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« High-Speed Hysteria | Main | Mitt Romney Goes After Obama On Jobs »
June 13, 2011

John Ziegler: Palin Can't Win And It Would Be Harmful To Even Try

A guy wrote, "You don't want to post this but you have to."

I'll just post three quotes, one for one side, two for the other.

For those who don't support Palin:

Let’s face it, Palin made a great decision for her and her family, but one that disqualifies her from running for president, at least in 2012. Obama has the ultimate trump card against her: when things got tough you quit to become a rich celebrity while I was killing Osama bin Laden. Game, set, match.

The worst part about the resignation from a political narrative perspective is that it also stripped away Palin’s greatest strength. She is clearly a fighter but it is impossible to make “She will fight for you” the cornerstone of a campaign when she just quit her only big job, seemingly for personal gain.

What Palin and her many supporters apparently refuse to accept is that Palin is the Bo Jackson of modern Republican politics. She was a natural, but that talent has been taken away by circumstances beyond her control.

She once was a moderate conservative with the ability to appeal to Democrats and the charisma to energize Republicans. Not since Reagan has there been as gifted a politician as her and, because she is an attractive woman with a powerful personal story, you could easily argue she exceeded even the Gipper in overall political potential. I also believe her to be smarter than Reagan.

But like Jackson, she was cut down by “injury” in the prime of her career. The media-induced knee-capping during the 2008 election and its aftermath was grossly unfair, but it was also comprehensive and complete. Like Jackson after his freak hip injury, she still looked the same and could still plausibly play the game, but the magic was gone. It isn’t her fault and it is a travesty of justice, but to not recognize and accept that would be highly detrimental to the team. Jackson soon realized this; Palin apparently has not yet done so (or, potentially even worse, has, and just doesn’t care as much about the team as her brand).

And for those who do:

I defy anyone who buys into the conventional narrative that Sarah is stupid to listen to [Ziegler's Media Malpractice interview with Palin] and not change their mind. She was engaging, smart, honest, revealing, vulnerable, funny, and charismatic. When I showed her election footage that she’d never seen before and asked for her comments, she not once asked to pause the tape, and nailed every answer.

And, for purposes of Ziegler's motive (I know this is always in play)...

I’ve fought so hard for Sarah, I’m almost unemployable.

My position continues to be what it long has been. I do not think that the crucial 20% in the middle votes based on positions, and definitely doesn't vote based on strongly ideological positions.

A lot of people have strongly ideological positions. Millions. None of them -- or all but one of them -- will be president in 2012.

To win, you need not just to announce the right positions but announce you're the right person for the job. And to me, experience as governor is the ultimate evidence of that. As governor, you do a lot of things, in the course of your day-to-day job, that aren't really ideological, but simply managerial, making sure a large, sprawling enterprise functions properly (and, when ideological concerns arise, making sure it functions properly towards the right goals).

Without that kind of gig, someone with strong ideological opinions -- even if I agree with 95% of those positions -- is sort of just a talking head on TV. Like Sean Hannity. Good guy, sure I'd like him if I ever met him.

President Hannity? No.

On The Order of Things And Testable Hypotheses: I think the basic argument comes down to something rather simple: The order in which political moves ought to happen, and could happen, and an unsatisfied demand for proof that a cherished hypothesis is true.

Palin skeptics like me have long maintained the order of things should be thus:

Step 1. Palin demonstrates an ability to change opinions about her, and gain general credibility as a commander in chief.

Step 2. If an only if Step 1 is successfully fulfilled, we proceed to nominate her for our candidate for President of the United States of America.

Palin's strongest fans have a different conception of the order of things:

Step 1. We nominate Palin as our candidate for President of the Untied States of America.

Step 2. Now that we've given Palin our own "credibility," we see if she can leverage that into changing perceptions about her and gaining her own credibility to administer the highest office in the world.

Do Palin's fans understand the order of things I've suggested is a relatively low-risk play, while their preferred order is extraordinarily high-risk, as we would, if we followed their advice, go into the general election without knowing if it's actually possible for Palin to persuade any of the 64% who have already declared they will not support her under any circumstances?

Here's my grief and here's my beef: There is no reason that my suggested Step one could not, or should not, be the actual first step.

I think Palin's strongest supporters recoil from my suggestion that the natural and obvious Step One actually be Step One because they know that my Step One is the hardest step.

That their step one -- get the nomination -- is comparatively easy. And they want to do the easy thing first.

Well I don't. I don't want to go up against Obama with a candidate I am not confident about. I don't want to "take a chance" and "bet with my heart" or any of that other emotionalist hogwash.

I want the candidate I support to do this work of seeming credible, serious, and electable before I actually nominate him or her.

This is a variation of a simple proposition: Hypotheses should be tested and proven. It is the hypotheses of Palin's strongest supporters that of course she will be able to do this difficult work of changing longstanding perception.

To which I continue to ask: Then why isn't she doing that now? If this is easy, where is the evidence that the Plan is in motion and is bearing fruit?

The answer is always a variation of: She'll do that later. Later. Apparently mostly after we've already bet the nation on her purported capacity to accomplish a historically unprecedented feat.

You don't have to wait for the nomination to increase your gravitas, seriousness, and electability.

Tim Pawlenty is increasing his profile, and his conservative credibility, by announcing a series of controversial, but plausible, policy moves.

What is this bullshit I keep hearing about "Later"? About tomorrow? Always tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

What is this, global warming? There is no reason the hypothesis, if true, cannot be proved right damn now.

digg this
posted by Ace at 12:22 PM

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