Palin. Not Going Away.

ALeqM5j-nii4TysITpt3XScRI7AeiBdEZw This morning, the Today Show had a segment about Sarah Palin and the amount of money that she's raked in since resigning as the Governor of Alaska. (Not online yet.) She's making $100,000 per speech, 1 million as a commentator for Fox News, another million for her Discovery channel series, and tons in royalties for her book. I believe they said that she made $12 million last year. That will buy a lot of red leather jackets.

Pundits don't know what to do with her. Why is she still around? Even conservatives are scratching their heads at the longevity of this woman who couldn't answer Katie Couric's softball questions. (Sarah darling, Katie thanks you for resuscitating her career. Her donation to your PAC is in the mail.)

Andrew Sullivan is so dismayed about Palin's resilience that he's back to staring at old pictures her stomach, just sure that she ate too many Twinkies and was never pregnant with Trig. (Andrew darling, I love you, but please stop it. You're creeping me out.)

This is the point in this blog post, where I make a giant HA! and proudly crow, "I told 'ya so."  Because I really like being right.

In Sept. 4, 2008, I wrote a blog post, "The Secret Sorority of PTA Moms."

Democrat should not underestimate the impact of Sarah Palin on the
Republican ticket. Sure, her speech lacked policy specifics and was
full of inconsistencies, but she was also able to relay to millions of
soccer moms out there that she was one of them.

Michelle Obama tried to play the mom card at the DNC. At the time I
thought she a good job of it, but Palin was better. Michelle is a
little too well dressed, a little too thin. I heard some rumbling in
the blogosphere that she hadn't really raised her kids.

Palin, on the other hand, looks like them. The PTA mom wears a
pressed white t-shirt from Kohl's, a pair of capris, and slip on shoes
from DSW. There's a little extra bump in that hump. She's neat, but
casual. Practical shoulder length hair and maybe a pair of earrings
that she bought at a jewelry home party. An accessory would be a diaper
bag rather than a alligator purse. She would feel self-conscious in the
sleeveless dresses that look so fabulous on Michelle. She goes to
Curves to work out, because the hard bodies at the other gyms are a
little intimidating.

I never liked Palin's politics, but I always knew that she would appeal to a ton of people. This is a new kind of identity politics.

Also, Palin's success has certainly been fueled by social media, Fox News, and sympathetic bloggers.

15 thoughts on “Palin. Not Going Away.

  1. She’s probably not going away, but I doubt she’s going to run for office either. She has a good gig as a political entertainer, like Rush Limbaugh or Al Gore, she’s making good money, and she’ll probably keep at it.
    Is this really a new kind of identity politics? Surely political figures have been offering mildly populist, “I’m-one-of-you,” rhetoric to anxious middle-class audiences for a long time. (Think “fellow immigrants,” “cloth coat,” “pointyheads,” etc.) Maybe Palin is the first woman to do it in a big way.

  2. Maybe Palin is the first woman to do it in a big way.
    In the U.S., at least.
    “Don’t cry for me Argentina.”

  3. “But, yes, I don’t see how she runs for office again after resigning in the middle of a term.”
    Right. But being a king-maker is a more family-friendly job. I figured that she was over-endorsing, but she had a very nice success rate in recent races. The Nikki Haley race in South Carolina must have been especially gratifying, given the bizarre last-minute allegations Haley faced.
    “Even conservatives are scratching their heads at the longevity of this woman who couldn’t answer Katie Couric’s softball questions.”
    I’m not scratching my head at all.
    She’s been an extremely successful failed VP, coming right out of the gate. A lot of people in the same position have just sort of faded away over the past couple decades. Al Gore is the only one I can think of who has had a substantial public presence, and he’s concentrated just on environmental issues. Palin has been extraordinarily successful in shaping the course of political discourse through sheer star power, rather than through power of office.
    I’m somewhat curious how the Gulf spill will shape her image. On the one hand, there’s the “drill, baby, drill” thing. On the other hand, I can’t help but think that with her familiarity with the oil industry and her experience as an Alaskan living through the Exxon Valdez, that she would have done a much better job than Obama, who has come across as believing that once he figures out who to blame for a disaster, his job is done.

  4. Palin has been extraordinarily successful in shaping the course of political discourse through sheer star power, rather than through power of office. or any coherent plans, views, or projects.
    As for the oil situation, her willingness to either lie with a perfectly straight face or say things she knows nothing about (about, for example, the implications of the Jones act) is surely helping her rhetorically. It’s obviously not helping the country, though. (See here for a brief over-view on that:
    http://motherjones.com/transition/inter.php?dest=http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2010/06/keeping-jones-act )

  5. I think she’s turned into a worse version of Limbaugh. Although I disagree with him, I think there can be underlying information in Limbaugh (or at least, there could be 15 years ago, when I would occasionally tune in — I still remember an interesting interview about camera standards). Palin, just seems aggressively ignorant. I think that, rather than a straight out lier, but I think there’s a certain kind of person who finds it easy to convince themselves of their lies, so that they’re never actually lying. There’s probably a personality disorder we could cite to, but I’ll refrain, since I’ve already said that I hate diagnosing people.
    And, yes, Sullivan’s obsession has gotten creepy. At this point, I don’t even care if they’re true or not. If she’s a celebrity/personality. and not one I care about, and she’s lying about pregnancy, it really doesn’t matter to me.

  6. “And, yes, Sullivan’s obsession has gotten creepy.”
    Gotten creepy? It’s been creepy for nearly two years.

  7. “there’s a certain kind of person who finds it easy to convince themselves of their lies, so that they’re never actually lying.”
    I think that kind of person is called a “politician.” But I don’t share Matt’s concern, because after 220 years, whatever harm was going to be done to the country by politicians’ lying has surely happened already.

  8. “Sarah Palin is the future of my political party. More, please.”
    I think you’re going to be a really happy guy. You really need to see this (it’s a Pamela Gorman for Congress ad–not totally official, I suspect):

  9. It also does not hurt that Ms. Palin is beautiful and charismatic. I dislike the woman, but objectively – yes, she’s beautiful, not in an Angelina Jolie way, but in the conventional, beauty-pageant type way (with a dash of sexy mom) that a lot of people go for.
    There were a few comments on an IIRC Crooked Timber thread about how powerful, Southern men (who tend heavily Republican) go for this beauty-pageant esthetic because of the pageant culture there, so much more so than in the rest of the US.
    If Palin were homely or even average-looking, would she still have her career? Maybe she would, but I really think her looks and presence help her a lot and enable her to get away with a lot.

  10. Amy P: “I’m somewhat curious how the Gulf spill will shape her image. On the one hand, there’s the “drill, baby, drill” thing. On the other hand, I can’t help but think that with her familiarity with the oil industry”
    From living in Alaska? From two years as Governor of Alaska?
    “…and her experience as an Alaskan living through the Exxon Valdez,…”
    Frankly, that’s reaching even more than Sarah did when she claimed that she had foreign policy experience as CiC of the ANG, and because Russia was next door. By that standard, I could claim all sorts of experience🙂
    “…that she would have done a much better job than Obama, who has come across as believing that once he figures out who to blame for a disaster, his job is done. ”
    First, there’s precious little evidence that Palin can do any job which is at all difficult; her trademark is not grace under pressure.
    Second, I haven’t seen any evidence of your accusation against Obama in this matter. Perhaps you should think more about who is making what accusations, with what backing. And please note that I’d loved for Obama to have crucified some BP execs on this, and I mean with hammer, wood and nails, on the Gulf coast, facing the oily waves – I’d volunteer to drive the nails).

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