01.31.2010 0

But Is She Electable?

  • On: 02/22/2010 09:30:08
  • In: Sarah Palin
  • By David Bozeman

    With recent poll numbers showing that a vast majority of Americans deem Sarah Palin unqualified to be president, liberals are enjoying a state of euphoria they haven’t felt since Fidel Castro honored New Yorkers with a visit, culminating in his address to the United Nations.

    According to a highly touted ABC News/Washington Post survey, at least 70% of Americans find the former governor unqualified for the presidency. The liberal pundits typically place her odds near zero, claiming that she has failed to connect with voters beyond her conservative base.

    And that’s where the 70%-numbers raise a few doubts. According to a recent Gallup poll, 40% of voters consider themselves conservative, with 35% independent and only 21% liberal. A Battleground poll found that 20% of voters are very conservative and 40% somewhat. That would mean that conservatives are deserting Sarah Palin in droves. While some are, a recent Gallup poll for 2012 named Mitt Romney the frontrunner, with Palin just two points behind — a statistical tie. A county straw poll in North Carolina named Palin the winner. Early poll numbers for 2008 predicted Hillary Clinton fending off Rudy Giuliani, with John McCain in single digits for the GOP nomination, so one would be foolish to place any bets right now.

    So while these numbers don’t sound a death knell for a Palin presidency, the odds in her favor remain disturbingly low. First, Sarah Palin the media phenomenon must step aside for Sarah Palin the policy wonk. She must position herself as America’s leader in exile, providing sharp, positive alternatives to the Obama agenda. Whether it is fair or not, her forays into celebrity culture dilute her solid messages on energy policy, economic reform, national defense and social issues. Her Runner’s World pictorial, while perfectly legitimate for a health and fitness publication, just gave that shadow-of-its-former-self hack sheet Newsweek a chance to sexualize her image.

    Her supporters must tout her as a leader and lose the endless flowery allusions to a modern-day Esther leading her flock out of the socialistic night. Nor should she be painted a victim or a martyr to the elitist tastes of the left wing politico-media culture.

    Palin-istas cannot fuel a 2012 run on outrage. Recently, feminist playwright Eve Ensler, whose most renowned contribution to our culture consists of The Vagina Monologues, spewed some of that predictable tripe about Palin’s intelligence (Palin doesn’t buy into global warming!). Like protecting a little sister, conservatives (including this one) pen editorials noting that any Palin appearance is a far greater paean to the nurturing comfort and potential of American womanhood than readings by Jane Fonda and Whoopi Goldberg about their — well, you know. Ensler and her like should remain in the cultural gutter, and Palin (and her supporters) should strengthen her hold on the mainstream by focusing on policy and positive alternatives.

    Of course, Palin does not seek advice from armchair advisors. She will follow her gut instincts, which have served her well up to now. That’s what people like about her. With eons to go before 2012, she enjoys ample time to sharpen her image and defy conventional wisdom. Still, the fact that she, a private citizen, remains the most discussed figure in American politics — second only to the president — proves that she doesn’t need to hold elective office to effect change. Despite the left’s best efforts to render her irrelevant, she is a far more compelling figure than the man who beat her for vice-president, Joe What’s-his-name. The left is always informing us that resistance is futile, but the strong forge ahead and predicate their strategies not on dubious poll numbers but on whom and what is right for America.

    David Bozeman, former Libertarian Party Chairman, is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer for Americans for Limited Government.

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