Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Palin’s Limits?

This post by Ross Douthat is worth thinking about. Douthat argues: "that Sarah Palin might well be a formidable contender for the GOP nomination in 2012 even if she’s massively unpopular with the sixty-five percent of America that doesn’t vote in Republican primaries."

Douthat’s point is congruent with something that I have heard several times of late. I keep running into people who claim that they gave very serious thought to Senator McCain until he tapped Governor Palin as his VP pick. Admittedly, this is not a scientiffic sample, but I suspect it reflects a trend. As I have said before I think Palin is rather more moderate than many people think. But that’s not how she is perceived.

Douthat notes the problem: "Given the way she’s presented herself on the campaign trail and/or been used by the McCain campaign, and given the media narrative surrounding her candidacy at the moment, for Palin to be elected President of the United States would require an image makeover even more substantial than the one Hillary Clinton underwent between the late 1990s and this year."

Discussions - 3 Comments

I agree. I am living in the heart of blue America at the moment, and a lot of the conservatives I know here got really exasperated with the Palin pick. I don't think it's her policy positions as much as the evidence that she is a total sellout by the GOP to its populist, anti-intellectual impulses. She's also proven (the couric interview, et al) to be grossly unqualified for the office, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to defend her when she can't even adequately defend herself.

I have had the opposite experience. McCain was a "total sellout by the GOP to the populist, anti-intellectual impulses". Palin, besides Huck, was the only GOP candidate that has a conservative instinct in her body.

If the GOP keeps going left (as in McCain, etc.) and calling this "thoughtful", a third conservative party will be necessary...

I agree with Cristopher. Enough of appealing to pseudo-consevatives. This whole campaign season has been a leftward lurch to appeal to moderates in the hope that they can be convinced to follow McCain. We see how well that worked. Palin was brought in to appeal to conservatives who felt they were being deserted by the party. By looking at turnout at her campain stops, as well as media numbers when she's on TV, this has been a very successful strategy. The fact that RINO elites aren't happy is just fine with me. For every cocktail elite who's said they're turned off by Palin, there are crowds of 'Joe-sixpacks' who are now energized by her.

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