Palin For America, ’12?

Could Palin rise to become her party’s leader four years from now?  It may not be that far from the realm of reality, after all, the current Democratic presidential candidate was introduced to the national stage four years ago at the Democratic National Convention.  If one rising star could be introduced to America during one presidential cycle to become the nominee in the next, why can’t someone else do it?

Actually, I’ve heard arguments making the case that Palin could be the 2012 Republican nominee almost, it seems, since she was first selected.  This chatter may not have actually been going on for quite that long, but such is the zeal that radiates from her supporters to at least make it feel that way.

Marc Ambinder actually takes the argument and gives it some serious thought, but though he does make some if not good at least acceptable points, I’m not so terribly sure that I can agree with him that Palin is at least well positioned to become a favorite for the 2012 Republican nomination.  Indeed, while this election has been in part America’s introduction to Sarah Palin, I think it also has probably hindered her future on the national stage more than it has hurt.

I mean, what really has to be understood here is that the way the Republican party treats Palin right now is likely to change an awful lot come November 5th.  Right now Palin is part of the ticket and not a whole lot of people are going to be willing to criticize her for fear doing so will do further damage to the McCain campaign.  Once this election is over, though, there’s going to be a swift reckoning.

If McCain wins, then I think a lot will be forgiven of Palin, but if he loses this election a lot of Republicans are going to look at Palin, look at the polling numbers, and come to the conclusion that she did more to hurt McCain than she did to help.

Not everyone will of course, and as Marc Ambinder also points out there are some who suspect that Palin is trying to create an alternative narrative in case of a loss:

There’s a suspicion in some McCain loyalist precincts that Gov. Sarah Palin is beginning to play the Republican base against John McCain — McCain won’t let her campaign in Michigan…McCain won’t let her bring up Jeremiah Wright… McCain doesn’t like her terrorist pal talks….

But what you are going to see here is a disparity between the ideological, the cultural, and the political.  In the first two instances, Palin may still manage to come out of this appearing to be the ideal.  Palin did excite the base because she is far more lockstep with the conservative base than McCain, or many of the other Republican presidential candidates this season.

Culturally, Palin seems to inhabit an almost idealized Republican archetype in the same mold as Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Pam Geller, etc.  She is physically attractive and understands the language of pop culture, and at the same time she is vehemently partisan and she has the ability to turn her words into weapons.

But this doesn’t change whether or not she is a political liability.  While the hardcore base continues to love her to death, polls have consistently shown the rest of America seeing her in an increasingly unfavorable light.  Further, I think we are seeing an apex in conservative attitude towards conservative orthodoxy from which Palin hails.

This goes back to an observation I frequently made during the primaries; Democrats did not eagerly describe themselves as liberal, while the Republicans were tripping over each other to prove how conservative they were.  Within the GOP, conservatism is still seen as something that is not merely favorable from an ideological standpoint, but from a political standpoint as well.  This may change drastically between November 5th and when the 2012 presidential elections begin.  After two consecutive Republican defeats of serious proportions (06 and 08), we are likely to see Republicans undergo the kind of lost in the wilderness naval gazing phase that Democrats are used to.

It is the outcome of this phase that I think holds the key as to whether or not Palin will be a major factor four years from now or not.  If Republicans go into the wilderness and the ideological and cultural base wins, if somehow this party convinces itself that it’s problem was not being ideological enough, then Palin is very much likely to be the tip of the spear.  If, on the other hand, the Republicans decide that they need to engage in outreach to the middle, to temper the more dogmatic portions of their base, then I think Palin will ultimately disappear from the political ranks of the party, not unless she undergoes a serious political makeover.

4 Responses to “Palin For America, ’12?”

  1. DrGail says:

    Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Need I remind you of the other, prior candidates for “savior of the GOP”? Folks like Rick Santorum, George (“macaca”) Allen, Bill Frist, and the list goes on and on. I think predicting potential superstars in either party this far in advance is a bit like measuring a great high school shortstop for his World Series ring.

    Suffice it to say, of course, that there is a certain buzz and enthusiasm around her. But there was similar buzz around the above-named folks as well.

  2. Craig says:

    She’d be better off running for a Senate seat in the future.

  3. El Gordo says:

    Should the Republicans loose, and loose badly, as it appears may happen, the period of “navel gazing” may go on for far more than four years. There will be a large part of the right-wing that would love to see Palin go for it in 2012, because she represents their core beliefs. I think the Republican elites however are smart enough to realise that whoever represents them in 2012 will have to gain widespread public appeal, and the two factions of the Republican party (far-right haters and conservative politicians) will spend the next few years tearing themselves apart.

  4. John says:

    I voted for Debra Medina the next governor of Texas. Wake up, do not vote for Governer perry as he is a liar, crook,gay, not conservative at all . He states that and later changes it to liberal raise taxes on everything. It is so wrong for Palin to hook up and support this joker.I was hoping to vote for her and Medina. But , perry payed her for support.I do not support Glen Beck gay comment to perry as gross lover talk on the radio.Glen beck spoked for Perry as he told the radio rant sexist toward women and his retarded sidekicks mens locker room talk with his buddies. So distasteful and insecure sick mental pompous ass . I never support palin on poor ways for Texas and U.S.A. Perry is just like senator McCain in running the office.President Obama will eat her alive in the polls.I do not think palin has the hard guts and very slick charm to win.If she had very strong consevative person with non crook GOP member.Also Glen beck sucks with very poor rant .I never but any crap from his sponsers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook