Skip to comments.Palinís New Style of Political Influence
Posted on 04/28/2014 10:19:21 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
In todays Washington Post, the always-insightful Robert Costa reports on Sarah Palins latest foray into electoral politics. In Iowa to observe a Palin campaign appearance on behalf of Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst, Costa was surprised to note that Palin, who is still widely considered to be a rock star of the political right, spoke to a half-empty ballroom with only a few dozen hanging around afterward hoping to shake the hand of the former Alaska governor. That contrast between this event and the pandemonium that greeted Palin wherever she went in 2010 and 2011 led Costa and NBCs Kasie Hunt to ponder just how much her stock had fallen since her heyday as the No. 1 attraction for the Tea Party crowd.
Some of this analysis is spot on. Theres no question that Palin has been superseded in the eyes of many on the right by the class of conservative notables like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul that was produced by the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. Even though Palin can claim some credit for the victories of figures such as Cruz, when pollsters quiz Republicans about potential presidential candidates for 2016, Palin is usually not even mentioned. Though her supporters will point to the rain in Iowa as the reason for the low turnout, the fact is she is no longer as much of a draw as she once was. But in noting, as Costa did, the fact that she soldiers on as a diminished figure in the Republican Party, we should, however, not assume that this means she is bereft of influence or supporters. In accounting for this change in status, we must understand that what has happened is not so much a case of a former first-tier political personality declining to secondary status but that she has morphed into something entirely different than a conventional office-seeking politician. She is now a celebrity brand that, while it will never be as significant as any of the actual contenders for leadership of the Republican Party and the nation, will nonetheless remain in place for the foreseeable future as both a scourge and a source of inspiration for the right wing of the GOP.
As Palins handlers and apologists are at pains to point out, she is right now far more interested in the production of her latest cable television effort than in beating the bushes on behalf of Republican candidates. By withdrawing first from her office as governor and then from what many once thought was an inevitable presidential run, Palins stature as a political star has, as a matter of course, declined. If the buzz and the accompanying throngs that greeted her every appearance in early 2011 made her appear to be a major force in American politics, the smaller crowds and attention now may convince some to write her off completely. But though I consider her influence on both the party and our public discourse to be not always productive or particularly insightful, her current position in our political life should not be judged solely by the standards of presidential hopefuls.
By downsizing her political ambitions and her reach, Palin has in a very real sense enhanced her ability to swoop into selected primary battles and have an outsized impact on races. Her intervention on behalf of the tough-talking Ernst, which appears to have been solely the product of that Senate candidates ad touting her experience castrating pigs, may turn out to be as decisive as her support for Cruz and Nebraskas Deb Fischer in 2012, despite the talk about turnout for her appearance.
That doesnt make her a Senate or congressional kingmaker in the guise of a Karl Rove, whose fundraising operations dwarf Palins now sporadic entries into primary battles. But she has managed to create a political space for herself in which expectations about her own ambitions are no longer the point. Her fan base remains numerous and utterly fanatic as anyone who dares to point out her manifest shortcomings as a political thinker and candidate knows all too well. If it is, as she knows all too well, nowhere near large enough to justify a try for national office that would result in a humiliating failure, it is sufficient to maintain her as a political player to be reckoned with on the right. If she has been eclipsed by the deep class of 2016 GOP contenders, it must also be understood that she is likely to remain a desirable backer for conservative primary candidates for the foreseeable future long after the current crop of Republican stars has been largely forgotten.
Palin is, at times, an infuriating and bitter reminder of the worst partisan excesses of the last few election cycles on the part of both parties. As such, she has no chance of ever gratifying the desire of her fan base to see her elected president and that is a good thing. But those who would like to see her go away completely are doomed to disappointment. By cleverly accepting a certain degree of detachment as well as diminishment, Sarah Palin has ensured that she will be around for a long time to come.
Imagine if we had $160 million dollars to elevate Ted Cruz's candidacy.
Neither the Left, nor the Neo-cons, nor the white shoe/Ripon Republicans can get a handle on Sarah Palin. They have little to no idea why she's still influential and popular after everything they've done to denigrate her.
If they weren’t worried about her, they would stop writing about her.
Isnt it funny how these elitist pricks spend so much time talking about someone who is supposedly “Irrelevant” gee, for someone irrelevant they sure do spend a lot of time following her around and responding to every single thing that comes out of her mouth
What the hit piece doesn’t tell you is that the day before was the Iowa GOP district conventions. They are pretty intense affairs. Everyone was tired and burnt out and not up for another round of traveling at $3.40 per gallon. Not to mention the inclement weather.
I did manage to go. Didn’t shake her hand but was 3 ft from her or so. She’s every bit as down to earth as she projects.
BS. Superseded? How large are the crowd of the other candidates
they’re comparing apples to oranges
when they talk about Palin, they talk about a diminishing crowd (still larger than anyone). When they talk about the other candidates, they used polls (since her name isn’t on it)
Just days ago she spoke at a rally with 1,000 people present.
Over the weekend she spoke probably to thousands for the NRA.
Attendance is also the responsibility of organizers getting the word out.
Palin is a very talented speaker, the best in years.
Palin needs to go to a voice coach. I can’t stand her voice inflection.
I agree. I love her message to America but her public speaking seems to be getting worse, with cartoony peaks and incomprehensible squeaks.
Hillary Clinton’s voice is worse. Imagine 8 years of that torture.
I agree. While I wholeheartedly endorse her politics, I’ve always been confused by this site’s adoration of this woman, she’s just not that bright.
Larry the Cable Guy tried to catch up with her in Alaska on his History Channel show and she wouldn’t come out to talk with him. Her excuses were pathetic, and Larry was a big fan of hers.
I like the woman, she just shouldn’t be in politics.
” Palin needs to go to a voice coach. I cant stand her voice inflection.”
That’s actually part of her charm for me.
Home-spun and down to earth.
But to each to their own.
They always enjoy writing about an enemy's fall from grace and stardom.
It's one of their favorite ways of saying "see, I told ya so."
If she doesn't run then they can supersede her. If she does run it would be prudent to back off. Or shoot for VP.
And that Reagan guy was just a dumb actor right?
Larry the Cable Guy tried to catch up with her in Alaska...
LOL. Who cares?
I like the woman, she just shouldnt be in politics.
Even McCain admitted she probably got more votes than he did in 2008. She energized the base like no-one since Ronald Reagan.
I'm manifestly unclear how she represents partisan excess on the Republican side. That portion of this line appears to be a throw-away to make the author look even-handed.
As far as excesses on the dem side, she is certainly the poster child for the politics of personal destruction.
I suppose the GOPe's death wish for her political career may count as the republican side of the partisan excess.
As such, she has no chance of ever gratifying the desire of her fan base to see her elected president and that is a good thing.
It is a good thing ONLY to those hacks that believe the ultra partisan dem lies about her. If she were ever given a chance to run her own campaign, absent the pervasive and pernicious sniping of the GOPe, I believe she would connect with the American people in a manner not seen since the 80s.
But those who would like to see her go away completely are doomed to disappointment.
It's funny, but her acting on conviction - even when some of us conservatives disagree with her specific choices of people to support - appears to have completely flummoxed the left, including this author. Perhaps they should look up the definition of the word "conviction" that doesn't specifically predict their possible future...
It seems to me, Palin is perpetually being mobbed by people who want to “catch up with her”.
I am sorry Larry the Cable Guy had a bad experience.
I really am.
I think someone from Palin’s team should make a point to follow up on this particular person, and make a point whatever it takes, to find him and meet with him.
Palin is almost too popular.
These sort of things will happen. I hope somehow Palin can turn around your opinion.
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