Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Are Republicans Souring on Palin?

In the seven months since Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was first introduced to the American people as Sen. John McCain’s running mate, her prospects in national politics have gone from resembling a rising star to a skydiver whose parachute won’t open.

According to Politico’s Patrick O’Connor, Republicans are becoming uneasy about their favorite hockey mom. This is largely due to Palin’s recent public blunders, blunders that are being blamed on members of her inner circle as well as communication snafus between the governor’s staff in Alaska and her Washington-based political action committee, SarahPAC.

Here are a few of the latest incidents to come out of Palin’s gaffe-machine, as related by O’Connor:

The infamous YouTube turkey video in November where, unbeknownst to Palin, live turkeys were slaughtered just behind her within the camera frame.

A misfire involving the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. There, Palin had been slated for months to appear only to back out shortly before the event, leaving bruised feelings among organizers who thought they had a firm commitment from Palin herself. A spokeswoman for Palin’s PAC contends the governor had never agreed to appear and that Palin’s camp was surprised when CPAC announced the governor would be speaking at the event.

An interview with conservative filmmaker John Ziegler, who included Palin in his film, “Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted.” Comments by Palin about Caroline Kennedy and CBS News anchor Katie Couric contained in excerpts released by Ziegler generated tremendous controversy and prompted a Palin spokesman to blame Ziegler for blindsiding the governor. But Ziegler told POLITICO that Palin had called him to express support in a nearly 30-minute telephone call.

And here’s a new one to add to the growing list. O’Connor reports Congressional Republicans are dumping Palin as the keynote speaker for their annual Senate-House GOP dinner and replacing her with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. According to sources familiar with the situation, this was done because the former GOP vice presidential candidate “vacillated publicly about the appearance.”

The dinner is scheduled for June 8 at the Washington Convention Center. National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas) and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) will host.

“The Governor never confirmed her attendance at the event. She was honored to receive the invitation and asked to confirm her attendance at the end of the legislative session,” said SarahPAC spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton. “Governor Palin is thrilled to hear that Newt Gingrich will address the audience as the governor continues to focus on Alaska.”

“However, the fact that Palin was never completely confirmed as a speaker was precisely the problem, according to sources familiar with the deliberations about who would speak at the dinner,” O’Connor writes.

Apparently the NRSC and the NRCC were under the impression that the governor, a major draw for conservative activists, would be the star attraction at the fundraising dinner. In fact, the committees even issued a joint press release heralding her expected appearance and the announcement was quickly picked by several media outlets. Also, “Palin’s PAC indicated to the committees that she would attend.”

“But the governor’s office later said that it had not put the event on the schedule,” O’Connor reports. “Three people close to planning for the dinner said Palin’s aides proceeded to hem and haw about the appearance, both publicly and privately, leading the committees to decide to replace her because they were nearing a deadline to send invitations and other fundraising materials to their donors.”

This is too funny. I can’t decide who is a bigger joke – Palin or Jindal.


  1. Palin is a caricature for those on both sides. I think if she was less good looking and didn't do all those "manly outdoor" things like hunting it would be a different story. The feminist writer Camille Paglia thinks she got a raw deal and I agree.

  2. BS. Palin didn't GET a raw deal, she simply fails at what counts - dealing fairly and equitably with her peers and even her party mates.

    If she can't get her subordinates under control as a Governor, what the hell makes anyone think she can do it as a VP - or worse, as POTUS?

    I've got news for you, POTUS is the CEO of the largest hierarchical bureaucracy the world has ever seen. It beats the pants off of the government of Alaska, and just the Office of the President is a fairly large organization all by itself.

    If Palin wants to be POTUS, she needs about another fifteen years of experience if her recent gaffs are any indication!

  3. And what experience did Barack Obama have? A term in the Senate where he voted "present" most of the time and was a "community organizer" before that. Pretty thin CV if you ask me. When our current president ran for office he gave a speech talking about all 57 states he visited... so don't claim that Palin or anybody else is the only person to ever make a gaffe.

    And how many of Obama's picks didn't pay their taxes again?

  4. To be fair to Palin and Obama, experience really doesn't matter for the presidency, as history shows that some of our best presidents had little of it while some of our worst presidents had a lot. R is right about Palin needing to get her subordinates in line if she wants to make a serious run in 2012. Otherwise, she'll be a laughing stock, if she isn't already.

  5. Experience is one part of the equation while it is not the total picture it does count a great deal. We still have some time to see how Obama does. Maybe he will rise to the occasion but I have my doubts. Palin will probably be a flash in the pan. Early front runners never make it too far overall.

  6. The big difference between Palin and Obama is intelligence. And quality of education. And, of course, she is a Republican (and one of the worst kinds of Republicans, at that) - and experience. She may well be on her way to become the most hated politician in Alaska. She is what Republicans like in a woman: dumb and fertile.

    Harrison, of course, brings up the Repugnant "present" myth without knowing what that means in Illinois. Or caring since truth is not a thing that appeals to Repugnants particularly in political discourse. And the "57 state" incident. All one has to do is look at what the right wing made out of that: some kind of muslim signal or something. I don't understand their twisted minds so I never understood why they did anything but laugh at it. They wound up looking freakish, as usual.

    True, all politicians make gaffes. Bush made hundreds of them but no one particularly picked on him about them except the comedians to whom he provided rich material. I'm sure Obama will provide similar material. So what is the difference with Palin's gaffes? They aren't gaffes. They are a measure of her ignorance. She meant them.

  7. I'd like to see a similar line up of Republicans and how many of THOSE would fail the past taxes test. I get the impression that all these folks are the "victims" of a deeper and more thorough vetting process.

    Millions of Americans fail that test which is why the IRS has an amendment form - to allow you to alter your past filings and pay the difference.

    The Republicans have had their share of folks failing the vetting process for sometimes pretty stupid stuff - how about those a while back that failed to pay taxes on domestic servants?

  8. Jimmy Carter was highly intelligent and look where that got us. Good point.



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