Thursday, April 15, 2010

It Was One Year Ago That She Put Her Political Life on the Line For Us

When Sarah Palin spoke at a Right to Life event in Evansville, IN on 04/16/09, it was the first time she really stepped foot out of the state of Alaska since the election and the left's reaction to it must have told her then that life as she knew it would never be the same after returning from her national run for the vice presidency. The Alaska bloggers, the liberal press and some in the state legislature criticized her for leaving the state. The frivolous ethics violations were piling up. Sarah Palin was "heading toward an iceberg" as one nasty blogger put it shortly after that. Sarah Palin was in fact reaching the point where she would be putting her political life on the line.

By June of 2009, Sarah Palin knew that she was going to be resigning her governorship when she gave a speech to introduce Michael Reagan. She was in the process of working it out with her family and her advisers then. On 07/03/09 a nervous but optimistic Sarah stepped up to the mic and announced her resignation as Alaska Governor.

The undertones of "if I die, I die" at the Reagan speech would not be fully understood until her resignation announcement. Faced with the prospect of being bankrupted and politically destroyed, Sarah made the gutsiest move a politician could ever make: she stepped down for the good of the state and what ultimately may become the good of the country. She would not be silenced by frivolous ethics complaints, a hostile local media (think Anchorage Daily News), a state legislature that was more interested in its own political interests than the Alaskan people's and a national mainstream media who beat her like a rented mule knowing all the time that the protocols and restraints of being a governor shackled her to the point where she could not effectively fight back at a time when the people's business of Alaska was sidetracked and America was falling into decline.

It's been a year since Sarah hid that secret in her heart as she spoke to the group in Evansville and then again in Alaska at the Michael Reagan event. It's a maddening thing when you read press accounts of Palin resigning just so she could go out and line her own pockets. Sarah Palin could have easily taken the speaking gigs, did the documentaries and stashed the money in an account so that she, Todd and the kids could go on elaborate vacations and buy nice snow machines, boats and houses. That's not what she's doing.

She is becoming wealthy because she understands the concept that in order to become rich you must envision the amount of money you want to obtain and have a purpose for earning that money. Napolean Hill, the writer of Think and Grow Rich, tells us you just can't say to yourself "I want to be rich." Without a burning desire and a purpose, you cannot attract success and you cannot attract money.

I think I understand Sarah Palin's purpose.

Sarah Palin wants to save our country. And she's doing it for us.

Dispute me on that opinion and I will ask you "why doesn't she just take the $12 million she just earned and go live happily ever after on an island somewhere?" I'm ashamed to say that I've had thoughts enter my mind that if it was me that's probably what I would do. Give the world the ole Italian salute and be gone I'd say.

That's why Sarah Palin is a better person than me. But my world and its potential to afford me the opportunities to earn the kind of money she earns now will only be safeguarded because of her and those who agree with the economic philosophy that she so strongly campaigns for.

Ronald Reagan would be so proud of her.

When Reagan passed away in 2004, he left an empty seat at the table - a seat which I thought would remain empty for decades to come. Sarah Palin has earned the right to sit in that seat.

Sarah Palin beat the Kobayashi Maru. She defeated the unwinnable scenario. Palin said that if the left destroys her and she politically dies so be it. But I know that if that ever happened, Sarah would not sit down and shut up until her final political breath. Cast into the cold darkness of the Alaskan night, a bankrupt woman with maybe enough words to pen a book to keep food on her table and a roof over her head, she could have still looked herself in the mirror and said "I did all I could do." As Art Williams once said "all you can do is all you can do, and all you can do is enough."

Sarah did not play it safe. She threw it all on the line when she resigned. Then she put it in God's hands and went to work. In the absence of money sweat equity is your capital. Palin made the sacrafices necessary that would make anyone worthy of the abundance which they receive. She could have lost it all. But instead, she has become a powerful political figure and a mammoth in the resistance movement. She had to save her family. She had to save her state. She had to save her political party. And now she has to save her country. That's a lot of work.

As for the money she is making now: that's not because she resigned and wrote a book. She earned every dime of that money years ago breaking her fingers and working her ass off on Todd's fishing boat, pounding the pavement in Wasilla to get enough votes to be elected city counselwoman, driving the car thousands of miles over ice and snow covered roads to campaign for governor and taking a pounding in the press when she ran for vice president. The universe is finally rewarding Sarah Palin and it's about time.

When you see her on stage she's a happy warrior who looks like she hasn't a care in the world. She tells us our better days are yet to come with a smile on her face and not the slightest doubt in her voice. She is folksy, asking us how that hopey changey thing is. She is caricatured by the media as an empty headed bimbo. You could never tell from looking at her what kind of a burden this woman has had on her shoulders all these years. And many still can't see what a behemoth she is going to become in the future. To quote Michele Bachmann "the world is her oyster."

