Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Think He's Talking to You

I mentioned before that there is an inter-office wager between me and one of the LLWL members regarding the fate of Sarah Palin.

Now, this is remarkable in several respects. First off, I'm not a gambling woman. I never bet, so my wager of pizza for the office to the winner is extremely out of character for me. This is also an example of a situation where I'm voting against my self-interest, since I think having Palin on the GOP ticket going forward only helps the Democrats. Yet my competitive nature outweighs my concern for the good of the country (I'm not the one who used the slogan "Country First"), so I really want Sarah to bid us a sassy sayonara, with a last wink as she goes.

So, the question is, is she a one-hit wonder, like some of those old bands who made it to the top hit parade seemingly forever, but then dropped off, never to be seen again? She may just be, according the the NYTimes TV Watch, Sarah Palin Rehashes 2008 and Rehearses, Perhaps, for 2012:

Unleashed and not humbled, Ms. Palin is on a speed date with history, upending protocol as she goes. She put herself on full display, in interviews with NBC and Fox News before Mr. McCain had a chance to take a no-victory lap on “The Tonight Show.” And she has many more appearances scheduled throughout the week, including a star turn at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Miami on Thursday.

Ms. Palin could be turning to television to restore her tarnished image, jumpstart a 2012 presidential bid, or both. But so far, viewers have mostly witnessed some of the very traits — disarming candor and staggering presumption — that drove some McCain campaign aides to leak damaging accusations about her.

The news media has moved on to President-elect Barack Obama and his transition team as they try to get a grip on the perilous state of the economy. Ms. Palin’s interviews dragged the subject back to her campaign woes, and she lingered there, feeding curiosity but making no real effort to steer her questioners to the present.

Her demeanor is as positive and peppy as ever, but the criticism evidently took a toll. Even in her kitchen in Wasilla, Alaska, preparing dinner for the family and visiting reporters (moose chili for Greta Van Susteren, a haddock and salmon casserole for Mr. Lauer), Ms. Palin seemed frozen in the bubble of campaign past, fighting to make her case above the whispers of aides, handlers and media consultants.
Reliving her glory days -- or coming back to the scene of the crime. Either way, it doesn't bode well for Palin. My view is that this is the dessert for the media and the public as a filler for those days between the election and the start of the Obama Administration. Palin is our entertainment to distract us from the otherwise daily depressing news of economic disaster. And, if nothing else, she sure does that well.

As if to confirm this sentiment, there's the comments of Democrat strategist Chris Kofinis on MSNBC (including video) from Crooks and Liars:
Chris Kofinis delivers the whammy on Sarah Palin and how she actually is a gift who keeps on giving to Democrats:

Kofinis: Sarah Palin is like that crazy relative who comes over and doesn't want to leave. She just seemingly does not want to leave the limelight. You know, maybe a better way to put it, one of my friends said, 'You know, she's like Sanjayah from American Idol. When is the fifteen minutes gonna be up?'
Brian Goldsmith of Politico, compares her to a stale cereal box, Palin has reached her sell-by date:
It doesn't matter whether Palin was “a joy to work with,” as McCain aides said publicly, or a “diva” and a “whack job,” as some said privately. It doesn't matter whether she decided to buy the $150,000 in new clothes, or the Republican National Committee bought them for her. What matters is her real and measurable effect on the broader American public. And if Sarah Palin were a cereal, she’d be rushed off the shelf.
Of course, with her new loquacious self, she has hinted that she's interested in a senate seat as a means of getting to DC. See Senator Palin?. She's not definitively committing -- it's all up to God. As reported by Political Ticker, President Palin? Alaska governor ponders her future:

Palin said she is leaning on her faith and looking for any future opportunities.

"I'm like, OK, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I'm like, don't let me miss the open door," she said in an interview that aired Monday on Fox News.

"And if there is an open door in '12 or four years later, and if it is something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I'll plow through that door."

However, she may be in deep trouble if Senator turned convicted felon Ted Stevens loses his re-election bid, as now seems likely. According to, Stevens is now behind by 814 votes -- and counting. It will be impossible for her to hold a national audience over time -- with a fickle public -- unless she's able to garner a national role. And I somehow don't think the Obama Administration is hiring -- Sarah, that is.

I think God is trying to send a message to Sarah, but she's just not paying attention. First the election & now this. As a TPM reader notes,
If one were so inclined, couldn't one take the combination of (a) Palin's statement about the relationship between G-d and her possible Senate career and (b) Stevens' almost immediate (miraculous?) drop into a position where he now trails Begich, as proof that of divine intervention?
And then there is the fact that history may not be on her side either. History Working Against A Palin 2012 White House Run. The track record for former VPs on the losing ticket trying a later Presidential run is not a good one. Think Edwards. Think Lieberman.

Finally, in responding to a reader's comments that Palin is the best thing for the Democratic Party, Josh Marshall of TPM agreed, but added, It's Really Time for That Intervention:
I quite agree from a partisan perspective. The more Palin the better. But I think we also need to think about this from the broader perspective of national dignity. And simple human decency. You're at a party and someone's drinking too much and starting to do embarrassing things. Even if you don't like them, and even if the unlovely part of you thinks it's kind of funny, still someone should step in.
I think I'm gonna win this bet!

(Cartoon via Ed Stein, Rocky Mountain News)

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