Skip to comments.Sarah for President? (There is no one more qualified for the White House. But is she electable?)
Posted on 12/30/2010 10:22:38 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Sarah Palin continues to galvanize the imagination of both her ardent supporters and her hectoring adversaries. It is easy to understand her appeal to those who have rallied behind her and her possible candidacy for the office of president of the United States. She has a lot going for her: charm, personableness, natural smarts, moral probity, executive competence, independence of character, and a passionate love of country. These are undeniable advantages, or should be in any sane political environment.
At the same time, she steps up to the plate with two strikes against her or, in an alternative baseball universe, with three, four, or five strikes already logged in the umpires clicker. PDS (Palin Derangement Syndrome) flourishes on the liberal-left, to the extent that a correspondent to Salon.com suggests we get rid of Palin by having her electrocuted like one of Michael Vicks dogs. According to the media scuttlebutt and her innumerable liberal detractors, she is poorly educated, brings no foreign policy experience to the job, shoots her own dinner, comes across as politically unnuanced, and, perhaps the most cutting strike against her, lacks gravitas. These negatives are obviously serious disadvantages for anyone contemplating a run for the presidency, but are they valid criticisms? Is she really out before she even takes a swing? Lets consider each of these knocks against her in turn.
To begin with, Palin is by no means poorly educated; she merely did not graduate with a degree from an Ivy League institution, which by any reasonable account in todays academic milieu should stand decidedly in her favor. Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Berkeley and other so-called elite universities charge prohibitive tuition fees while, for the most part, delivering second-rate curricular fare. They represent the kiss of intellectual death unless, of course, one wishes to enter the service of the State Department or practice trial or immigration law. Palin did well to avoid these bastions of mainly liberal-left political correctness.
As for the absence of foreign policy experience, David Jenkins reminds us in an article for PJM that, with the exception of the elder Bush (who, incidentally, was no presidential cynosure), it is not common for presidents to enter office with foreign policy experience. In this respect, Palin is no different from the vast majority of her predecessors and certainly not from the present incumbent. What is needed in this domain is precisely what Palin would bring to the highest office in the land: insight and principle. As Jenkins writes, she knows that America must be strong in order to be safe, and that we must develop our own resources and end our dependence on foreign oil. Palin also knows that an American president does not bow and apologize to foreign despots and does not alienate loyal and tested allies, but comports himself or herself with dignity and courage.
Nor is there anything wrong with shooting ones own dinner, especially when one considers that liberal urbanites are perfectly OK with having other people shoot their dinner for them. Unless they are dedicated vegans, their hypocrisy is indigestible, and even vegans would surely vote for a meat-eating Democrat. Being handy with a shotgun and knowing how to skin a caribou is plainly not the real issue here. The implication is that Palin is some sort of primitive rustic rather than a credentialed cosmopolite. But the truth is that frowning on Palins wilderness skills is nothing but class snobbery on the part of those who would be utterly lost were they stripped of the civilized amenities they thoughtlessly take for granted. It is their mincing pretentiousness and fashionable outrage, not Palins honest hardiness, that is deplorable.
Further, Palin is by no means politically unnuanced. Quite the contrary, she is as politically savvy as they come, whether on the domestic or international front. Her speeches during the recent congressional elections were not only unteleprompted barnburners in the best populist tradition, but revealed a meticulous command of the domestic issues currently bedeviling the nation as well as a finely nuanced understanding of Americas pancreatic failures in international diplomacy. She displays a far more realistic perspective on the Middle East and has far more accurately taken the measure of Americas geopolitical competitors, particularly Russia and China, than anyone in the Democratic administration.
Palin does not believe in tax and spend, in fiat printing, in redistributive economics, in ObamaCare, in the AGW nonsense that is only an opaque wealth transfer scheme, in making purses out of sows ears (aka pork and earmarks), in pressing reset buttons, in blaming Israel for the Palestinians, or in a degrading and unproductive outreach to the Islamic umma. These are policies she would reverse, as indeed would anyone with a nuanced understanding of the economic and political worlds. There is little doubt that Palin would be a strong, resolute, and effective president should she ever accede to the White House. Unlike Obama, she would not try to square the Oval.
Finally, if Palin lacks gravitas, then so do many others on the current political scene. Barack Obama, for example, not only lacks gravitas, he exhibits the moral and intellectual substance of a will o the wisp. This is not to take anything away from his golf game, but in political life he is always badly in need of a mulligan. Joe Biden is a figure straight out of vaudeville who can be dependably counted on to drop the cane he is trying to twirl though, it must be admitted, he would look great in a straw boater. Hillary Clinton is, frankly, a wizened party hack and, like her husband, an adroit shape-shifter: one cannot trust a word she utters. No gravitas to be found amidst this crew.
