Sunday, November 16, 2008

Palin’s political potential

Jeff Jacoby writes - - -

… [There] can't be much doubt that Palin has become the brightest star in the GOP firmament. A whopping 91 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of her, according to a recent Rasmussen poll, and she is the runaway favorite when they are asked to rank possible contenders for the party's 2012 presidential nominee.

Elsewhere, however, the savaging of Palin continues. In The New York Times, Maureen Dowd devotes yet another column to bashing Alaska's governor ("a shopaholic whack-job diva").

The popular Washington blog Wonkette, characteristically crude, pronounces her "human garbage."

At, an obsessed Andrew Sullivan calls her "deluded and delusional . . . clinically unhinged" and describes her as a nitwit with "the educational level of a high school dropout" who "regards ignorance as some kind of achievement."

Not everyone on the left is in a gibbering rage over Palin. The feminist social critic Camille Paglia, a pro-choice Democrat, is appalled by the Democrats' anti-Palin debauch, especially their attacks on her intelligence.

"As a career classroom teacher, I can see how smart she is," Paglia writes, "and, quite frankly, I think the people who don't see it are the stupid ones, wrapped in the fuzzy mummy-gauze of their own worn-out partisan dogma."

After witnessing the poise, energy, and panache with which John McCain's 44-year-old running mate handled herself on the national stage, can the backbiters working overtime to trash her intellect really believe she is nothing but a vain and ignorant airhead? Well, maybe; partisans and ideologues are good at seeing only what they want to see.

But they might want to recall that the last Republican to inspire such ardor and admiration among the party faithful - Ronald Reagan - was also derided as a dim bulb.

Diplomat Clark Clifford called Reagan an "amiable dunce." The New Republic's Robert Wright viewed him as "virtually brain dead." Nicholas von Hoffman lamented that it was "humiliating to think of this unlettered, self-assured bumpkin being our president."

That "bumpkin" became one of the greatest presidents of the 20th century.

I suspect that the loathing of Palin by so much of the opinion elite is driven not by contempt for her brainpower but by fear of her political potential. She is cheerful and charismatic, an unabashed and likable conservative who generates extraordinary grassroots enthusiasm. . . .

Whether Palin has the skill and stamina it would take to win a presidential nomination, let alone capture the White House, it is way too early to tell.

But the smart money says she is a force to be reckoned with. That may be just what her critics are afraid of.

Jacoby’s entire column’s here.


Anonymous said...

I believe that those who are currently savaging Governor Palin will be eating their words in the future. She is a woman with a confidence in her abilities and who radiates the cheerful ambience that so characterized probably one of the best presidents of the past century - Ronald Reagan.
What galls the media "elite" is that she is unimpressed with their intellectual pretensions and their view that unless one has consorted with and been educated at the Ivies that one is somehow less than qualified to exist on the earth's surfacelet alone have an opinion of any merit.
Camille Paglia has it right - I look for Palin to be a force in the future. The best thing about the failed McCain presidential bid is that it clears the decks so that a new wave of Republicans - young, fiscally conservative, technologically advanced, and committed to core Republican values can emerge and move the party forward.

Anonymous said...

I believe cks is spot on. I will follow Sarah's political path with great interest the next few years. Steve in New Mexico