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Jan. 19 2010 - 9:06 am | 1,560 views | 1 recommendation | 6 comments

Does it matter Americans have rejected Sarah Palin?

Sarah Palin

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A new CBS News poll finds that a large majority of Americans say they do not want former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to run for president.

Specifically, 71 percent say they do not want the former Republican vice presidential nominee to run for president, while 21 percent say they do want her to run.

When the results are split out by party, 56 percent of Republicans say they do not want her to seek the office and 30 percent do. Meanwhile, 88 percent of Democrats do not want her to run. Among independents, 65 percent do not want her to run and 25 percent do.

- via Poll: Most Don’t Want Sarah Palin to Run for President (h/t Atrios)

I wonder if something like this even matters anymore. Sure, a majority of Republicans and Democrats agree (and when was the last time there was bipartisan support like this for anything?) that Sarah Palin should notfor the love of God — run for President.

But do they really mean it? And can the little people be trusted to make these big decisions?

Greenwald does a good job today explaining how our betters pick and choose which popular opinion polls they pay attention to. For example, David Brooks demands that Democrats abandon health care reform if the Republicans win the Massachusetts Senate seat today. But Brooks felt comfortable ignoring the overwhelming majority that eventually opposed the Iraq War, and wanted timetables for withdrawal. Not only did he ignore it — he actively undermined it.

The elite’s dismissal of popular opinion was best expressed by former Vice-President Dick Cheney. When asked how his glowing assessment of the Iraq War harmonized with recent polls that show about two-thirds of Americans say the fight in Iraq is not worth it, Cheney replied, “So?”

American politics isn’t a democratic process anymore. It’s controlled by wealthy elites in the media and Washington — the plutocracy — who pick which individuals ascend to the throne, and which policies are worthy of Serious Discussion. Your silly, little opinions don’t matter. Just shut up, and show up every few years to vote for Establishment Candidate A or Establishment Candidate B, and then go home.

Sarah Palin is a pretty good example of this profoundly undemocratic process. Here we have a joke of a politician: a one-term governor, who can barely string together a coherent sentence, thrust onto the national stage because of the decisions made by a coterie of rich, white dudes from The Weekly Standard (Kristol, Barnes, and Gerson,) who met with Palin during an Alaskan stop on a thinktank cruise.

By the time the Weekly Standard pundits returned to the cruise ship, Paulette Simpson said, “they were very enamored of her.” In July, 2007, Barnes wrote the first major national article spotlighting Palin, titled “The Most Popular Governor,” for The Weekly Standard. Simpson said, “That first article was the result of having lunch.” Bitney agreed: “I don’t think she realized the significance until after it was all over. It got the ball rolling.”


Indeed, as early as June 29th, two months before McCain chose her, Kristol predicted on “Fox News Sunday” that “McCain’s going to put Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, on the ticket.” He described her as “fantastic,” saying that she could go one-on-one against Obama in basketball, and possibly siphon off Hillary Clinton’s supporters. He pointed out that she was a “mother of five” and a reformer. “Go for the gold here with Sarah Palin,” he said. The moderator, Chris Wallace, finally had to ask Kristol, “Can we please get off Sarah Palin?”


On July 22nd, again on Fox, Kristol referred to Palin as “my heartthrob.” He declared, “I don’t know if I can make it through the next three months without her on the ticket.”


Finally, McCain’s top aides, including Steve Schmidt and Rick Davis, converged on Palin. Ed Rogers, the chairman of B.G.R., a well-connected, largely Republican lobbying firm, said, “Her criteria kept popping out. She was a governor—that’s good. The shorter the Washington résumé the better. A female is better still. And then there was her story.” He admitted, “There was concern that she was a novice.” In addition to Schmidt and Davis, Charles R. Black, Jr., the lobbyist and political operative who is McCain’s chief campaign adviser, reportedly favored Palin. Keene said, “I’m told that Charlie Black told McCain, ‘If you pick anyone else, you’re going to lose. But if you pick Palin you may win.’ ” (Black did not return calls for comment.)

Meanwhile, McCain’s longtime friend said, “Kristol was out there shaking the pom-poms.”

And there we have it. Palin entered the political world as a Serious Contender because the right rich men got erections in her presence deemed it appropriate. There’s nothing democratic about that. The American people never said she was the best woman for the job. Palin simply found the people with the right access (wealthy, white men,) and coasted her way into a position where she was almost one heart attack away from the presidency of the most powerful country on the planet.

Without that access, and its money, an actual populist candidate — one who wouldn’t, say, support illegal wars, or the expansion of the privatized insurance industry, or the bailing out of corporate America with taxpayer dollars — will never receive the same national attention as a would-be puppet dictator like Palin.

