Sarah Palin: Maestro or Minor?


Sarah Palin
It was often said by pundits that Hillary Clinton was ‘polarizing’; either you liked her, or you hated her. The same can be said of Sarah Palin. She broke onto the political scene as John McCain’s vice-presidential candidate, inspiring what was then called the Palin firestorm. Even the usually calm and composed ‘No Drama Obama’ team appeared initially fazed. But as her record got dug out and things started to surface, she seemed to falter and fall. Katie Couric interviews, her role as an attack dog, problems she faced in Alaska, it all seemed to put her at a disadvantage. Expectedly, she and McCain lost the general election.

But whilst the pundits predicted a quite withdrawal back to Alaska in preparation for the 2012 general election, she choose to resign and move out of Alaska in the mist of a spending scandal. As unexpected as the move was, its effect has been even more surprising with Palin getting the job as a Fox political pundit and lots of cash in the for of keynote speakers. Her importance has been underscored by her involvement in may 2010 campaigns, including John McCain who has been struggling.

Repeatedly she’s been written off the books, in the 2008 elections, her return to Alaska and her subsequent departure. She still draws crowds in the thousands at rallies she attends. And yet even the polls seem to show Palin facing difficulties in actually winning a presidential campaign. Her inexperience has long been a thorn and leaving Alaska doesn’t seem to have helped. So is Palin a political maestro or just another minor political player? In fact, she’s neither.

It seems, at least right now, that Palin will have to shelve aspirations to conquer the White House, capitol and maybe even a Governor’s house. Even if her lackluster performance as a vice-presidential candidate is ignored, numerous polls indicate that she lacks the support of independent voters so crucial on election day.Her national name-recognition may be a good starting block, but her Couric interviews and mounds of bad press from clothing expenses to resigning as Governor mean that starting fresh might seem marginally more appealing for Palin. Sadly, she’ll have no such chance.

Many of the problems raised during the campaign such as her inexperience, perceived stupidity and scandalous past both in Alaska and with lavish spending still surround Palin and doesn’t look to be abating. Resigning as Governor is unlikely to give her any real on-the-job experience. Moving out of the Governor’s house means she can no longer see Russia from her house. Now traveling the country in private jets and planes, her only views are through her LV glasses.

She attempted to escape rather than face allegations in Alaska. She still has as knack for bite-size quotes or rather gaffes.The Couric interviews still trigger memories when news anchors start to disprove her death-panel scares. None of her problems seem to have subsided, in fact she’s heightened them all.

Sarah Palin
But there’s a reason why even the ‘Maverick’ John McCain who’s supposedly willing to cross party lines has asked her to rally for him in Arizona. McCain faces a tough-battle with many questioning the legitimacy of his Republican affiliation. McCain needed to win over the conservative party base and so brought in not Joe the Plumber but Sarah the Quitter. This attempt to bolster his conservative credentials highlights where Palin is strongest and why it would be unwise just to dismiss her. While unpopular with the left and independent middle, Palin has a staunch base of supports on the far right.

Not only is McCain hoping Palin’s lovely right will support him, the ‘Tea Party’ has also been trying to woo Palin fans. Multiple polls show Palin as a highly anticipated and interesting figure for a significant minority of people. She still draws massive crowds and it would be an unwise decision to totally dismiss her as a political force.

Although Palin looks unlikely to be able to gain the kind of traction necessary for a presidential bid or indeed a state-wide office, she’s still a force to be reckoned with especially in Republican heavy states.

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