Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Palin conundrum 

Is Sarah Palin a blithering idiot, or an evil genius? As with George W. Bush, the chattering classes cannot make up their mind.

Of course, the most plausible explanation is that Palin is a very talented politician and a quick learner who did not actually know very much in September 2008.


By Blogger JPMcT, at Sat Feb 06, 11:14:00 PM:

She's an honest, down-to-earth patriot...the kind of person who attended the constitutional convention that founded our country. She would make an extraordinary president.

Having said that...let's get practical.

She has been the target of a rather massive media smear campaign that has left those of us who are non-analytical in a position to think she is a "blithering idiot". It's llikely that the residua of this media campaign will leave her a seriously flawed presidential candidate.

I think...and I think she agrees...that she is more useful as a spokesperson for the conservative movement until the media disgraces itself fully (they are about 70% there), at which point she will be a viable candidate for national political office.

She certainly demonstrated more experiece, grace and competency than Barry Obama during the campaign.

Too bad most Americans are spoon fed their civics by state approved media.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 07, 12:01:00 AM:

It doesn't matter!! The anti-American, ultra-leftist, captive media types are TERRIFIED of her!!! You can see the freight in their eyes!
The commie-criminal democrats are sh--ing themselves in terror.
It doesn't matter whether she leads the tea party movement or will run for president in 2012! All she has to do is show up. She can raise money and energy. And, the Kenyan, every day, proves that she is better qualified to sit in the chair than he is.  

By Blogger Ray, at Sun Feb 07, 12:02:00 AM:

Any time somebody gets accused of malevolent genius and utter stupidity by the same group of people, you know you're seeing hatred overcoming rationality in action.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 07, 12:33:00 AM:

She is like most Americans. Well-educated, but of average intelligence. Which means she's not going to be a brilliant leader.

Most Americans are pretty well educated and perceptive. But that small difference that puts someone in the upper echelon does make a difference. People both over-empahsize and under-emphasize it.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 07, 12:39:00 AM:

oh, and JPMcT is prescribing himself euphoria-inducing drugs. He has no idea how complex being President is.

And she grates. She is annoying.

This is like the people who defended Dan Quayle, even after "potatoe...."  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 07, 02:02:00 AM:

I just know I am not the only Republican that expects so much more of our party than to have this woman as a spokesman. I can not stand behind her just because she opposes the President. We can do sooo much better.  

By Blogger Please don't drop my Chicken., at Sun Feb 07, 03:06:00 AM:

As far as I can tell, the view of most of the right down here in Australia is that she is a boob.

I understand why many in the US - especially those individuals posting here - feel that the mainstream media is too left wing, however IMHO that wasn't Sarah Palin's downfall. In all honesty, watching her on television (especially the Katie Couric interview) I felt that the media went quite softly on her. I'd definitely align myself with a 'libertarian hawk' philosophy, however I can't help but wonder if I'm happier with Obama - despite his numerous faults - than having Palin one aged heart beat away from the Presidency. She honestly does scare me a bit.

For what it's worth, I think she is unelectable as President.

Not because she is too right wing, or the media will attack her, or because she's a woman, and not even because she's from Alaska - it's simply because she is not intelligent and is incapable of presenting her arguments succinctly or sometimes legibly.

Just my two cents...  

By Blogger randian, at Sun Feb 07, 04:15:00 AM:

Any time somebody gets accused of malevolent genius and utter stupidity by the same group of people, you know you're seeing hatred overcoming rationality in action.

Didn't Dick Cheney experience this phenomenon?

Ask yourself this: if Palin really were as stupid as the media says she is, would there be any point in relentlessly attacking her? The left is always telling us how much smarter they are than the right, just let Palin talk and she'll prove it. That they don't do that and relentlessly attack her tells me they don't really think she's stupid, and that she's a real political threat besides.

Palin's Couric interview was a failure because she was pushing McCain's talking points not her own. She was trying to be something she's not. That's always a recipe for disaster. Not that it matters, the media has pushed the meme that's she's stupid to the point that it has become truth whether she is or not.  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Sun Feb 07, 07:01:00 AM:

I was not a Palin hater (or fan for that matter - I felt she hurt the McCain ticket and he lost my vote right there) but given the extent of the rant on both sides, I felt I should check her out, so read her book.