And now this joke, who abandoned her governorship riddled in shame, is going to be a Fox News contributor, which Kristol thinks is OMFG fantastic!

“It’s great,” said Kristol, a regular fixture on the network. “She’ll be a terrific addition to the Fox News Sunday panel!”

TOTALLY — Wait, she’s a moron. She’ll add nothing. And Americans don’t like her (even her December “popularity growth” showed a whopping 46-46 split rating — hardly overwhelming support).

At the very least, Americans certainly don’t want her to run for president. But that doesn’t matter. They’re going to be forced to choke on Palin’s stupidity even if they have already overwhelming rejected her. She is permitted to haunt the land like this because News Corp has been wowed, and once Rupert Murdoch’s The Weekly Standard loved her, it was only a matter of time before Rupert Murdoch’s Fox loved her, too.

It’s easy to dismiss Kristol because he’s constantly wrong about everything, but it is telling that his hand-picked banana got so close to the presidency, and is now still floating around the mainstream like she didn’t just fall on her face a thousand times in one of those more badly executed political campaigns in modern history.

71 percent say they do not want the former Republican vice presidential nominee to run for president.

I would advise polling companies ask Americans if they want her to blather on a national network, except I assume that’s one of the polls our betters will ignore.


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  1. collapse expand

    Maybe, just maybe after the initial fascination wears off, her Fox ratings will plunge because the FOX format really isn’t suited to her. She’ll say a lot of stupid things that will go viral outside of FOX and turn even more people off. Then, she’ll follow her standard pattern: blame FOX executives for the ratings drop and whine and cry about how mistreated she is. FOX execs will fight back and dump her. Media frenzy will ensue.

    I don’t think her 15 minutes are up yet, but hopefully by the time the 2012 elections roll around, she’ll be an irrelevant sideshow due to the increasing gravity of the real issues and the fact that she has nothing to offer in resolving them. The poll numbers you mention about her seem to show people have pretty much caught on.

    Funny video: http://bit.ly/5aivYE

    Re: the plutocrats not caring what you think (and why), in case you haven’t seen the leaked Citicorp memos:



  2. collapse expand

    A lot of Republicans are uneasy about Palin, but I think if you took that 29% of Americans who want a President Palin, and polled their intensity of feeling for her, you’d find that it was rather strong.

    That is to say that Fox News made a smart bet in business terms – the people who love her really will tune in. Indeed, I think the reason that FNC’s ratings are so strong is that they’ve aggregated a large audience that doesn’t feel served by the New York Times, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, or True/Slant. The rest of the country’s media consumption is a lot more heterogeneous (broadcast news vs. cable news vs. radio news vs. g-d-forbid actually reading a newspaper) than the tens of millions of monoculturists who are tuning into FNC everyday.

    • collapse expand

      Newspapers are quaint, but inconvenient and outdated tree-scrapings for people with lots of free time. They are not really practical for over-scheduled everyday people with kids, long hours, and exhausting commutes (where did those new stimulus roads go to anyway)?…

      Electronic news is convenient and constantly available whether it is on the desktop, a home PC, or a blackberry. Us cavemen will still habitually try to read the odd newspaper occasionally though. If a newspaper drops out of the sky or sits on the table, I’ll probably read it. But, I know ahead of time that I will probably be reading a propaganda piece anyway. I can do that online too, so what is the point?

      I would not doubt that the geniuses we have running the country do indeed read the New York Times. Perhaps every day, since they obviously are so completely out of touch. Unfortunately, newspapers such as the NYT just say what their primary ideological adherents want to hear (as does FOX, although FOX usually does it a little more subtly).

      Newspapers are dead today, not just due to inconvenience, but due to making themselves irrelevant due to bias. There is a glaringly obvious lack of objectivity. This makes them relatively useless compared to papers of 30 or 40 years ago.

      Today, newspapers are as consistently of touch and unbelievable as the politicians they quote.
      Don’t get me wrong – both parties stink, but presently the Democrats just happen to stink worse than the republicans)… But, both parties justly deserve oblivion in my opinion.

      So, of what use are the newspapers when they are a wing of (usually) the Democratic party?
      This peculiar idea that these other sources of news mentioned (Times, MSNBC, NPR, CNN) are even remotely objective, is laughable and can only be held by someone who is in utter and complete denial.

      FOX is the right-biased source you listen to when you get really tired of hearing all the left-biased BS from these numerous other liberally-biased sources. How are all those other outlets parroting the Democratic party line in telling us that down is up, day is night, and wrong is right, useful to us, or objective in any ? (And P.S., the earth’s climate has been getting hotter the last 10 years)…

      This constant ridicule, impugnment, and dismissal of anyone with a different opinion by these supposedly independent, supposedly credible and respected media speaks louder than any denials of ideological favoritism.

