribbed conservative state like SC, where can you do it? I get that primarying a best-you’re-gonna-get-here Republican in a 50-50 district is unwise, but this is SOUTH CAROLINA, and Graham is an aggressive pusher of illegal alien amnesty, cap-and-trade, and more. He is great on certain aspects of the War on Terror, but on other issues he is infuriatingly unreliable.

    The rule is that a Republican should be as conservative as he can reasonable get away with being in his state or district. Graham is far, far, from that standard, and deserves a scare, or to be replaced. No one is entitled to a seat in Congress.

  • DFL

    Carney, unfortunately “Fightin’ Joe” Wilson not only is a buffoon but a political coward. Not only did he not primary Graham in 2008, he supports Graham now.

  • cpanza

    I believe Graham has a 90% conservative voting record. Sure, perhaps SC can get a 100% senator, but that doesn’t change the fact that 90% is pretty damn high.

  • DFL

    Graham’s problem is that he goes off reservation on vital issues rather than small. Immigration is one of the most important issues of our day and Graham and McCain are not only wrong but are defiant and insulting in their deviation.

  • JeninCT

    Egads, so many critics, so little time. Seriously, there are only so many hours in the day…

    “cpanza wrote:
    > there’s a difference between objective outrage and run of the mill ginned up partisan outrage.”

    True. My outrage is never objective, but neither is it partisan. I’m an independent, socially liberal, fiscally conservative daughter of a a long line of vets and more importantly, I am a mother who cherishes her sons’ freedom above all else. And I realize the bigger the government, the smaller their role will be in their own destiny. Obama’s core belief is that people are stupid and need government to solve their problems, Palin (and those like her) believe people for the most part can handle their own lives and government serves and important but limited role.

    I dislike Obama immensely. He can speak for twenty minutes and say nothing. Palin will speak succinctly and get her point across. For example the line about Pakistan and India. Some would call it simplistic. Of course it’s simplistic. Why is that a problem? Obama, attempting to make the same point, would go on and on with his typical, “There are those who would say blah, blah, blah…” (ad naseum), but not before blaming America for her part in the conflict. He’s become a predictable embarrasment.

    That’s all I’ve got for now. Gotta go.

  • LFC

    JeninCT said… Palin will speak succinctly and get her point across.

    And she’ll say anything, often with a very loose grasp on truth. Every politician spins, but Sarah fabricates on items big and small at a rate that is difficult to keep up with. Her book has has the living s**t fact-checked out of it too.

    Her tenure as mayor was marked by a monumental foul-up in the building of a sports arena (building on land the town didn’t own!), and Wasilla is STILL tied up in court and burdened under the debt she left behind. She accomplished nothing much as governor, and her supposed crowing achievement of the pipeline deal has been torn to shreds by people looking at the actual facts.

    Her minimal record is actually so bad, she’s less than a nothing. She’s demonstrably a screw up.

  • cpanza

    JeninCT:

    I’ll pass on the Palin comparison, as it will take me a long time to retrieve my jaw. I’m almost not sure whether you are trying to be funny.

    In any case, if you don’t like Obama, that’s fine. To dislike him because he doesn’t use soundbites is your right too, though I find it strange to be outraged about it.

    That he likes larger government is his ideology. He was elected partly on that premise. To be outraged about that seems somewhat odd as well. Basically you are just saying that anyone who is not a Ron Paul libertarian outrages you. Which stretches “being outraged” a bit thin, if you ask me.

  • anniemargret

    Here’s small town Sarah and some of her tomfoolery. Here’s a link of her ‘bus tour’ which really isn’t, she gets off the ‘bus’ just a tad before she meets her fans….just do a google search. Hilarious. You won’t find this tidbit on Fox News.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/11/30/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5837878.shtml

  • athensboy

    JeninCT… Sarah herself supported a Alaskan Health Bill that had “end of life counseling” in it.That makes her a hyprocrite, or a dummy for not remembering that.

  • JeninCT

    You can all put everything Palin says and does (and what I say, apparently) under a microscope. Have at it! She’s still got more to offer than most other politicians. If you don’t understand her appeal I certainly don’t expect to be able to explain it to you.

  • cpanza

    JeninCT:

    No, please. Go ahead. I’d be very willing to hear your non-soundbite positive analysis of Palin’s prowess.