As pointed out in a few ways above, she comes across as average in many ways: intelligence and background, to mention but two. Hard-working, determined, and very political. Disappointingly petty - she spends far too much time in the book lambasting Katie Couric. I would think a person of presidential material would just write this off and move on.

On the bright side, the book had far more amusing material than Obama's book, however unintentional. The line, "one year when I was tracking sheep, I disappeared" is a classic. Full disclaimer: I do have a beer mug that says Dave Barry for President.

In any event, I feel she stands out because the rest of the crowd does not. Americans deserve better. Or I hope we do, at least for presidential candidates who should rise above the crowd.  

By Anonymous Mad as Hell, at Sun Feb 07, 07:38:00 AM:

If you go back to the source article for the lede it's the New York Times:

"Ms. Palin represents a new breed of unelected public figures operating in an environment in which politics, news media and celebrity are fused as never before. Her growing cast of advisers and support system could be working in the service of any number of goals: a presidential run, a de facto role as the leader of the Tea Party movement, a lucrative career as a roving media entity — or all of the above. Whether she ever runs for anything else, Ms. Palin has already achieved a status that has become an end in itself: access to an electronic bully pulpit, a staff to guide her, an enormous income and none of the bother or accountability of having to govern or campaign for office...."

The NYT makes this seem new fangled, and even sinister. But you could have said much the same thing about Martin Luther King, and in some respects even William Jennings Bryan. Funny, how the Establishment always wants to denigrate populism.

Palin may never run for anything, but she's in a position to influence -- and even have a veto over -- whoever's the next Republican presidential nominee.  

By Anonymous Patrick, at Sun Feb 07, 09:18:00 AM:

I hope she runs and wins in 2012. Partly because she will drive certain self important people ("I forgot he was black for an hour") in the media crazy. And also because she seems to have solid political instincts and conservative values. She does have the intelligence to be president, I'm quite certain. Someone else (Steve Sailer) pointed out that she spent the earlier part of her life raising a family, not, as Obama and Clinton did, devoting her entire life to running for office. She is just now getting around to schooling herself in all of the various areas you need to know about as a political leader.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Feb 07, 10:56:00 AM:

"oh, and JPMcT is prescribing himself euphoria-inducing drugs. He has no idea how complex being President is."

Heh...although I grew up in the 60's, I managed to get over it!

If the sine-qua-non for being The President is extraordinary intelligence, then people with the background of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton should have been extraordinary leaders.

If one looks at truly extraordinary leaders, it seems that the common quality they enjoyed was a population yearning to be LED...and a clear focus on a goal shared by that population. In essence, being "the right person at the right time".

Under those circumstances, being President is not really complex at all...and certainly required more in the way of purpose and self-discipline than genius.

There will never be a great leader in a politically polarized environment.

Thus the effort to dominate media, education and labor by one political party. It produces an equanimity of thought by the majority of the electorate.

Once one does that...it doesn't matter who the leader is...as long as he's photogenic.

The BETTER way to achieve equanimity is to allow the power of one's argument to dominate the electorate.

I only hope that we, as a nation, haven't moved beyone OUR collective intellectual capacity to understand this.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 07, 11:05:00 AM:

She's positioning to be a king-maker, not a candidate. She has found her niche and I believe she'll stay in that role, at least beyond the 2012 election cycle. She drives the lefties nuts, and is enjoying that immensely. It's a good gig.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 07, 11:24:00 AM:

Quick learner? Indeed!

Coach: Let's take it once more from the beginning, Sarah.
Palin: "Energy, Tax Americans, Lift spirits..."
Coach: Sigh. Try it again....
Palin: "Um. Energy, Tax spirits, lift Americans?"
Coach: Ok folks, let's take five. Anybody have a magic marker?

God love her. Too, too farking funny.  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Sun Feb 07, 12:22:00 PM:

Palin is obviously not a stupid idiot. You don't go from being 'no one' to governor of any state with zero ability. I admire her enormously for that accomplishment.

Having said that, her stock has dropped appreciably with me over the last few weeks. First the defense of Steele and "Buck up or stay in the truck." comment. Then the decision to campaign in the primary for McCain, and finally the admonishment of Limbaugh were all ill-advised in my opinion.

