Sarah Palin 2012?

Even notwithstanding my general feelings that the race for the White House in 2012 should at least wait until Barack Obama is sworn in to the office in January, I'm just not sure I get the Sarah Palin boomlet. I don't particularly like the Alaska Governor -- her policies, her stridency, what she stands for -- though my feelings aren't quite as hard as those of Andrew Sullivan. But leaving those feelings aside and just looking at the politics, I just don't see it happening for her in four years.

Palin clearly has a strong base within the GOP. Despite the fact that exit polling showed her to be a drag on John McCain last Tuesday, with three in five voters viewing her as unqualified to assume the Presidency, fully 76 percent of Republicans indicate they would like to see Palin as a major national political figure in the years to come.

Nevertheless, I can't see Palin going much of anywhere without making some serious changes in the next couple of years -- regardless of the strong support she still appears to receive from the Republican Party. If -- and this is a big if to talk about at this early juncture -- the Obama administration isn't the big success we all hope it is, will the country really turn to someone with a dearth of expertise, a dearth of policy understanding, a dearth of inquisitiveness? Wouldn't the stronger candidate be one who, unlike Palin (and, more importantly, unlike Obama), would come in with almost an excess of experience? Wouldn't the reaction to a fresh face be something akin to an old hand rather than someone with as thin a record and even thinner a grasp of the issues as Palin?

Perhaps I'm taking too rational an approach to what in the end is a more subjective or even gut level decision made by many voters. But I just don't buy the idea that Palin could mount a meaningful challenge to Obama in four years unless she does the hard work to seriously change her approach and her image.

Tags: Sarah Palin, White House 2012 (all tags)



Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

Conservatives have faired fairly well when they nominate someone who appears to the young like Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger hollywood. Palin fits the diva image of those hollywood actresses. Perhaps it didn't go over so well with the old man image of J. McCain but standing alone it may very well go over.

by olawakandi 2008-11-13 08:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

"Alaska Senator"?

by Jay R 2008-11-13 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

Almost 80% of Republicans want Palin at the top of the Ticket in 2012 and I can tell you 100% of the Dems want her at the top of the Ticket as well

we can start printing our 2012 victory posters now  

by wellinformed 2008-11-13 08:11AM | 0 recs
I'm feeling her more for 2016

She's young enough.

Clinton v. Palin, 2016?

A possibility.

Especially if she challenges Begich in 2014 and wins or knocks off Lisa Murkowski in the primary in 2010 (a more interesting possibility).

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-11-13 08:13AM | 0 recs
I think challenging Lisa

I'm gonna answer my own point b/c I think it's the best answer here.

Considering that Lisa Murkowski is pro-choice, Palin can better define her appeal to conservative Alaska voters in that she is stridently pro-life, and that Lisa is ultimately defined by her original appointment to her seat by her father, a member of the old, tainted Alaskan Republican political guard.

I think challenging Begich will always be harder because he will always be known as the clean-cut, come-from-behind underdog who eventually bested the meanest, baddest Alaskan of them all, Ted Stevens. Plus, if she ran for the U.S. Senate in 2014, she would have no time to settle into Washington, learn the issues and then start fund raisers for a presidential campaign.

So, if she's serious about politics and her future, look for her to challenge Lisa Murkowski in 2010. And I bet it'll come like a thief in the night. One day she'll have no comment, and the next she'll be running. And Senator Murkowski won't know what hit her.

And that would free up the governor's seat in 2010 for a Democrat, and in 2016 when Palin runs for Prez, that seat would be open, too!

Everyone wins.

And Palin loses.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-11-13 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm feeling her more for 2016

Hey, Chelsea Clinton for President in 2016--she will be 38 years old and will kick that Moose Hunting Hick all the way back to Nome.....

by hddun2008 2008-11-13 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

Perhaps I'm taking too rational an approach to what in the end is a more subjective or even gut level decision made by many voters.

One can not speak of the base of the Republican party in rational terms.

by jsfox 2008-11-13 08:19AM | 0 recs
There's some pornogrpahic aspect to her.

Or, in more polite words, there's some fantastical appeal to her not rooted in ration.

