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Palinís New Style of Political Influence
Commentary Magazine ^ | April 28, 2014 | Jonathan S. Tobin

Posted on 04/28/2014 10:19:21 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

In today’s Washington Post, the always-insightful Robert Costa reports on Sarah Palin’s 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 NBC’s 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. There’s no question that Palin has been superseded in the eyes of many on the right by the class of conservative notables like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul that was produced by the 2010 and 2012 election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 Palin’s 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, Palin’s 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 candidate’s ad touting her experience castrating pigs, may turn out to be as decisive as her support for Cruz and Nebraska’s Deb Fischer in 2012, despite the talk about turnout for her appearance.

That doesn’t make her a Senate or congressional kingmaker in the guise of a Karl Rove, whose fundraising operations dwarf Palin’s 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.


TOPICS: Iowa; Issues; Parties; U.S. Senate
KEYWORDS: 2016; gop; palin; republicans

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.

1 posted on 04/28/2014 10:19:22 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

If they weren’t worried about her, they would stop writing about her.


2 posted on 04/28/2014 10:25:46 PM PDT by skr (May God confound the enemy)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

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


3 posted on 04/28/2014 10:26:10 PM PDT by Sarah Barracuda
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

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.


4 posted on 04/28/2014 10:27:58 PM PDT by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

BS. Superseded? How large are the crowd of the other candidates


5 posted on 04/28/2014 11:03:08 PM PDT by 4rcane
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To: 4rcane

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)


6 posted on 04/28/2014 11:04:33 PM PDT by 4rcane
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To: 4rcane

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.


7 posted on 04/28/2014 11:25:40 PM PDT by Zenjitsuman (New Boss Nancy Pelosi)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Palin needs to go to a voice coach. I can’t stand her voice inflection.


8 posted on 04/28/2014 11:35:55 PM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: gunsequalfreedom

I agree. I love her message to America but her public speaking seems to be getting worse, with cartoony peaks and incomprehensible squeaks.


9 posted on 04/28/2014 11:53:26 PM PDT by lee martell
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To: gunsequalfreedom

Hillary Clinton’s voice is worse. Imagine 8 years of that torture.


10 posted on 04/29/2014 1:12:29 AM PDT by RginTN
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To: gunsequalfreedom

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.


11 posted on 04/29/2014 4:31:18 AM PDT by Carl from Marietta
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To: gunsequalfreedom

” Palin needs to go to a voice coach. I can’t 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.


12 posted on 04/29/2014 5:17:10 AM PDT by damncat
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To: skr
If they weren’t worried about her, they would stop writing about her.

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."

13 posted on 04/29/2014 5:47:58 AM PDT by GBA (Here in the Matrix, life is but a dream.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
There’s 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.

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.

14 posted on 04/29/2014 5:57:27 AM PDT by McGruff (Clinton had his Kosovo, Obama has his Ukraine.)
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To: Carl from Marietta
I’ve always been confused by this site’s adoration of this woman, she’s just not that bright.

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 shouldn’t 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.

15 posted on 04/29/2014 6:03:14 AM PDT by McGruff (Clinton had his Kosovo, Obama has his Ukraine.)
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To: Carl from Marietta
I’ve always been confused by this site’s adoration of this woman, she’s just not that bright.

If you pay attention to transcripts of what she says (writes), she represents accurately a very good cross-section of Amercian Constitutional conservative thinking. That's me. And a few others on FR.

And yes, you've accurately stated on FR the Progressives' main talking point about her.
16 posted on 04/29/2014 6:37:47 AM PDT by Resettozero
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To: lee martell
I love her message to America but her public speaking seems to be getting worse, with cartoony peaks and incomprehensible squeaks.

Faint praise first, then comes the backhand. Just READ what she says then.
17 posted on 04/29/2014 6:40:26 AM PDT by Resettozero
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To: gunsequalfreedom
Palin needs to go to a voice coach. I can’t stand her voice inflection.

Don't you just know that was one of the Pharisees' complaints that aided them in their rejection of Jesus the Messiah? He just wasn't smart enough for them or the bloggers (scribes) of that time. He didn't sound like the King of the Jews, they thought. He's not one of us, they were positive.
18 posted on 04/29/2014 6:54:50 AM PDT by Resettozero
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
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.

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...

19 posted on 04/29/2014 7:32:32 AM PDT by MortMan (With friends like these, who is needing enemas?)
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To: Carl from Marietta

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.


20 posted on 04/29/2014 7:40:04 AM PDT by Cringing Negativism Network (http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html#2013)
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To: MortMan; onyx; Morgana; Bigtigermike; KC_Lion; laplata

21 posted on 04/29/2014 2:18:32 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: GBA; skr

And if they have to manufacture that “fall from grace” every few weeks out of thin air, they’ll have no qualms about it. Gov. Palin is still the biggest “kingmaker” in the Republican Party, still commands six figures for a short talk, still has two television gigs, still has money coming in from her three best-sellers and more.


22 posted on 04/29/2014 2:32:00 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: Carl from Marietta; Cringing Negativism Network

Do you think that you and I could just walk up to “Larry the Cable Guy’s” home and invite ourselves in, or would something similar to the Palin situation occur? Both Larry and Gov. Palin are wealthy, famous people with both fans and detractors. That is why personal protection exists.


23 posted on 04/29/2014 2:32:17 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

She’s an idiot, get over it.


24 posted on 04/29/2014 9:17:57 PM PDT by Carl from Marietta
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To: Carl from Marietta; onyx; laplata; Bigtigermike; Morgana; KC_Lion

Funny, I don’t see your name mentioned in any of the links below:

Poll: Sarah Palin tops list of women Americans want to run for president
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3138615/posts

If not Hillary Clinton, then Sarah Palin for 2016, poll shows
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3139341/posts

Palin leads the GOP field in latest polling data
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3117976/posts

Poll: Sarah Palin, Not Yet a Contender, Most Liked by GOP for 2016
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3117703/posts

Poll Shows Ernst Claiming Lead in U.S. Senate Primary (The Sarah Palin factor!)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-gop/3143068/posts


25 posted on 04/29/2014 9:27:32 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: Carl from Marietta

“I’ve always been confused by this site’s adoration of this woman, she’s just not that bright.”

I beg to disagree. Gov Palin is arguably the greatest intellect in American political history


26 posted on 04/30/2014 6:34:09 AM PDT by SarahPalinForPresident2012 (And 2016 as well)
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To: Resettozero

That was a totally unexpected response. Still, her voice inclination is ingratiating to me.


27 posted on 04/30/2014 7:41:49 PM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: gunsequalfreedom
That was a totally unexpected response. Still, her voice inclination is ingratiating to me.

Yeah, it can be grating to the ear. BO's is so soothing and reassuring.
28 posted on 05/01/2014 6:19:41 AM PDT by Resettozero
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To: Resettozero
Yeah, it can be grating to the ear. BO's is so soothing and reassuring.

After eight years they all have some voice thing that gets annoying to have listened to over and over. Except Reagan.

29 posted on 05/01/2014 7:21:14 AM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Imagine if we had $160 million dollars to elevate Ted Cruz's candidacy.

It is not all about the money. It is who is managing it and the campaign.

For example, how much less money would a candidate need if this were in his campaign platform.

"As president the first executive order I will issue will be to place all border patrol officers on the border instead of patrolling the interior of our country."

30 posted on 05/01/2014 7:27:10 AM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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