When a professional athletic star’s career has extended beyond its zenith, either as a player or a coach, they become broadcast commentators on the careers of other active stars. Being telegenic helps and articulation is relatively important. Of course having a really good agent and being handled by an agency like J. Walter Thompson is assumed. Sarah Palin is a commentator. Rube rhetoric and willful ignorance disqualified Palin from serious presidential candidacy a long time ago. She is famous for being famous and aging before achieving anything except commentary on herself on the political stage.
Back in March, Gallup polled opinion about the Republican candidates and found, “Notably, former Alaska Gov. and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s Positive Intensity Score of +16 puts her below the top scorers, despite her almost universal name recognition of 96 percent.” At that time she trailed Huckabee, Bachmann and Gingrich. The times change things.
The way Pew Research found it by July, “Overall, Romney continues to hold a significant lead among Republican voters: 21 percent say they would like to see him win the nomination. Rick Perry gets the support of 12 percent; 11 percent back Sarah Palin, 11 percent Michele Bachmann, 9 percent Ron Paul and 8 percent Herman Cain.” Palin came in third overall to Romney and Perry and ahead of Bachmann and the rest of the GOP candidate herd.
How about the rest of the pollsters? RealClearPolitics shows the composite poll numbers for Palin have her favored fourth behind Romney, Perry and Bachmann.
All things considered, showing up at all is a good thing for the non-candidate candidate. However, as Kathleen Parker points out, instead of spending “her time hitting the books and filling in knowledge gaps so painfully exposed during the 2008 election,” Palin has engaged “in a series of moneymaking, self-promoting stunts and has succeeded in achieving the true American dream: fame and fortune.” Celebrities do that. Candidates do homework. Candidates campaign.
What about those campaigns? Palin says, “Each campaign that I have ever run in these 20 years of elective office has been kind of unconventional, right, Todd? We’ve always been outspent, two-to-one, five-to-one, 10-to-one. Never won any polls heading into election night. But usually won the election. So it would be unconventional and very grass roots.” Wasilla, Alaska voters elected Palin to its city council in 1992 and elected her its mayor four years later.
Sarah Palin has over 632-thousand followers on Twitter. You may recall “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” that resounded during the Tucson shooting atrocity. Although protected by the Constitution, Palin’s seditious speech deserved derision as did not pulling down her Facebook “Target map” until one of her targets was publicly shot in the head. As I said, the times change things and we are supposed to forget such nasty events as an attempted assassination and collateral murder. Palin called subsequent criticism of her “Blood libel.” We are supposed to forget that, too.
At least when her name is mentioned in the media, as it is less frequently, it is less referred to as “potential presidential candidate.” Today, she is referred to more often as “governor,” an office she resigned before completing its first term. Meanwhile, the Palin establishment still asks for donations and raises money. With that money she drops by to get camera exposure and expound about Ronald Reagan, at least her Twitter version of Ronald Reagan, as she has at the Iowa State Fair. It’s not Palin for president. It’s Palin for Palin.