Let's be honest, though. She is a wingnut's wet dream. An attractive <del>MILF</del>GILF who likes to hunt and breed and read the John Birch Society Newsletters and who is dumb as dirt.

I think this is why there is such a disconnect between base enthusiasm and voter response.

Like some fetish, she appeals to some on a basal level, and not the majority of others.

The GOP have a very uphill battle with her. Everybody knows her. They have to get all these people who aren't turned on by her to find something appealing in her, and as we just saw, there really is absolutely nothing there.

by iohs2008 2008-11-13 08:25AM | 0 recs
Re: There's some pornogrpahic aspect to her.

I like your comments. Kinda like some hottie who looks great in the bar at 1 am. But when you wake up a 11am the next morning gotta get your pants on and get out the door...

by hddun2008 2008-11-13 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

As a progressive Democrat who does not agree with Palin on 99.9% of the issues - I LIKE HER!!!

I find her a breathe of fresh air.

She is down-to-earth, and so completely different than what you find in Washington that I completely see her appeal.

While I would find it nearly impossible to vote for her (I say nearly because I will leave a small door open if BO fails me) based on where she stands on the issues. I completely 'GET' why so many Republicans and Rep women are enamored with her.

Ater listening to months and months of campaign jargon - triangulation and skirting the issues - listening to Sarah Palin is like talking to your neighbor. She's fresh, open, approachable, and down-to-earth.

I doubt that we have anything to worry about - UNLESS - Obama turns into another Jimmy Carter. But based on how he has executed his campaign, and now transisiton - I simply do not see that happening.

2016? Well that's a different story.

I still want my Hillary - but my fear is her age (in 2016) and a potential dem backlash (by then) just watching how the pendulum swings.....

by nikkid 2008-11-13 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

Not only do i agree with what you have to say i think liberals are saying many of the same things about Palin that i heard about Reagan in 1976.  Democrats referred Reagan as stupid, uninformed, and were begging to run against him in 1980.  As i recall what of the dems favorate lines was to refer to him as Ronny Raygun.

And he kicked our butts for 8 years.  So my point is we as democrats need to be a little more thoughtful and careful in the way we approach her.  Because just like Reagan she will use the verbal attacks against her as coming from elistist left wingers and like it or not that still plays very well with middle america.

Now do i think she could win in 2012?  Not unless there is some kind of complete BO meltdown but Palin is young and presidents can only server two terms.  So my final point is i think we need to be really careful.


by giusd 2008-11-13 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

Well, Reagan had some serious help getting into office... had he not been able to manipulate the Iranians with the hostages, he would have been an afterthought.

Carter had so much going against him... Anderson's Naderlike third party bid, the economy going in the toilet, the hostage crisis, and the fact that Carter wasn't very likable... he could be very testy and came off that way during the 1980 campaign...

And with all of that, he still was neck and neck going into the last week...  Reagan won 'cos of a post debate bounce... had the debate been two weeks earlier, Carter may have been able to pull it out!

Reagan needed serious help to get into office.  Once there, it certainly helped him that the democratic party went into self-defeat mode by picking some of the worst candidates ever in the 80's....

I agree with you, she's dangerous... but, she's no Ronald Reagan.  Reagan was eloquent and disciplined on the campaign trail.  He was never arrogant, and he had enough life experience to know when to shut up and when to talk... She doesn't... she's a complete moron who won't listen to anyone's advice, and thinks her good looks will take her anywhere....  They just might, but when you are running for president, it helps having someone by your side who knows what they are doing.  She thinks she knows it all, and she doesn't know dookie!

by LordMike 2008-11-13 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

The problem with Reagan was that people regarded him as an extremist, and Democrats thought "surely that makes him unelectable".

With Palin it's that she's dumb, and doesn't play well outside the hinterlands.

by Jess81 2008-11-13 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

That's her danger... she's like Bush, only dumber... she's the "person you'd like to have  beer with" which, for some insane reason, has become the litmus test of who you want running the country.

It's like picking a surgeon based on whether you'd want to have lunch with the guy, not his qualifications...  Who cares if you like the guy... do you want someone incompetent, but likable cutting you open?