Let's give her the world. It's the least we can do for her after all she's doing for us.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Palin's Reagan-like Poll Numbers

Palin is in the same spot politically as Ronald Reagan was in 1978

In 1978, Americans were becoming more and more concerned about an economy that seemed to be falling to pieces under Jimmy Carter. But they were not yet ready to embrace Ronald Reagan to lead them out of the mess. In 2010, the same seems to be true for Obama and Palin. In 1978, conservativism was on the rise as Americans began to turn to their traditional roots for solutions to problems that just seemed unsolvable using the standard old inside the box ideas. Groups formed to oppose liberalism, communism and the Jimmy Carter agenda. Today, Tea Party groups are growing in much the same way. Like conservatives in 1978, today's Tea Party groups are not yet set on naming a leader. As in 1978, the same concerns about Ronald Reagan seem to now apply to Sarah Palin.

While many Republican insiders considered Reagan a formidable opponent for 1980, just as they do Palin today, they were concerned about nominating someone with whom swing voters were very uneasy at a time when the sale would have to be made against high liberal vitriol and a hostile press. Selling a hard conservative against the media tide would be difficult for someone considered a B grade movie actor whose "I can see Russia from my house" moment came when he starred in a movie called "Bedtime for Bonzo." And although Palin didn't act in the skits that bedevil her today, the image remains the same whether the caricature is of a goofy guy hanging out with a monkey or a ditzy lady talking about seeing Russia from her house.

The latest polls on Sarah Palin are actually quite good if you analyze them correctly. Here's the bad news: 38% view her unfavorably. Here's the good news: 24% view her favorably. Here's the best news:  37% are undecided. Win those undecideds over and she can go over 50% favorable.

You'd think I'd find it shocking that after all the work that Palin has done since January that her favorables would not have come up. Yes, I do question that. Conservatives4Palin said the poll "has been criticized as being weighted against Republicans." But the real surprise here is in the number of those who are undecided. Come on. You've got to be kidding me. You're telling me that 37% of the people don't know whether they like Sarah Palin or not? That's like doing a poll on Tiger Woods and finding out that 37% of people are undecided as to whether he was unfaithful in his marriage. There was just too much media coverage for that many people to not be able to come to a decision.

Andrew Malcolm at the Los Angeles Times thinks there a lot of people holding out.

Despite her prominence in politics and the media in recent months with her national best-selling book tour, speeches and frequent Fox News appearances, those who claimed to be undecided or not to have heard enough to have an opinion about Sarah Palin increased from 32% to 37%.

And if you believe their answers, we've got a non-existent bridge to nowhere for sale.
We have to accept one political fact about America that, although I hate to be the one coming across as cynical, has to be recognized. We are an "American Idol society." We make decisions based on popularity. We are also a nation of bandwagon jumpers. Everyone loves a winner. But we don't root on people until we think they can win. There could be 37% of the people just waiting to be told it's cool to like Sarah Palin again.

Whether it be the finals of American Idol or the Republican primary, those who are uncertain now could be waiting until they see who has the momentum before making a decision. Unnerving as it may sound that these are the people who could be choosing our next president, the fact remains that these are the same people who may have been tainted enough by the media smear campaign against Palin to be bitten enough to be shy but not brainwashed enough into accepting the media's caricature of  Palin now that they are realizing the media lied to them.

According to a Gallup poll, 21% of Americans consider themselves liberal, 35% consider themselves moderate and 40% consider themselves conservative. You could reasonably say the 21% liberal are probably part of the 38% who view Palin unfavorably. Of the remaining 17% who disapprove of her, most of them are probably moderates. But, let's say for argument sake that 7% are conservatives and 10% of them are moderates. If Palin's negatives go down to between 33% and 35% because she peels off 3% to 5% of these folks, then she's done good. If she wins over the undecideds, then she's done even better.

Let's do a lowball numbers cruch and come up with a prediction or at worst a possibility. For argument sake, we are assuming the liberal kool aid drinkers will never go to Palin. Let's assume that of the 37% undecideds, it's mainly the conservatives and moderates that can be convinced and that if there any liberals in there, they will swing to unfavorable. We're also going to assume that Sarah Palin wins the GOP primary in 2012 just so that we can consider the possibilities of her winning the general election.

Assuming that undecided liberals and Democrats break against Palin 2-1, moderates and Independent undecideds split and conservative and Republican undecideds break anywhere from 2/3 to 3/4 in favor of Palin, Palin ends up with 43% favorability right before she wins the GOP primary. Of the unfavorables, about 30% of them will be conservative or Republican until all the other candidates are exhausted from the race. Given the choice of voting for Obama or Palin in the general election, they would vote for Palin regardless of what they told a pollster months earlier. This would result in her getting 53% of the vote, enough to win the presidency.

