Yet another example of how Fox News is revving up their Republican campaign machine for Sarah Palin occurred on Hannity last night when Sean Hannity claimed that, “I think Gov. Palin, if they keep up with this radical agenda will clean Obama’s clock.” That’s a nice fairy tale for Sean Hannity to spin, but let’s take a look at what will really happen if Barack Obama meets up with Sarah Palin in 2012.
Here is the video of Hannity courtesy of Media Matters:
Hannity said, “I think Gov. Palin, if they keep up with this radical agenda, will clean Obama’s clock.” When pressed, Hannity couldn’t name a single state that Palin would carry that McCain didn’t in 2008. He chose to back up his argument with that old Republican standard, “It’s a whole different environment. Here is the problem. Barack Obama lost. There was a 20 point swing among Independent voters in this country…At the end of the day, you’re forgetting something. We had the biggest midterm repudiation in 70 years two weeks ago.
Hannity later undercut his support of Palin by claiming that anybody could beat Obama, “It’s going to be very interesting. Here you have a guy that was reading a teleprompter. We find out he’s distant, a little unhinged. He’s ineffective. He doesn’t have the ability to pivot and compromise. He’s tone deaf to the American people. He keeps this up for two more years, any, I could beat him, which says a lot.”
In Fox News fantasy land it is so easy to beat an incumbent president that anyone should be able to do it, even Sarah Palin. I hate to go and spoil a perfectly fine right wing dream sequence with facts, but there is a reason why only four incumbent presidents have lost their reelection bids since 1900. Incumbent presidents are nearly impossible to defeat even when they face a credible challenger, much less the least popular politician in America. Sean Hannity relies on the false assumption that Independents will vote for Sarah Palin in 2012, because Independents swung Republican in 2010. The problem is that fewer Independents voted in 2010 than in 2008.
The bigger problem for Republicans is that Independents hate Sarah Palin. Palin is currently carrying a 53% disapproval rating with Independents. Palin’s terrible poll numbers simply don’t match up with what Hannity is trying to sell. The myth truly crumbles when you realize that Obama’s approval ratings have gone up since he was “repudiated” two weeks ago. Palin has consistently been the poorest performing Republican when polls run their hypothetical 2012 match ups, and she consistently trails Obama by double digits. There is zero evidence that Sarah Palin would do anything other than be convincing trounced by Obama.
Despite employing almost the entire roster of potential 2012 candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, minus Mitt Romney, Fox News is increasingly putting their weight behind Sarah Palin. It doesn’t seem to matter that Palin’s track record in national politics is that of a born loser. Palin, Fox News, Hannity, and others have convinced themselves that the 2010 election was about Obama, not jobs and the economy, and that Sarah Palin will lead them to the promise land in 2012.
Sean Hannity was selling a story to the true believers, and snake oil to the gullible. Obama will win reelection and the wide eyed child like viewers of Fox News will tune in every weeknight at 9 PM to hear Sean Hannity spin the tale of how Sarah Palin should have been president.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association