If Palin wants to run for the presidency she should stay focused on promoting conservative values and attacking the Left. Getting involved in party squabbles will only hurt her. If she can't figure that out and continues shooting off her mouth like a loose cannon, she won't be a viable candidate in 2012.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Sun Feb 07, 12:35:00 PM:

"If she can't figure that out and continues shooting off her mouth like a loose cannon..."

Hmmm...that ability doesn't seem to be a deal-breaker for the Oval Office!!!  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Sun Feb 07, 12:48:00 PM:

Anonymous, at Sun Feb 07, 12:39:00 AM:
And she grates. She is annoying.
This is like the people who defended Dan Quayle, even after "potatoe...."

This is like the people who defended Obama even after "57 states," "I don't know what the term is in Austrian," and "cinco de cuatro." "The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system." Need we say more?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 07, 01:24:00 PM:

My current thinking is that she's not that bright (though I realize that's due in large part to her performance in media interviews). Then I think back to 1980, when I thought the same thing about Reagan, to the point of putting the Anderson lever down before thinking "if Carter wins I'll kill myself" and voting for the old guy. I ended up a huge fan of Reagan, and I wouldn't be surprised if my views on Palin evolved similarly.


By Anonymous John, at Sun Feb 07, 01:35:00 PM:

I agree on Palin the King-maker. I doubt she'll run again, since I think she will be wealthy enough that she doesn't need to load up a campaign fund that she doesn't spend (I think they get to keep it), but who knows, maybe serve in the Senate, or help a President in and take a job for the experience and exposure.

I think the more she talks, the more she's going to be a boil on the ass of Obama and his team of clowns, criminals and scum. Give them enough chance and Rahm might call her retarded, or a the c-word, or who knows. She speaks for the average American who is sick and damned tired of these elites who want us to shoulder the yoke and just keep paying. She speaks for those of us who see a great country being weakened, and she'll keep the light on the fact that Obama was and is an empty promise. God help us if there's a 'man caused disaster' on his watch.  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Sun Feb 07, 02:06:00 PM:

Re JPMcT: Let me try to be clearer. If she wants to run for president, I don't see the point in her involving herself in party spats. I see no upside to this. By doing so she is going to alienate elements of the base. The very people she will need to get her through the primaries.

Attacking a talk radio host is not smart either. They are in a position to give her favorable publicity which can't be bought. A shrewd politician would never simply throw away their chess pieces.

If she is just in it for the money, she can say what she wants, but I think if she goes that route and vows never to run for office again, people are quickly going to lose interest in what she has to say.  

By Anonymous Patrick, at Sun Feb 07, 02:31:00 PM:

And Boludo, just this week - Corps Man. But he's really really smart....  

By Blogger Roy Lofquist, at Sun Feb 07, 02:32:00 PM:

Hey guys, get off your navel gazing and look at the real world. I've been watching this game since I watched Harry Truman on live TV (7 inch sreen, black and white).

Palin is the best politician I have ever seen. She is a tsunami. Unlike Joan of Arc she survived burning at the stake.

She commands the political dialog of the country writing from an igloo at the North Pole. Face it. For better or for worse she is the dominant force in our politics.

I, for one, believe that it is for the better.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Feb 07, 02:32:00 PM:

I don't think a president has to be brilliant. Carter was suppose to be pretty smart and he is considered to be the worst president we've ever had. I'll take a former, successful governor with average intelligence and good instincts any day over a law professor who has done absolutely nothing. (He's suppose to be brilliant but he has all his school information sealed for some reason). Palin got off on the wrong foot but I think she can come back.  

By Blogger DEC, at Sun Feb 07, 04:07:00 PM:

Roy L: "I watched Harry Truman on live TV (7 inch screen, black and white)."

I remember those sets, Roy. If you stayed at the Astor Hotel (Times Square, Manhattan), you could rent one of them for $1 a day and watch it in your room.  