Among the possible Republican contenders there are (or were) some potentially credible choices, at least from the standpoint of knowledge, experience, and/or presence. Newt Gingrich carries weight and political erudition but unfortunately also carries baggage. The same may be said for Jeb Bush, whose family name still remains a heavy burden he may not be able to shuck. His opposition to Arizonas immigration law is also a very bad sign. Others like Marco Rubio and Allen West, both highly impressive figures, are too young or new to the field to be presidentially assessed. Chris Christie is a bold and ethical administrator, but is not a particularly persuasive communicator. John Thune is little known and Mitch Daniels is aura-challenged. Mike Huckabees banjo is not an electoral plus. Bobby Jindal and Tim Pawlenty are good people, but Jindal does not seem ready for higher office and Pawlenty is prone to misjudgment, such as withdrawing from the race for a third term as Minnesota governor that he could have won handily. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour may have disqualified himself from consideration owing to certain insensitive or ambiguous racial comments at least, journalist and fellow-Southerner Kyle-Anne Shiver appears to think so. John Bolton would make a decent president but an even better secretary of defense. Rick Perrys secession remark, however flippant, has cost him dearly. Mitt Romney seems to wear a certain gravitas, but the RomneyCare fiasco that he imposed as governor of Massachusetts shows his weak and fallible side.
The real problem, however, is that gravitas is a vague and unreliable personality construct and, moreover, one that can be readily simulated by a good actor. Al Gore, for instance, managed to project seriousness of purpose for a time, until greed, corruption, and deceit tore away the mask with which he dazzled his public. Gravitas functions primarily as a media buzzword that can be applied indiscriminately, either to demean or to inflate its chosen subject. Only in the most proven and ineluctable cases can it be said to be an appropriate descriptor, and these are far and few between. Whether or not Palin is deficient in this regard, what she demonstrably lacks is the approval of a reprobate and partisan press, which is itself cripplingly short of integrity, not to mention gravitas.
But is Palin electable? The next two years will determine whether she will be able to counter the slanderous media campaign against her candidacy and her competence, and so convince enough people that she has the right stuff to lead the country in perhaps its most perilous historical moment since the Civil War. Clearly, she suffers more than her share of antagonists among the megabuck left and their myriad satellites, Ivy League academics, mainstream journalists, public intellectuals, union impresarios and henchmen, and the entitlement-addicted segment of the public. They are terrified of her. She even has the panjandrums in the Republican old guard shaking in their Guccis.
As Victor Volsky writes in American Thinker, in the eyes of the political/cultural aristocracy, [Palin] is the embodiment of its worst nightmare: the revolt of the masses against their masters. And she knows that the master class will mobilize its considerable reserves against her. The question is whether, by sheer force of character, will, and charisma, like an American version of Delacroixs Marianne leading the charge at the electoral barricades, and by pursuing a tireless itinerary, she can prevail against overwhelming odds and bring to the American people authentic change and genuine hope for the future.
-- David Solway is a Canadian poet and essayist. He is the author of The Big Lie: On Terror, Antisemitism, and Identity, and is currently working on a sequel, Living in the Valley of Shmoon. His new book on Jewish and Israeli themes, Hear, O Israel!, has just been released by Mantua Books.
couldnt have said it better myself (and she is very electable)
It depends on how angry the American public is in 2012. If the placating-pork providing-socialist in charge can convince enough people that self reliance (in a social/political sense) is a lost cause then she will lose.
David Solway = concern troll
Every president after Reagan has been an Ivy League graduate. I'm not impressed by the credential.
Run Sarah Run!
An excellent read.
SHE HAS MY VOTE!!
Excellent essay — one to bookmark and share.
The liberal-lefts assessment of her is not a negative but a major plus. The fact that she stood up and is still standing proudly after the barrage of lies and insults spewed by the liberal-left during the Primaries shows me she has something that is lacking amongst our legislators, a rigid backbone.
Let me be a little more clear: overall this is a positive article, but Solway damns Palin by not being more clear in the closing arguments. He raises concerns and answers them, but leaves the concern open by repeating the calumny of electability hanging in the next-to-last paragraph.
Palin has redefined “gravitas.”
There is only one way to truly find out if Sarah is electable. Conjecture needs to meet reality at the voting booth. Run Sarah Run!
Not only as Gov. Palin electable, but she will win in 2012 by a margin not seen since 1984’s Reagan victory..
Exactly. A good and sufficient education is essential, an "Ivy League" education? Bah... I'm not impressed either.
The traits I want in a President are:
I believe hussein obama is/has none of these. In fact, I believe he is actively working against these.
I believe Sarah Palin has these in spades. She is the only person I've seen on the political stage - the only person - I want to see in the White House on 1/20/13. RUN SARAH RUN! We need you, desperately.
