Why Sarah Palin’s Only Trek to the White House Should Be As a Visitor

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on November 20, 2010

Courtesy of Mona Charen:

The Republican nominee should be someone with vast and impressive experience in government and the private sector — and a proven record. Voters chose a novice with plenty of star power in 2008 and will be inclined to swing strongly in the other direction in 2012. Americans will be looking for sober competence, managerial skill, and maturity, not sizzle and flash.

After the 2008 campaign revealed her weaknesses on substance, Palin was advised by those who admire her natural gifts to bone up on policy and devote herself to governing Alaska successfully. Instead, she quit her job as governor after two and a half years, published a book (another is due next week), and seemed to chase money and empty celebrity. Now, rather than being able to highlight the accomplishments of Sarah Palin’s Alaska, we get “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” another cheesy entrant in the reality show genre. She’d so much rather be out dog sledding than in some “dull political office,” she tells the audience. File that.

[. . .]

There is no denying that Sarah Palin has been harshly, sometimes even brutally treated by the press and the news/entertainment gaggle. But any prominent Republican must expect some of that and be able to transcend it. She compares herself to Reagan. But Reagan didn’t mud wrestle with the press. Palin seems consumed and obsessed by it, as her rapid Twitter finger attests, and thus encourages the sniping. She should be presiding over meetings on oil and gas leases in the North Slope, or devising alternatives to Obamacare. Every public spat with Dave Letterman or Politico, or the “lamestream media,” or God help us, Levi Johnston, diminishes her.

Right. And it certainly says something about Palin that she can’t even seem to grasp that last point.

  • http://www.taxupdateblog.com Joe_Kristan

    While Palin has plenty of problems — c0mpared to what? Mitt Romneycare? Big-Government Huckabee? President Creasedpants?

    I would rather have Mitch Daniels, Gov. Christie, or Gary Johnson than Palin — but she’d be a much better President than any of the leftover names from 2008. Her personality drives a lot of people nuts, but the alternatives aren’t exactly Abe Lincoln and George Washington.

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      I hear what you are saying, but to quote Leo McGarry, “I am tired of choosing between the lesser of ‘who cares?” If Palin is the nominee, I’ll do what I did in 2008; write someone in as President. To be sure, my vote for a Republican, cast in Illinois, won’t matter in a race against President Obama, but I just cannot justify any activity that might propel Palin to the White House. YMMV.

      • http://www.taxupdateblog.com Joe_Kristan

        Fair enough. But why does Palin come in for such contempt, while jokers like Romneycare, Huckabee, Biden and Obama get a pass?

        • Pejman Yousefzadeh

          I’ve gone after all four pretty strongly, Joe.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/4SZNTV3MEY2RHUML7TOB7J52SQ John

    Pardon me for not seeing the point of your post. I mean, it’s not like your readers didn’t figure out long ago how you feel about Sarah Palin – you look down on her in the same way that coastal/urban liberals look down at the middle of the country. Maybe talk about new things.

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      I don’t look down on the middle of the country–especially seeing as how I live in Illinois, and am not a coastal/urban liberal. If a public figure deserves criticism, I will write a post stating as much. And I may even do it more than once for those public figures as well(!).

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/4SZNTV3MEY2RHUML7TOB7J52SQ John

        You’re a smart guy Pej, so either you purposely misread what I think most would consider a fairly obvious analogy or you glossed over my comment so quickly that you just missed it (I’m guessing it’s got to be the latter). Still, I’m going to rewrite it in Aristotelian format just for clarity’s sake:

        Coastal/Urban Liberals : Middle of the country : : Pejman Yousefzadeh : Sarah Palin

        • Pejman Yousefzadeh

          No, I didn’t misread your comment. I just thought that it was best for clarity’s sake to point out that (a) I have genuine issues with the claim that Sarah Palin would make a good President, or an inspiring political leader; and (b) I am not like coastal/urban liberals who look down on a segment of the population simply because coastal/urban liberals are snobs. So I decided to add a little comment differentiating myself from coastal/urban liberals, and perhaps making the point that even those of us in the Midwest who are right-of-center think that Sarah Palin is an inadequate candidate for higher office.

  • http://twitter.com/rightjb rightjb

    Pros:
    - real and authentic executive experience
    - direct experience in fighting institutional corruption
    - attracts a media spotlight (regardless of good or bad. Remember Regan went through WORSE condemnation on a daily basis with NO alternative media).
    - Has TRUE values that won’t be compromised.

    CONS:
    - Unable to articulate layered intellectual arguments worthy of respect of BOTH right and left intelligensia (the left may have ridiculed Regan, but He understood WHY he took a position on everything.).
    - Her own personality doesn’t argue “seriousness” outside of that anointed first speech for her VP introduction with McCain.
    - Not consistent in media performance
    - No REAL political ground force to sustain precinct, city, state committee power

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      A fair accounting, though I don’t think that Palin can say anything substantial about her executive experience, given that she quit in the middle of her first term as Governor. I would add two points: (1) Reagan may not have had to bear the slings and arrows of alternative media, but he certainly went through a lot thanks to the mainstream media, and had no alternative media with which to fight back; and (2) Reagan labored in the policy and political vineyards, and possessed a consistently underrated, but impressive intellect in learning policy and political philosophy. Palin cannot claim the same.

    • T Grybinas

      bravo! succinct and unarguable.

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