And now for a break, we head over to the Daily Fail section where Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee, is so hated in her own state that it would go for Hillary over her. Only 19% of Alaskans think Sarah Palin should run for President, 74% want her to sit 2016 out, according to a PPP poll.
The place where they know her best hates her the most.
Only 19% think she should seek the White House, compared to 74% who think she should sit it out. Even among Republicans just 24% want her to run while 70% believe she should take a pass. Palin is actually so weak that she would trail Hillary Clinton 44/41 in a hypothetical contest, even as the rest of the Republican field would lead Clinton. Mike Huckabee has a 43/42 advantage over her, Chris Christie is up 44/41, Rand Paul is up 46/40, and Jeb Bush is up 47/41.
Half of you are already screaming “Who cares!” for good reason — the media’s long obsession with Palin’s alleged “charisma” (of which we saw little after Blood Libel tapped her out) is only now starting to dwindle. But there is a valid and important political point to make upon Palin’s long-wished for exit.
Palin stands for all that is wrong with the current Republican Party. Once voters got to know her, they really didn’t like her. She motivated the GOP base but ultimately helped Democrats, just as she continues to do every time she opens her mouth; while the snide contempt born of the heady and dangerous combination of ill-informed arrogance that Palin specializes in is popular among conservatives, it is not often appealing to the masses — even when it’s hidden behind a pretty face.
The Republican base worshiped her, and some still do. She fed red meat directly into their quivering rage, and made Obama hate viral among a certain set. God had picked her to be President, after all, and only Obama and democracy were standing in the way. But in the end, she was nothing more than yet another puppet, to be used and tossed away when the party was done with her.
Palin was easy to use because she never questioned why the GOP would elevate someone they knew so little about. A more astute person, less blinded by ambition and ego, might have noticed the desperation and asked themselves what end their presence achieved. In Palin’s case, she was the “real conservative” (in spite of her record) and the attack dog, as VP nominees often are, but it went to her head. Instead of understanding her role, she got high off of the rarefied air and became deluded as to her purpose.
The Republican Party chose Palin because of her charisma, beauty and personal story. She was a perfect short term poster girl to distract from and disguise their Bush policies. As the GOP sinks deeper in denial instead of addressing and facing their inherent problems, they will be forced to rely more and more upon people as egomaniacal and deluded as Palin (see Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, et al). No one else would let themselves be used, unless they were so embedded in the establishment that they knew their family would benefit in the long term.
And this matters, because the faces change but the policies do not. The Republican Party keeps searching for the right puppet. The one who can fool the people. They’ve tried true believers and craven cons, they’ve tried a common woman who is not a witch (!) and a plumber. They’ve tried Richie Rich and they’ve tried their Policy Nerd (aka, the guy who can’t do math and bases policy on a work of fiction).
So Sarah Palin matters because she represents all that is wrong with the GOP, and until they fix it, they should not be allowed to forget her so quickly.
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.