Skip to comments.The end of Sarah Palin: An Obama-era-novelty. As O's tenure ends, so does career of Sarah Barracuda
Posted on 04/29/2014 7:20:30 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
After this weekend, it's probably safe to say that Sarah Palin is done. Like Jesse Ventura or Ross Perot, she may show up every once in a while to hurl red meat or use stunt cameos to remind us a little of her awkward charms. But recent events seem to confirm that she is an Obama-era novelty politician and not much else.
First she gave a speech to the NRA in which she joked that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists, offending people who otherwise make up her base. Next, Robert Costa reported on the ever-smaller crowds that have been greeting Palin in Iowa.
When Palin took the stage at the Hy-Vee Conference Center under a banner that read "Heels On, Gloves Off" on Sunday at an event for Senate candidate Joni Ernst, the ballroom was half-full, with a couple hundred attendees scattered in clumps. [Washington Post]
If the politically engaged seem bored with Obama, they have all but forgotten Sarah Barracuda, the manqué of anti-Obama populism. After years of halting appearances on Fox News, gaffes about Russia, and a parody by Tina Fey that nearly eclipsed the original, it may be hard to remember the whirlwind national introduction to Sarah Palin, which culminated in her galvanic speech to the Republican National Convention in 2008. Sarah Palin wasn't a joke back then she was a live threat. In a few days, with the help of an ace stylist, an ace speechwriter, and sheer novelty, Sarah Palin almost transformed that election.
It later became a reason to knock Palin's vanity and ambition, but Lisa Kline's work as a stylist gave Palin a frontier glamor that red leather jacket, the military-cut coats that put starbursts in commentator's eyes. She was an idealized image of a hockey-mom governor from the endless Alaskan wild. Obama was new, but cool and aloof. Sarah seemed relatable and engaging.
Until the introduction of Sarah Palin, the 2008 election had been almost entirely framed as one of "change" vs. "experience." But speechwriter Matthew Scully must have discerned a kind of frontier populism in her accent, history, and politics, and wrote a convention speech that gave the election a completely different cast.
Here's how CNN summed up the speech:
She slammed Obama for "saying one thing in Scranton and another in San Francisco," argued that he had written two memoirs but never authored a major piece of legislation, and asked what he would do "when those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot," a reference to the stage where Obama gave his acceptance speech last week. [CNN]
My personal favorite line was this: "The American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of 'personal discovery.'" You could almost hear that punch landing.
Palin gave what many in the Republican base had been craving all along. It was no longer McCain's long résumé against Obama's promise of change it was a more primal election of "us" versus "them." She humblebragged, "I'm not a member of the permanent political establishment.... I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion."
And there on that convention stage we saw a preview of the "summer of rage" over Obama's health-care reform and the Tea Party rebellion of 2010.
For Republicans in 2008, alas, it became apparent that the McGovern presidential coalition had waxed in the past 40 years, while the Nixon coalition had waned. And for Palin, it's basically been all downhill since the convention: Saturday Night Live, a disaster interview with Katie Couric, an election loss, a boring reality television show, a number of her endorsed candidates flaming out, a clash with Roger Ailes, and one too many appearances on Fox News in which she seemed on populist autopilot or totally anodyne.
My theory is that Palin will have trouble finding a niche in the post-Obama world. She was the right minoritarian foil for the White House. The president is a brainy, cool-tempered, wonkish Hawaiian; he is a bit like the man from nowhere. Palin was slashing, heated, and defiantly Alaskan.
As his administration comes up more and more lame, what role will Palin play? Maybe none at all. The Obama-Palin dynamic may go down as a Pacific Ocean holiday from the Clinton-Bush rivalry that is the natural embodiment of our two-party, two-family American political system.
Michael Brendan Dougherty is senior correspondent at TheWeek.com. He is the founder and editor of The Slurve, a newsletter about baseball. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, ESPN Magazine, Slate and The American Conservative.
As Bugs Bunny would say..what a maroon..Ive been hearing Sarah Palin is done for 6 years now..so YAWN
Nice try, dork.
Didn ‘t work.
The commie libs will never learn. They said this same crap about Limbaugh, Fox News, the TEA Party, etc. They’re still wetting their drawers when those names come up at one of their artsy fartsy get togethers.
Wishful thinking commie? She may be your President.
Wait...two memes in a day...This is SerieZ!
I HATE HER NOW!!!!!!! ;)
Sorry - no pajama-boy smirkers need apply.
Rent-free, as they say.
This guy is so off base! If the libs are really this clueless, we will destroy them.
WHO the hell was “offended” by the waterboarding joke?
I am not impressed that another 50-IQ grinning RINO ape declared Sarah passé.
What has this idiot slug Dougherty accomplished? I will wait for his cheerleading section to tell us.
This poor writer has convinced me to just cancel it tomorrow.
Nice job, idiot!! One less subscriber.
> First she gave a speech to the NRA in which she joked that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists, offending people who otherwise make up her base...
WTF? Writer’s full of #### ping. Thanks 2ndDivisionVet.
Some faux conservative fake evangelicals who shill for the left.
someone doesn't like the Tea Party
Okay then Michael, don’t waste your time following her around anymore if that’s what you believe.
But you won’t; you can’t. Because deep down you know...
Sarah Palin is NOT Cindy Sheehan.
This is really a condemnation of Obama. Obama’s two-terms has been so disastrous that the writer has no choice but to desperately bring Sarah down as well.
I’m not sure, but I suspect that maybe she wants to be done. In her place I sure wouldn’t want to run for president... the press would put her through hell even more so than they do now.
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