Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Republican strategist: Palin needs "a little time in the desert"

CNN runs another WTF story on Sarah Palin's enduring popularity.

It's an astonishing development, given that she has no role in national domestic policy and is a first-term governor of a state almost 4,500 miles from Washington.

Answer this question as honestly as you can: if Sarah Palin looked like Janet Napolitano, would there be a single ConservativesForPalin site out there? Would the grassroots, cultural right explode into applause every time her name is mentioned?

Just take that one sentence from CNN and think about it. Then click on Janet Naploitano's picture and tell me whether there is even the quarkiest likelihood that Sarah Palin would be what she's become today.

It's absolutely unfair to criticize her family. But there is no reason to censor our disapproval of her stature as a political figure. Why? Because she's intentionally soliciting condemnation for political gain, and if she's not making a deliberate play, then she's unintentionally stumbled onto something brilliant -- like a hotter Christopher Columbus.

Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody:

"All of that media bashing plays to the base. And at least within the Republican primary, that works well".

CNN's Bill Schneider:

"If Palin wants to run for the Republican nomination in 2012, she has an issue that could rally conservatives: her treatment by the media".

And finally Republican strategist Alex Castellanos:

"She needs a little time in the desert. She needs to retire. She needs to demonstrate growth as a politician, as a political leader. You can donate that if you keep staying in front of us day after day after day as the same person."

Even Ann Coulter thinks she should wander in the wilderness a bit before coming back to Egypt:

"Palin should spend the next 8 or 12 years reading the Federalist Papers and other important political works.... she needs the wisdom and the experience, and I think she could be another Ronald Reagan.”

I have close colleagues who think Sarah Palin's the real deal. And they're intelligent and critically capable individuals. But again, just think -- Janet Napolitano's looks and Sarah Palin's words. Is that going anywhere?

I'm not making a sexist point. The real sexism is that the groundswell of support for Sarah Palin has, to a large extent, centered on her looks, in spite of her rhetorical competency. Making judgments based on beauty -- isn't that what got the Beast in trouble? Did we not learn anything from Beauty and the Beast?