Don’t Do It, Sarah

Gov. Palin’s prominence is not an indictment of tea party philosophy of smaller,2012 less intrusive government, lower taxes and Constitutional discipline. It is simply that she is not the person that will garner wide enough appeal of that philosophy to take it to the presidential level. As long as she is the face of the Tea Party movement it will struggle to elevate itself past being a political sect or a rogue offshoot of the GOP.

The person who takes the baton from her will be the center of the biggest political story of the next 18 months.

One headline reads; Palin Considering A Run For President In 2012. Another one says; I can beat Obama. The defibrillator paddles haven’t even cooled off yet and the conservative movement has a potential situation that could nullify all the gains it has made over the last 18 months with this ironic wrinkle.

After watching an episode of the much hyped TV mini series, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, I came to two conclusions. First, it convinced me I’d rather have Rick Steves guide me through Alaska when he decides he’s seen enough of Europe. Secondly,  it knocked me off the fence as to whether Sarah Palin is up for the task of Commander in Chief.

Golly gee Sarah, don’t do it. It would destroy any notion conservatives have that they certainly couldn’t do any worse than what we currently have.

I genuinely liked her when she broke on the scene. She proved she had stamina, energy, charisma, and a message that resonated with conservatives. But somewhere along the line Gov. Palin unknowingly traded being a serious politician for being a celebrity. Much like Barrack Obama’s early days in the White House, she has been overexposed. From Fox News pundit, Dancing with the Stars proud mother, and Alaskan travel guide to touring with the Tea Party Express from state to state during the midterms; Ms. Palin is omnipresent. That new face and common sense that I felt two years ago has gotten stale. The message still resonates but I want it to come from somebody with a voice of depth not cultivated from briefing sheets and talking points.. 

I haven’t seen anything in Sarah Palin that suggests strength, gravity and that edgy ability to craft strategies to crush opponents. Dare I say she’s too nice? If so, she is not the person that should direct bare-knuckled negotiations with Abbas, Putin, Netanyahu, or Ahmadinejad. If Americans cannot realistically picture Sarah Palin as the strongest person in the room; intellectually, ideologically, politically, and militarily they will hesitate to make her the most powerful person in the world; and rightly so. She’s a long way from that point in anyone’s imagination.

By comparison, Margaret Thatcher had a sense of presence that commanded respect. The Iron Lady made you comfortable with the fact that she wouldn’t disappoint; intellectually, politically, or socially no matter who she was dealing with.

Maybe it’s something as superficial as Sarah’s whiny voice, the irritating momma grizzly shtick or that ‘aw golly shucks’ demeanor that make her an improbable choice to be taken seriously behind the presidential seal answering tough questions across the spectrum of global importance. Maybe it’s the idea that I don’t feel disrespectful at all calling her Sarah. This is tough to admit as someone who saw her as a breath of fresh air when John McCain initially brought her to the national spotlight in 2008.

In the world of ‘what if’s’, it becomes doubtful we would be having this discussion if it weren’t for an unfortunate twist of political timing. John McCain announced Palin as his running mate on 29 August 2008. Two weeks later Lehman Brothers collapsed and the US economy began it’s meltdown. Conventional wisdom says that McCain would have opted for a more apropos VP candidate by selecting Mitt Romney with his expertise in financial circles, especially in light of McCain‘s self avowed lack of it.

That would have left Gov. Palin in Alaska, out of the national spotlight and media firestorm that surrounds her every move today. 

The Tea Party movement has grown exponentially since Rick Santelli fired the first salvo. As a result of her new found celebrity in the lower 48, Ms. Palin kicked open the door as a national figure unafraid to be associated with this upstart group that was destined to bookmark political history. She has a passionate and loyal following as a result but ironically has also been an uncommonly  effective unifier of the opposition. 

Albeit for the providence of timing, whether she would have grown into a prime tea party spokesperson or not is left to conjecture however it is certain there would not be talk of a 2012 presidential bid. None of this diminishes her value to the conservative renaissance. My hope is that she will remain a strong and fearless voice willing to keep that perspective alive at the table of debate.

I continue to stand by my assertion that female candidate(s) will figure prominently in 2012 presidential politics. As President Obama continues his downward spiral it is still not beyond the bounds of reason to see a draft Hillary movement gain steam. She’s been the patient good soldier of the left that has the name recognition, moxie and resume to credibly take on all comers, including Obama. Certainly a Clinton – Palin match-up cannot be perceived as being good for the GOP.

Gov. Palin’s prominence is not an indictment of tea party philosophy of smaller, less intrusive government, lower taxes and Constitutional discipline. It is simply that she is not the person that will garner wide enough appeal of that philosophy to take it to the presidential level. As long as she is the face of the Tea Party movement it will struggle to elevate itself past being a political sect or a rogue offshoot of the GOP. The person who takes the baton from her will be the center of the biggest political story of the next 18 months.

Gosh darn it, Sarah. You’re just not ready to be the flippin’ President of the United States. Washington is a long way from Wasilla on many levels. You’ll be over your head too fast with way too many people counting on you. Someone should have told Senator Obama the same thing.

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4 Responses

  1. Scott – I did not know YOU were the Basicman!! How cool. Great article…well written and excellent points…keep on keeping on…

  2. Hey Mr. Ruppert, I’m sure you might remember me from the Venice trip from late 2008-early 2009 (the OTHER Scott’s son).

    I just have a simple question: who do you think can do it in 2012 if not Sarah Palin? There are a lot of good choices: Newt, Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee, but hopefully not my new governor Chris Christie. We still need him here in NJ!

  3. absolutely Dan … of course I remember you .. my wife Patty sends a big hug!! thanks for tuning into BasicMan

  4. Yes, maria … it is I .. but….sshhh!

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