Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) aides are confused about Sarah Palin after she offered her help to the 6th termer and then refused to do what he asked. He wanted Palin to fund raise for him, but she had other ideas.
“It says to me she’s not serious about running for president,” said a source close to Grassley, suggesting that a real White House hopeful would not have snubbed a figure like the senior senator in the state that begins the nomination process.”
You don’t understand Sarah Palin if you think that her not acquiescing to requests of an important political figure indicate she is not serious about running for President. While many Republican campaigns are now seeing Palin as the “self-centered” “chaotic” person the McCain campaign aides saw (not to mention Alaskans who know her best), many of them still don’t understand her.
This is not your normal candidate. While most political candidates have an excessive ego, Palin’s makes these look nominal in comparison. Palin also suffers from an inability to see things as they are. She sees no need to play the game the way the boys want her to, and this strategy has been successful for her in her run for Governor of Alaska as well as her stint as leader of the “insurgent” Tea Party.
Sarah Palin is an insurgent agitator who runs as an “outsider”. This is her appeal to her base. Never mind that she is no outsider. You can’t have run for VP on the Republican ticket and be an outsider. Nor can you take oodles of money from the Party and be an outsider. But this is what Sarah does. She takes money and adoration from the myth she sells.
Palin sees no reason to play Grassley’s game his way. She isn’t going to run that way and in her mind, he needs to bow down to her, not the other way around.
This is why the woman the GOP thought was going to be their puppet is in fact the tail waging the dog. Yes, she regurgitates their ideology and is a great agitator for them – puppeting their divisive spin. But in this way, Palin doesn’t see how she’s being used by the Republican Party. Ultimately, in her mind, she has the power.
As long as the base loves Sarah, she does hold some power. But what Sarah can’t see, as most egomaniacs and narcissists can’t, is reality. The reality is that when the Republican Party is done with her, they will leak information out about her that will sink her ship before she knows what caused the hole.
If they play the game the old school way, this will appear to come from outside of the party, hopefully a high-ranking Democrat they can then use as a target in fund-raising bids. But there aren’t too many Democrats who aren’t aware of the game Palin is playing, or of the toxicity of Palin in general. Notice how they don’t touch her. She is the GOP’s problem, not theirs. Palin raises plenty of money for the Democrats. They like her right where she is.
If they play this the way they have of late, they will leak it to the much pseudo-reviled mainstream media. A whisper campaign will commence. Fliers will be left on cars. From nowhere, a siege of negativity will descend upon the previously adored candidate. Her base will never know why, she will never know why. She will be cut off at the knees by her own Party by the same kind of vicious smears she rapidly indulges in against her own perceived enemies.
And as Sarah knows, there’s plenty to leak. This is her weakness and the Republican Party is not above using it against her when she gets out of line.
Does this mean Sarah won’t run?
Inner circles of the Republican Party have long been saying they will keep her around as the loss leader for 2012, the candidate who will generate hype and attack Obama and stir up the base. But she won’t be their candidate. If by some stretch of the imagination (or rather, if our economy is not recovered), Palin gets the nomination because her base is the primary base of conservatives, she will be their sacrificial lamb to Obama.
Even if Palin could assess all of this and make it work for her, meaning she would run in 2016 instead of 2012, by then, her appeal will not have the same edge of seething dominatrix sexuality it has now. She will have to rely upon her words then, and she might make that fly with some people, as Angle has done, but it won’t be enough to make a serious run.
None of this means Sarah won’t run. Anyone who thinks that doesn’t understand Sarah. They’ve noted she is chaotic, but they still don’t seem to understand why. Yes, she has trust issues and yes, she only hires people who pass her Nixonian paranoia test, but why is she chaotic?
She’s chaotic because she believes she is in charge. She believes she holds all of the power. She believes she does not need anyone other than her salivating entourage of yes people. She plays her way and they will accept it because they will be forced to accept it. Palin is not going to run as a traditional candidate. And while many candidates play this card, the difference is, she believes this illusion. Palin is no Yale preppie posing as a cowboy, knowing he’s selling a populist narrative. Palin believes in that narrative, almost as much as her base do, and furthermore, she believes she was mantled by God to be President. That’s some powerful ego at play.
Palin’s biggest weakness is her inability to assess herself accurately. Palin has always put all of her cards into her charm basket. She is beloved by the people. She proudly told an opponent after a debate, during which she never bothered to answer one question, that she didn’t need to answer questions because the people loved her. The people did love her. Some still do.
She has tremendous power and she has been able to wield it to garner all kinds of money, perks and fame. But that doesn’t mean this will continue.
Sitting in the dark corner of a DC bar is a Republican political operative who has the goods on Palin. He’s just waiting for his phone to ring with the word, “Go.” If Palin weren’t such a poisonous person, I’d almost feel sorry for her. She has no idea what’s coming her way.
She’s flying high now. Soon her new book tour will commence, and Palin’s drug of choice will be in abundance. It’s adoration she craves. It’s worship she can’t live without. That is why she throws anyone with the courage to say no to her under the bus. Dissenting ideas are not a part of Palin’s winning strategy.
It seems Sarah could use a lesson in humility. But even after she gets the schooling of her lifetime, she still won’t get it because she is a narcissist to the core. And I mean, full scale, balls to the wall narcissist. And just like when this happened in Alaska, she will never be able to admit where it came from, because to admit it came from her own people, from her own party, from the people who knew her best, will be too threatening to the myth of herself that she clings to for survival.
At the core of every narcissist is an unstable ego, so tenuous, so dependent upon sustaining the fable of their own perfection that they can’t cope with or take responsibility for reality, let alone their own mistakes. This is why she engenders such fierce loyalty, because up close, this is a frail person; a person in need of constant buoying.
Those close to her see her when the perceived slights set her confidence aquiver and they rush to her aid, filled with hatred for those who caused the suffering. Never realizing that one day, someone else will be in their place, holding on to the shattered pieces of Sarah Palin’s ego and blaming none other than them for their cruel betrayal. The wheels of the bus go round and round. Only those with a crystal clear self-serving agenda, lack of insight, and/or disturbingly low self-esteem can survive within the Palin inner circle for long.
Narcissists go to the well of adoration until they have their fix; once they receive their fill, they turn outward again to commence the siege on their enemies. They often turn on the very people who have given them the most, leaving in their wake a trail of beaten and battered and terribly confused and wounded people. This isn’t good for a politician with national ambitions.
If the Republican Party had paid attention, they would have known all of this and played this situation slightly better than they have. But they, too, bought the myth of Sarah. They thought she was some small town hockey mom with wide-eyed charm they could use and abuse. They never saw the snake until it was too late. Of course, this is what they deserve for failing to vet her properly and for believing their own myth as big daddies with all of the power. Hubris runs deep in politics, but may in fact turn fatal for the current Republican Party if they don’t wise up.
She’s been a great tool for disseminating lies about the other party, but she’s out of control. The myth of Sarah was powerful before the American people got to know her. But now that she has shown her mean side, now that they’ve heard her empty attacks and seen the ever-present sneer on her face, Americans are less enamored of the Sarah myth. Many of them, in fact, can’t stand her. Palin’s approval ratings are currently lower than BP’s. Familiarity breeds contempt with people like Palin.
She is toxic and the Republicans know it. One day soon they are going to have to renounce her to save themselves from the taint of her hate, but of course, they hope to squeeze every ounce out of her as a fund-raising tool first.
Sarah Palin will then become an even more bitter person, blaming Obama for her every fault and every poor decision. She is a person who had it all and blew it, every step of the way. It was her fate. Her fragile ego made it so.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.