Thursday, September 3, 2015

Ballot Box: Palin's 'Crazy' Move Might Work in Iowa


Douglas Burns Sarah Palin was in Sioux City last fall and she was a huge hit. Iowa Republicans have already asked her to speak at their most important meeting of the year, the Ronald Reagan Dinner.

We can't gauge Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with conventional political measurements.

Her appeal with Iowa Republican caucus-goers is precisely what was on display late last week — an absolute thumb-nosing of establishment politics, conventional thinking, and on the day before the Fourth of July when cable television's heavy-hitting lampooners were long gone for the long weekend.

Yes, at first blush, this announcement of her imminent resignation as governor, with its epic nonsequiturs and mom-unleashed-at-the -school-board-meeting quality, hand-delivers ammunition for Palin's fleet of detractors

And as several journalists have noted already, there does seem to be a piece, perhaps a big one, missing from this story. Will she have to make an Appalachian-sized amendment to the story as her fellow GOP governor Mark Sanford did just recently?

If not, this may work for Palin.

What made Palin popular with Iowans was not her resume of experience in Alaska. Those who cheered her in Sioux City last fall, with the most vocal applause for a Republican I saw in Iowa in the 2008 presidential cycle, knew little about it. 

The D.C. boys with the Blackberrys tell us that Palin should have stayed in Alaska to finish her term. Then perhaps, as she is only 45, take a shot at the U.S. Senate. Build some credentials, burnish that resume.

That would put Palin on the same playing field as other politicians, and by that measure, she loses.

Palin is already a political figure too large for the office she holds. That speech was clumsy but what matters is how Iowa Republicans will view her now.

Will they hold it against Palin that she quit her job as Alaska governor to become a national advocate, a visible and likely effective one, for their values? It's hard to think of someone as a quitter when you see them more on television and at party dinners and in other venues than you did before.

Sioux City Journal Palin in Sioux City in 2008. And, what do you know? Iowa Republicans are busy trying to convince the former vice presidential candidate to be the keynote speaker at the Ronald Reagan Dinner, what has become the party’s premier fundraising event and, according to Thomas Beaumont, “a popular and high-profile stop for would-be presidential candidates.” 

Then there's this to consider: Many in the national media have this mistaken sense that Iowa Republicans are seeking a new identity, that they'll reach out to moderates and carve out more widely palatable positions. Having been to two major GOP events in just the last 10 days in Iowa I get the distinct sense that the party is growing smaller, more insular, more angry — and that it is likely to double-down on a candidate like Palin. Damn the torpedoes and the media and conventional wisdom — and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who tried the other night in Des Moines, to no avail, to get rank-and-file Republicans to accept new demographics and dynamics of life in America.

Palin is exactly what many Republicans want. A time machine. We know that machine goes back, but whether there's a switch on it for the future remains to be seen.



Palin is real - people can relate

You Leftist, elitist snobs don't get it. 

I overheard two 60-something men talking in the coffee shop this morning and without knowing who they were talking about, I knew exactly who they were talking about.

"She puts it in layman's terms!"

It could be none other than Sarah Palin.

If she's so dumb, why is the Left still talking about her after she's resigned???  Her charisma and mass appeal worry you, don't they. 


As an ex-Republican myself if the same idiots that destroyed the Republican Party and the Leftist' media both hate Palin, I'd say that's positive.


I never seen anybody so rattle the Left as Palin has just as these Tea Parties seemed to have rattled them. If these two issues are such a joke, then why keep discussing them?


Shame the discussion ended on What Happens When You Don't Own the Land. Just wanted to commend Caitlin and the others. It was a good exchange.

who's on first

Thanks for comments, all. 

I should have added at the end of the story that Doug (author of Palin piece) is a newspaper guy in Carroll, Iowa, who covered the 2008 race. So he knows a lot of those Republican precinct chairs.

I'm not quite sure who Peggy is addressing her remarks to, but my reading of Doug is that he thinks she is doing the right thing -- that the DC journalists who really do delight in savaging Palin -- have this all bassackwards (as my mother would say). No sooner did Doug write that Iowa Republicans were going to like seeing Palin than they invited her to dinner.

Not snobby, just good political analysis......


In all seriousness, what does Palin bring to the table?


Is she qualified for public office?


She certainly seems to have a strong personality, but can she push an agenda?  Convince people to support her agenda?  Work within a system to implement a desired policy?


I have no idea what she would do in an executive capacity.  As mayor, she championed an ice rink/athletic center.  Other than that, has she accomplished anything?  I believe she quit before finishing up the natural gas pipeline that everyone seems to want built, but it hasn't gotten done yet.


Am I missing something?  (I mean, besides relating to us common folk.)