Monday, July 13, 2009

Reading Palin Right


(courtesy of Red Planet)

Proof that great minds think alike...long time California Democrat politico Willie Brown understands Sarah Palin's decision to quit in a way many of the the pundits and even many of her fellow Republicans don't:

The pundits are wrong. Conventional wisdom is wrong. Sarah Palin's decision to step down as Alaska governor was a brilliant move.

Palin has some of the best political instincts I have ever seen. She became a pop-culture superstar overnight when John McCain made her his veep pick, and she's still second only to President Obama among politicians the public is interested in. Even in liberal San Francisco, she'd be front-page news if she ever came to town.

But that kind of celebrity comes at a high price. What a lot of people don't know is that Palin entered Alaska politics as a reformer attacking the corruption of the state's Republican establishment. As such, she was the darling of the Democrats - until she hooked up with McCain.

After the election, with Palin back home but positioning herself for a 2012 presidential run, it was clear she would catch nothing but ridicule from Alaska's Democrats. It was not going to be pretty.

If Palin wants to play on the national field, she has to be free to move around. She has to be able to drop into Indiana, Ohio or Tennessee and help Republican candidates raise money. She has to be available for radio and TV.

She has to be like Gavin Newsom, free to roam around the country, safe in the knowledge that things will pretty much take care of themselves back home.

Instead, Palin faced the prospect of being constantly pinned down in a state that is a day and a half away from the rest of America. She would have been totally isolated in every sense of the word.

Now she can study up on issues where she is lacking and become a full-time political celebrity.

The pundits call her a quitter, but let's be honest - the pundits never liked her to begin with. Better to take one hit for stepping down and move on than to stay in Alaska and die a death by a thousand cuts.

Governor or not, Palin is still the biggest star in the Republican galaxy. After all, who else have they got?

Even today, the L.A. Times is breathlessly quoting long time GOP activists and strategists as calling her a 'quitter' and 'a political trainwreck.'

But then. as Brown points out,these people always hated her and the constituency she represents anyway.

One of the things that has these GOP 'strategists' steaming was Palin's statement in an interview with the Washington Times that she might support Democrats for office who agree with her poitical philosophy:

The former Republican vice-presidential nominee and heroine to much of the GOP's base said in an interview she views the electorate as embattled and fatigued by nonstop partisanship, and she is eager to campaign for Republicans, independents and even Democrats who share her values on limited government, strong defense and "energy independence."

"I will go around the country on behalf of candidates who believe in the right things, regardless of their party label or affiliation," she said over lunch in her downtown office, 40 miles from her now-famous hometown of Wasilla -- population 7,000 -- where she began her political career.

"People are so tired of the partisan stuff -- even my own son is not a Republican," said Mrs. Palin...

Limited government, strong defense, independence...sounds very Jacksonian to me, and an absolutely brilliant move to create a broad-based movement, maybe even a third party. And remember, she has a book coming up that will undoubtedly be a bestseller. If her book outlines these principles well and she continues to speak around the country and draw the kinds of crowds she's capable of drawing, she will be in a position to get the GOP nomination practically by default - because if she pulls the trigger on a third party, you can pretty much kiss the Republicans goodbye.

Another sign that she knew exactly what she was doing are the recent Gallup polls showing that a clear majority of Americans felt that the media coverage she received was biased and unfair :

Palin herself has argued that she has been unjustly attacked by the news media, and most Americans seem to agree. The new poll finds 53% describing the news media's coverage of Palin as "unfairly negative," while just 9% say it has been "unfairly positive" and 28% say it has been "about right."

In other words, the Left has overplayed its hand.

What Sarah Barracuda sees is daylight on the court... a political opening and a constituency hardly anyone else is paying any attention to. And she's going to move the ball right towards it.

Don't be a bit surprised if we wake up the morning after the election in 2012 to find out that we've chosen a woman to clean up the mess in Washington.

In any event, it's going to be tremendous fun.

You go, Sarah Palin.

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