By Anonymous Gandalf, at Sun Feb 07, 10:33:00 PM:

Roy at 2:32 - RIGHT ON

Sarah represents the definition of the Tea Party movement. She is us. In my 45 year career as a consultant I worked with lots of supposedly brilliant people that had no practical understanding of the activities around them, no common sense and no leadership ability. Sarah Palin is much smarter than the clipped Couric flick showed. She has all the qualities of a great leader. Her success as Alaska's Governor are clear proof. She is just what we will need in 2012 to right the ship. Hope she runs.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Mon Feb 08, 01:12:00 AM:

Roy, you are absolutely right about Palin. While I believe it is legitimate to question her qualifications for national office (of course it would have been even more legitimate to question BO's which wasn't done) there is no doubt she is a compelling and charismatic figure. She was supposed to be done when McCain lost, she was supposed to be done when she resigned as gov, but she still seems to be the object of obsession for both her ardent supporters and fervent detractors.

Gandalf - if you haven't seen it already, you would enjoy this great piece by A. Barton Hinkle of the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Talking Down to the Public

I have advanced degrees and a fancy high-tech job, yet in 1980 I voted for Carter while a lot of "uneducated" blue-collar workers voted in Reagan, thankfully. Now having seen the error of my ways, it is an object lesson to me that there is a difference between intelligence and wisdom.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Feb 08, 03:31:00 PM:

I am amazed at the credence anyone would give to such an unqualified candidate for any office. Sarah Palin became governor of Alaska only because she was attractive and her opponent was reviled. She never served out her term because the $$$ available from delivering red meat speaches was too enticing. She hurt, rather than helped McCain's campaign. She will get eaten alive when a real campaign again forces her to think and speak on her feet to a crowd that isn't already convinced she is the second coming of the savior. She doesn't know a thing about how to govern. ANYONE could be the governor of Alaska, with all of its oil revenues. Governing a country is an entirely different matter.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Feb 08, 03:45:00 PM:

Yes, and governing our country is a lot different than running Acorn, as Obama is starting to find out.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Feb 08, 06:24:00 PM:

I imagine sooner or later one of the Repoublican presidential wannabees will stop hiding in the wings and call her out for her substance free chatter (not to mention the shots of the crib notes she had on her hand Saturday night LMAO).

Chris Wallace's rolled eyebrows at the end of his interview with her yesterday (shortly after she said Obama should invade Iran....) signaled the first chink. At least at Fox news.

For all you Palinettes who think the democrats are "afraid" of her. I say a hardy hardly. We're mystified but certainly not petrified. It doesn't get much better than having her as the Republican nominee but sadly I doubt she'll make it through the debates. Not unless she can tweet her way through them. Or carry a magic marker:)))  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Mon Feb 08, 06:38:00 PM:

Palin is what she is...which is a delightful attribute for a politician.

I'd much rather hear a speaker who refers to notes (on paper or skin, it doesn't matter)than to a DOOFUS who has to read script he didn't even write off a teleprompter.

Have you actually LISTENED to Obama speak OFF teleprompter? The guy is a blithering idiot!!

I suspect his use of the prompter is not of his own accord...but a "requirement" of his handlers.


By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Mon Feb 08, 08:18:00 PM:

I think it says something that the Palin critics who repeat the same predigested conclusions are all "Anonymous."

As with the criticisms of Dan Quayle and George Bush, the evidence that people give for Palin's stupidity is usually far more damaging to the critic. They continually get their facts wrong, don't bother to read the explanations, and give examples unrelated to the discernment of intelligence.

I am not a big Palin fan, but I love to watch liberals shred themselves and illustrate their own foolishness trying to prove that she's the fool. Just keep talking, anonymice - you've only dug in waist deep so far.

wv:novena - a real word, but I don't know what it signifies here.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue Feb 09, 03:35:00 AM:

Wow, that's some heavy-duty ammo the left has against Palin - furtive raised eyebrows and scribbles on her palm. It's another Watergate, I'm tellin' ya.  

By Anonymous Robinsolana, at Tue Feb 09, 01:56:00 PM:

Yeh, Palin is so dumb, that she was the first to put a fatal harpoon in Obamacare.
She is not a product of the liberal bubble or the Beltway. That does not mean dumb in my book.  

By Anonymous hodge, at Tue Feb 09, 04:56:00 PM:

Mrs. Palin is an original mind who has a preternatural grasp of the essentials. That is what makes her successful. It also enrages the petty, the humorless, and the insecure. The Mozart-Salieri problem.  

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