Ed Rollins Speaks Truth

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on December 1, 2010

And Sarah Palin would do well to consider his words, which are worth quoting at length:

. . . quit comparing yourself to Ronald Reagan. To paraphrase the late Sen. Lloyd Bentsen’s comments to Dan Quayle in the 1988 vice presidential debate: I knew Ronald Reagan, and you’re no Ronald Reagan.

You’re a media star and a great curiosity. You were plucked out of political obscurity because of the whim of presidential contender John McCain, who didn’t know you and made you into an overnight sensation. You performed well for three weeks in the campaign, did better than expected against Joe Biden in the debate and then you self-destructed.

You clearly weren’t ready for prime time, but neither was your running mate. After the election, you quit your day job as governor of Alaska with 18 months left in the term and went out and made a fortune making speeches and selling a book.

[. . .]

You can be a contender for the Republican nomination in 2012, but you’re a long way from being the nominee. You’re going to have to beat some very formidable candidates with way more experience and far superior knowledge on issues foreign and domestic. And to rate your chances today, I would put them at “possible” but not “probable.” It’s an all-uphill battle.

Right now, polls indicate you wouldn’t carry your home state of Alaska.

And the Reagan comparisons aren’t helping. You might as well compare yourself to Abraham Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt.

Before President Reagan was your age, he was an international movie and television star, the actor’s union president and a spokesman for a major U.S. corporation.

I know you were only 2 when Ronald Reagan was elected by a landslide to the first of two terms as governor of California in 1966, but I would have hoped somewhere along the way through the five colleges you attended that you would have learned a little history. And I can tell you being governor of the most populous state is a lot tougher than being governor of one of the least populous ones.

The year you were born, Ronald Reagan picked up the torch of Barry Goldwater after the debacle of 1964 and carried it proudly forward. He rebuilt the Republican Party after Watergate, the resignation of Richard Nixon and the defeat of Gerald Ford in 1976.

He won two electoral landslides and made the presidency work again after several failed presidencies. He also never quit anything or any job before he was done. And he was a great communicator because he not only made great speeches, he wrote many of them because it was what he believed. People listened to them and were moved by them.

[. . .]

If you want to be a player, go to school and learn the issues. Put smart people around you and listen to them. If you want to be taken seriously, be serious. You’ve already got your own forum. If you want to be a serious presidential candidate, get to work. If you want to be an imitator of Ronald Reagan, go learn something about him and respect his legacy.

If you want to be a gadfly, just keep doing what you’re doing.

I thematically piled on regarding this issue yesterday.

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

    Really? Again with Sarah Palin? It’s starting to get a little weird.

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      I am sorry, but what is weird about it? Sarah Palin may well run for President, she would not, in my opinion, make a good President, and I am pointing out the reasons why. Unlike Andrew Sullivan’s obsession, my periodic statements concerning Palin’s deficiencies as a potential President are entirely policy related. Would you care to explain to me just what about that creeps you out?

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