      Their depiction of the right, or even libertarians as being a bunch of stupid unsophisticated narrow-minded hillbilly’s is getting really, really old. It is a tired over-worked sham that the left has used effectively for years to silence and humiliate anyone questioning what the majority perceives as being extremist views when they get the whole story.

      But, now the jig is finally up. These kinds of attack-dog comments lavished on people like Palin have lost their potency. At this stage,
      the ridicule says more about these devious little practitioners of character assassination, than it does about the accused or the belittled person they suggest that they themselves are far superior to. Give me a break!

      Palin is a prime example of this. Although these dishonest and devious smear tactics used against her have been an effective tool in the past, all tools wear out in time. The tiresome and predictable attempts to tear apart and eliminate those who think America and her people are not really so bad after all, has become glaringly obvious to the American public over time.

      So, go ahead and keep on calling everyone on the right “stupid.” While you are at it, continue to call everyone a “racist” as well, if they are white and they disagree with you on anything at all. Does not matter what the disagreement is really about, because the leftists can always torture logic to make anything about racism too.

      But, you go ahead and fire away to your misguided little heart’s content. It no longer works, the illusion is gone. Grow up and ditch the vacuous arrogant hyperbole, if you expect to be taken seriously by the 2/3 that don’t see things as you do. Don’t you actually want to try to convince other people that your views are worthy of consideration, not just representative of the views of the crackpots on MSNBC?

      CNN is the only other channel that is not blatantly slanted to the liberal view, NPR’s tolerable most of the time too. But, I still have to listen to Keith Olbermann once in a while, just to see if he has figured out any new ways to outdo himself in sounding absurd. Chris Matthews keeps one-upping him this last year or so though… It’s a tough contest.

      With representatives like these as friends and spokespersons for the left, you certainly don’t need any more enemies. All of you on the hard left have my sympathy in that regard (or at least as much as a heartless kind of conservative libertarian can muster).

      Although I do admire Palin and her genuine integrity, I too am skeptical if she is ready for the #1 spot. But, for that matter, obviously neither is/was Obama or Biden (if you want to bring up making really stupid statements and gaffes; it’s really hard to surpass Biden, or Reid, or Pelosi)…

      Nancy’s responses: laughter re: CSPAN camera’s being promised in campaign and preceded by “Are you serious?” question when an inquiry was made of her as to where Constitution permits forced purchase of private products. Very scary funny and revealing stuff…

      Anyway, although the jury is still out as to whether Palin even plans another run, I still consider her a national treasure and she solidly connects with 1/3 of the nation that you mysteriously think you are better than.

      I think it is a safe bet that in a poll asking Americans whether they currently want to see Obama run in 2012 (the question is not the same as “favorability” rating), you would have no better results than Palin shows on that exact question as mentioned in the article.

      I find it hilarious that she continually and consistently draws so much fire and print space though, and attribute it to the left’s virulent hysterical irrational fear of her (actually – fear of the traditional American values she represents).

      Anti-abortion, self-reliant, religious, honest, plain-speaking… Ooooh! scary stuff! Yes, how could we ever survive without the blatant hypocrisy, moral relativism, and hatred of self and country as required by the left’s vision of America?

      Those of us favoring FOX usually find MSNBC to be a cartoonishly absurd, angry, intolerant, and inaccurate virulently socialist propagandists. Network news, ABC-NBC-CBS are noticeably slanted to the left too. Myself, I find CNN, NPR to be generally tolerable. The rest of them are hopelessly in the tank.

      If there is a redeeming feature (beyond bizarre humor)for MSNBC; it is that it is so over-the-top that there is no question that it is a political slobber-fest and not actually even pretending to be news. But, it is pretty scary to think there are people out there that actually buy that hogwash.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  3. collapse expand

    It wasn’t long ago Coaxley was beating Brown in the polls for Kennedy’s seat….until the voters discovered

  4. collapse expand

    Many of my liberal friends REALLY want her to run for President, assuming this will guarantee a GOP loss. (I myself am one except that I also happen to know people who thought the same thing about G.W. Bush and were sorely disappointed.)

    Every time I hear talk about her running, it reminds me of Joe Rogan: Live (‘06). A bunch of smart republican guys in a back room decided to test out how dumb a candidate Americans would be willing elect president. The punchline is an incredulous GOP after 2000 and 2004 saying: “I think we can go dumber.”

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    I co-host Citizen Radio, the alternative political radio show. I am a contributing reporter to Huffington Post, Alternet.org, and The Nation.

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