If she decides to run, she has to make the case for her leadership and vision for the future. If she runs, we'll all find out. Those who say she can't haven't been watching her very closely for the past year and a half.
So, then, did the GOP elite think McCain ... and Dole ... were electible, or were they just capitulating the race to the Dems and using McCain/Dole as fillers?
Surprisingly, over one-fourth of the GOP think Gingrich is electible, based on the various polls.
[Shaking head in disbelief.]
So will Gingrich or Huckabee or JBush be the filler to allow Obama a 2nd term?
Thanks for the post! Very insightful and well put, Sarah Palin has a lot more “gravitas” than all the rest! Including the present President.
She faces a daily fire-hose of media attacks and mockery (and more from the elite of her own party). She shrugs it off for the most part with good-natured aplomb.
If she is able to keep on doing what she does, and continues to stay in Obama’s face, and continues to buck the GOP elite, she will be ready to step into the White House. Time will tell but she has managed to thrive when others would have folded. She has managed to thrive when they thought they had her beaten.
When she comes out with her new reality show, Sarah Palin’s Afghanistan, you’ll know she’s running.
But you will vote for her anyway if she runs? Or will you vote for one the old dogs whose turn it is? Or sit it out?
She is very likely going to run.
I have occasionally thought the same thing; its odd that none of the men save Jim DeMint and maybe one or two others have the boldness and willingness to fight that Palin has.
I think if DeMint steps up she'll step back.
Mrs. Prince of Space
Well there you go lets put our head between our legs and move on shall we, we’ve done a good job so far....
let's face it, the entire Democrat party, 90% of the media, the Republican party nabobs and RINOS will all be out there campaigning against her.
Let's face it. The exact same crowd stood against Ronald Reagan.
And, somehow, he mopped the floor with another failed Democrat president.
That is exactly what she is up against. Running against them will be delicious.
I happen to favor Mike Pence, however - he shares Sarah's best qualities, brings many of his own, and is undefined by the MSM. I believe he'll run, and I'm certain he'll win.
Hmmm can she run for office in Arizona, say taking McCains spot. Hell Hillary did it and never lived in NY. Maybe she can live near Megan McCain, lololololol
Take an inventory of all the problems bedeviling the US today -- and every one of them has been created by some cretin with an Ivy League degree.
An Ivy League education should rightly be considered a blemish on one's political resume'.
And, somehow, he mopped the floor with another failed Democrat president.
Exactly. And if the hand-wringers would show a little faith instead of believing what the LSM tells them to, it WILL happen again.
We must be fearless, and let the chips fall where they may...
“As Victor Volsky writes in American Thinker, in the eyes of the political/cultural aristocracy, [Palin] is the embodiment of its worst nightmare: the revolt of the masses against their masters.”
“Ay, there’s the rub” We can’t let the peasants up. It’s too hard to keep our boots on their necks when they’re off the ground.
Due to the general makeup of the Ruling Class I seriously doubt we will ever get their boots off our necks by voting newer, shinier boots into place... But I’m willing to try one more time. If ‘m still alive when November 2012 rolls around I’ll vote for Sarah... whether she’s on the ballot or not!
RE: I live in Maricopa, Arizona, where Bristol Palin just bought a house for $172,000 cash
I read that that property originally was priced at over $300,000 what the heck happened?
Nice. This should be required reading for the disingenuous “I love her, but” crowd.
| No one more qualified? Really?
Don't get me wrong. I like Sarah Palin. I wouldn't mind her in the Whitehouse. I think she's an improvement over Jorge. She's better than a RINO, I suppose, or any Dum for that matter. But the MOST QUALIFIED? Please.
The "cult of personality" is just as prevalent amongst the Freeper ranks as it is in the liberal community.
If you're fool enough to call me a McGringPawlRomKabee bot (say that 3 times fast), save your breathe. You couldn't find where I've supported any of those fools.
Nobody knows who is going to run as of this date and it could very well be a complete unknown appear and rise to the top when the time comes.
That was not my conclusion at all.
Everybody knows you're a Paulistinian at heart.
I am (unfortunately) old enough to remember that Ronald Reagan was not electable.
No way. Could never happen.
In 2008, we let the media and the Democrats pick our candidate.
Let's not do that again.
ok. Second time today I’ve seen the term “concern troll.”
I can guess what this means, but if you have a handy defintion for me, I’d appreciate it.
Sarah Palin is elocuent without visual aids, her character and her vision come through in her speeches clearly and her life reflects who she is and what she believes.
Unfortunately, her voice is a deterrent to her message.
I have heard people complaining that her speeches are hard to hear because of the shrillness of her voice. That may sound ridiculous considering the importance of the issues facing us but it is a consideration, especially when it comes to independents that need to hear her message.
I wonder if voice lessons could help her, but without changing her personality?
She needs a makeover, too. Her look is dated now.
DUDE! Google is your friend.