Fortunately for us, Obama has been both likable and competent... still, we can't expect America to always pick in their own best interest... America is easily distracted by stupid campaign gimmicks that the GOP excels (i.e. Joe the Plumber)... They managed to fail this time, but, we can't assume that they won't work again in the future...

I wouldn't worry about Hillary... She's already done a good job of rehabilitating her image, and will continue to do so... she also is very smart politically... I'm sure she will dump her DLC ties if Obama continues to be successful, and model her campaign like his and bring in Obama people to run it.  If she wants to run in 2016, she will do well, and I will throw her my support as well (was never an HRC fan, just so you know)

I doubt that Palin waits until 2016.... most of her appeal to the republican base is her good looks, which will be fading fast...  Her window of opportunity is small...  she has to strike soon!

by LordMike 2008-11-13 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

That's one of the problems I have understanding her appeal.  I just don't see the "good looks" part.  She looks like a typical suburban hausfrau to me.  Now if she looked like Michelle Obama or Cindy McCain (or Mary Landrieu or Condi Rice) I could understand it.  But I just accept that I'll probably never understand her appeal because I just don't see the "good looks" that everyone raves about.

It was similar with Reagan.  Everyone called him the "great communicator".  But when I heard him speak, all I heard were a bunch of warmed over platitudes with no substance.  Thus, since I didn't "get" his greatest strength, I was never able to understand his appeal.  In comparison, I think Bill Clinton and Obama are much greater communicators because their words actually have a lot of substance presented in a way that people can understand, which IMHO is what communication is all about.

by LanceS 2008-11-13 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

I don't know, she strikes me as just mean.  Most of the Democrats I know who like her didn't like Obama - even if they voted for him - and so she didn't grate as much.

Do you think that might be true of you?  Can you separate the two?

On another note, it was fascinating to watch the focus group dialers on CNN during the VP debate - everytime she talked, the men loved it and the women hated it.  

by Jess81 2008-11-13 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

If Sarah Palin was my neighbor, I'd call my realtor ASAP!  She is mean, nasty, obnoxious, and treats her family like cattle...  She's dangerous to have as a neighbor, 'cos who knows what she might do in a pique of anger...  She's the kind of person who'd shoot your dog if the dog climbed under the fence into her yard, and then smile about it....  She has no ethics or morals, and believes that her role in life is for everyone to pay attention to her... and if that means causing trouble to get negative attention, so be it!

The only conversation I'd want to have with her as my neighbor  is to tell her to stay the hell away from my family!

by LordMike 2008-11-13 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

I think the GOP has to start getting out of their habit of picking stupid but somewhat genial people to be their presidential candidate.

by Dr Wu 2008-11-13 08:37AM | 0 recs
It's part of the id driven

fascist movement in America.

by Paul Goodman 2008-11-13 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

She's shallow, nasty, vindictive, a pathological liar, proud of her ignorance, and passes herself off as just a regular gal when in fact she has nothing in common with the typical working stiff. A perfect Republican politician.

History is full of stupid populist thugs who connected with majorities to reek havoc on their countries so I would never dismiss her appeal and political skills. In all likelihood if Obama leads a successful administration as I expect him to despite the unprecedented challenges we face Palin will remain a cartoon side show. But populist demagogues are always potentially dangerous.

by hankg 2008-11-13 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

I think what will happen with Palin is she will get re-elected as Governor in 2010, then run for Begich's senate seat in 2014..then run for president in 2016 or 2020.  That's the most probable scenario.  She'll have much more experience and be a far more credible presidential candidate by 2016 or 2020.

by karajan72 2008-11-13 09:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

News reports in 2010: Remember Sarah Palin? She was just re-elected governor in Alaksa.

News reports in 2012: Remeber Sarah Palin? She seems a distant memory.

News reports in 2016: Who's Sarah Palin?

She was the flavor of the month for conservatives because they had no other choice. After awhile, her flaws will be evident even to them, and they'll rally around someone else. Sarah is destined to be a footnote in history, at least as far as the national stage goes.

by fsm 2008-11-13 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

I'm with Sullivan, she's a nasty piece of work and a national embarrassment.  He makes a good point about her 'alternate reality' and effortless lying being typical of someone who has lived a lifetime with the cognitive dissonance of accepting the bible as the literal word of God.  She is clever in a cunning, dishonest sort of way and her ambition is boundless and unabashedly selfish, but I can't imagine her posing a serious electoral threat no matter how much civics and geography she has crammmed into her.  