It wasn't the Reagan kool aid drinkers that got him elected in 1980. It was more the independent, moderate and Republican insider skeptics that broke for him at the last minute when confronted with the alternative of having to cast a vote for Jimmy Carter. It took the "there you go again" debate performance to convince the necessary voting block of something true Reaganites had known for years: that he was capable of doing the job.

And like Reagan's win in 1980, it will be the anti-incumbent vote that will decide her fate. As much as many love Sarah Palin, we must face the fact that it will be the "lesser of two evil" voters that could be the swing.

This would fall into line with what the think tank Center for American and Arab Studies is saying:

Palin’s route to the Republican nomination is easy to see given the Republican Convention’s “winner takes all” rule that gives the candidate with the most votes during the primary election all of the delegates from that state. Since Palin currently has the most Republican support (and undoubtedly the most enthusiastic), she is very likely to sweep enough state primaries to come to the national convention with a majority of the pledged delegates.

Winning the presidential election, however, is more problematic. Although she falls behind Obama in test match-up polls and many likely voters still are skeptical about her, her current poll numbers are not that much different than those of Ronald Reagan in 1978. Much will depend on the mood of the country, the economic condition, and how Obama is perceived by the voters. She is currently recasting the debate between D.C. outsiders who stand for limited government and D.C. insiders who want to expand government and increase taxes. Only a substantial course correction by Obama and the Democrats in Congress could nullify the political power of Palin's argument. And such a course correction does not seem to be in the works.

So, is a President Sarah Palin likely? It isn’t what conventional wisdom envisions. However, conventional wisdom didn’t see Presidents Reagan or Obama either.
Although I am not a professional PR person or image consultant, it is safe to say that Palin controls half of her destiny and God controls the other half. She can screw it up by making mistakes; but that is highly unlikely as she is way more polished now. The rest depends on the economy and the level of fear of socialism among the people.

If you asked me right now if she is going to win, I would tell you that chances are decent that she can, but I'll wait until the outcome of 2010 to put money on it. There is that one variable left: how much political capital she can earn between now and then. Knowing what I know of Palin, she will do it and I will be plunking down $500.00 on her in January in a bet with a friend of mine as soon as they put her name on the entry list.

It's a long way from Katie Couric and the resignation. But, it is also a long way from swearing in our first female president. We are at the half way point now. Palin was big in 2008, she's even bigger now and she's on her way to becoming a behemoth by 2012. Everything that I expected to happen in the evolution of Sarah Palin has happened. There is no reason for that not to continue. If history serves us as a guide, you can count on the "next Reagan" to win the same way the last Reagan did.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Reading Between the Lines

Weekly Standard's Matt Continetti is Telling Us Everything We Need to Know

Rather than cross post Want to Fix This in 2012? Read the Directions here, I wanted to delve more deeply into the one subject that I tend to be most forward about here: Sarah Palin. Still, please read my piece as I really believe, not just as a biased fan, but also as an amateur political scientist and historian who uses facts and logic to draw on a point, that the similarities are shockingly obvious and that we are watching history repeat itself - only with a female now playing the lead role.

If I was writing for a national publication like The Weekly Standard or The Daily Caller, they'd soon grow bored of puff pieces about Sarah Palin, no matter how many conservative readers they have. As such, it's easy to understand why folks like SE Cupp, Jeri Thompson, Tammy Bruce, Matt Continetti and Jedediah Bila just don't show up on Hannity or O'Reilly wearing their Palin 2012 t-shirts. These are professional writers and commentators who have the intellectual responsibility of understanding multiple facets and layers of conservativism and analyzing them for us.

But, I also know that we Palinistas speak to each other through innuendo. I used to play a game with myself called "in the (Palin) army or not?" with each pundit I watched on TV. Even when the subject is not Sarah Palin, there are subtleties and nuances that pundits show that give it away. It's like being a drinker who can tell who the other drinkers in the room are even if we're all stone cold sober.

Now the real good ones, like Tammy Bruce, can take a conversation on O'Reilly about basket weaving and watching water boil and inject Sarah Palin into the conversation. She's a pro and she's also more visibly in the tank for Palin than other pundits. But in the game of "in the army or not," I'm turning over the Matt Continetti card and a hundred bucks tells me there's a picture of Sarah Palin on the other side. If you flip over the Charles Krauthammer card, you'll find Romney. Everyone has their favorites. But they're still all conservatives who have to provide a professional product when on TV, even if the wink wink, nod nod is so subtle that only those of us with the best radar can pick it up.

Take this article by Matt Continetti about how weak Obama is. He finishes it off like this:

Obama's powers of persuasion and debate are vastly overrated. All the opposition needs is the right spokesman. If only he (or she!) would show up.
If you play the record backwards, you might just hear him say "save me sweet Sarah."

Just saying.