If she does we're probably doomed anyhow, she is easily the narrowest and least tolerant national political personality we've seen since segregation and she has no more nuanced a world-view or sense of history than reality television.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-11-13 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

You guys all need something to worry about don't you?

We just won and you are already talking about how we could lose and how much trouble we might be in?

Chill out.

by JDF 2008-11-13 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

It doesn't matter who the Repugs nominate in 2012. Obama will be an INSTITUTION by then.

The REAL question is who will run for the Democrats in 2016? Had we the brains God gave the little geese we'd now have President Clinton till 2016 and then President Obama until 2024. We'd have controlled America, AND the SUPREME COURT for a GENERATION - instead we now have a REAL PROBLEM in 2016.

by 1Mylegacy 2008-11-13 11:49AM | 0 recs
Andrew Sullivan is now an approved source?

The enemy of my enemy is my friend?

Is that how this works?  Count me out.  Just because he says nasty things about Palin, doesn't mean we should be legitimizing him or his views.  He was a fool in 2000 and he is still a fool now.

As a reminder, here's some things that Mr. Sullivan wrote on this day (11/13) in previous years:

(11/13/2001):  NOW, KABUL: Would anyone have guessed that the Taliban would have essentially abandoned Kabul by now? Or that Washington would be trying to rein in military success? So much for the New York Times' prediction of "quagmire."


Let's take Kabul now. Then on to Kandahar and, at some point, Baghdad. Yes, Baghdad. We have a job to finish.

(11/13/2002):  FORGET THE DEMOGRAPHICS: [...]  The general loathing of Bush, Gore's disavowal of Clintonian centrism, Edwards' reliance on Bob Shrum, Pelosi's ascension to House leadership - all these play into Republicans' hands. (How, I wonder, can the Democrats elect a House leader who voted against war against Iraq? Are they serious?) The liberal intelligentsia - epitomized by the New York Times editorial page - shows no sign of rethinking and is actually urging more strenuous leftism, not accommodation or new directions. If the war goes well, and if the economy revives, it's therefore hard to see anything but Democratic collapse under this new leadership.

(11/13/2003):  FIFTH COLUMN WATCH: How can one express adequate horror at Ted Rall's latest rationalization for murdering U.S. and allied troops. Check out this column, written as a memo to Baathists and terrorists now killing Americans - and published on Veterans' Day:

   It is no easy thing to shoot or blow up young men and women because they wear American uniforms. Indeed, the soldiers are themselves oppressed members of America's vast underclass. Many don't want to be here; joining America's mercenary army is the only way they can afford to attend university. Others, because they are poor and uneducated, do not understand that they are being used as pawns in Dick Cheney (news - web sites)'s cynical oil war. Unfortunately, we can't help these innocent U.S. soldiers. They are victims, like ourselves, of the bandits in Washington. Nor can we disabuse them of the propaganda that an occupier isn't always an oppressor. We regret their deaths, but we must continue to kill them until the last one has gone home to America... In this vein we must also take action against our own Iraqi citizens who choose to collaborate with the enemy. Bush wants to put an "Iraqi face" on the occupation. If we allow the Americans to corrupt our friends and neighbors by turning them into puppet policemen and sellouts, our independence will be lost forever. If someone you know is considering taking a job with the Americans, tell him that he is engaging in treason and encourage him to seek honest work instead. If he refuses, you must kill him as a warning to other weak-minded individuals... To victory!

After 9/11, I was roundly criticized for daring to suggest that there were some people in America who wanted the terrorists to win. But if you read Ted Rall and others, there can be no mistake. There is a virulent strain of anti-Americanism in this country. Some, like Rall, are now urging the murder of American troops in defense of Islamist terrorists and the acolytes of one of the most brutal dictators in history. Ann Coulter couldn't invent something this depraved. That's where parts of the left have now come to reside. It's as sad as it is sickening.

That's enough.  I can't wade through that swamp any more.

At least, Josh Orton's post "Village Comeuppance" tried to make the same point (though the post seemed to be roundly ignored at the time).

But on the other hand, I have no love for Andrew Sullivan or Joe Klein or anyone else ostracized by the McCain campaign. For years, Klein and Sullivan were some of the most prominent espousers of fact-free Village-think. And Sullivan still is largely wrong on the economy, if his recent 'personal responsibility' rant on Bill Maher is any indication.

So McCain's campaign looks ridiculous blaming the media for its downfall, and kicking members off the campaign plane is spiteful and immature. But can we find better representatives for journalistic freedom than Klein, Sullivan, and Dowd?

by Sully Fick 2008-11-13 12:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Sarah Palin 2012?

I think that many conservatives like her because she is a staunchly pro-life woman who acts on her principles  (both with having Trig and essentially forcing Levi to marry Bristol).  

The real question for me is whether the Republicans will learn the wrong lesson from this election.  Democrats learned the right lesson in 2004: nominate the candidate you want, not the one you think has the best chance in the general.  In 2008, that meant taking a risk in voting for Obama in the primaries, even when it seemed like Hillary would be more of a sure thing in the general (well, to many people, anyway).

If the Republicans learn that same lesson right now, it will doom them, and here is why.  If they decide that McCain was the one they thought could win but did not really want, they will nominate Palin or someone like her in 2012 (think Jindal or Gingrich).  They will decide to vote for their ideal candidate, electability be damned.  Normally, I think that makes a lot of sense for two reasons: 1) It creates a passionate movement that makes GOTV and fundraising much more effective, and 2) it maintains the party's core principles.  Number 2 is much more important for the long term, as sometimes losing with the right candidate can mean more in terms of party stability than winning with the wrong one.  

But if the Republicans nominate someone who is staunchly arch-conservative it will help with long-term party principle coherence, but it will not help them win 2012.  That's because the country has shifted to the left.  Maybe not enormously, but considerably.  A Palin or a Gingrich cannot win in the current political environment.  However, I think they would do well to nominate an arch-conservative as a way to, at the very least, maintain their core principles.  If they keep nominating McCain-esque candidates, they won't be the party of anything.  Then we can officially call them the New Know-Nothings.

by ProgressiveDL 2008-11-13 07:38PM | 0 recs

The first line of Paragraph 3 should read: If the Republicans learn that same lesson right now, it will doom them FOR A GENERATION, and here is why:

[Again, I still think they need to do this for the long-term future of their party, but they need to realize they will have to sacrifice the near-term in order to remain a coherent party]

by ProgressiveDL 2008-11-13 07:41PM | 0 recs
We all voted for who we wanted

Nearly half of us wanted Hillary. We didn't vote for her because we thought she had a better chance in the General. We did think that she had a better chance, it's true. But that was because we thought she was the better candidate and preferred her more progressive positions and that's why we voted for her.

More Democrats thought that Obama was the better candidate and he won.

And more Americans (myself included) thought that Obama would be the better President and he won.

2008 was not the same as 2004. Hillary Clinton was not the John Kerry of 2008. She was the Hillary Clinton of 2008. And Barack Obama was himself as well. 2008 was very unique and I don't think we can make the easy parellels with previous election years.

by carrieboberry 2008-11-14 12:52AM | 0 recs
Re: We all voted for who we wanted

I don't mean to belittle the support for Hillary.  I would imagine all (or almost all) of her supporters wanted her because she was their ideal candidate.  And many people thought Kerry was their ideal candidate.  What I meant to refer to was the phenomenon of many Dean supporters quickly moving to support Kerry over electability very very early in the 2004 primaries.  That did not happen with Obama supporters here.  It could have, after Hillary won NH.  

This was supposed to refer only to Kerry and Obama supporters; no disrespect at all meant to Hillary or her supporters, who supported her for the exact right reasons.

by ProgressiveDL 2008-11-14 02:55AM | 0 recs
Re: We all voted for who we wanted
OK -- got it. Makes sense.
I was a very very reluctant Kerry supporter in 2004. I supported Dean early and didn't come around to Kerry until the convention. Still I did support him completely at that time.
by carrieboberry 2008-11-17 12:20AM | 0 recs


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