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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Continued Endless Fascination With Sarah Palin

Let's try a hypothetical. Let's say for whatever reason the field for 2012 on the Democratic side didn't include President Obama. Let's say that I wrote a column that said that not only does Chris Dodd not have a chance to win but nominating him would be the worst thing the Democratic party could do. I think the reaction would go something like this. Next you will tell us that it's a good idea for race car drivers to wear seat belts. My point is that generally when a politician really is toxic you need not say it because it's obvious.

A couple days ago, Jeffrey Mayer tried to make this sort of a case against Sarah Palin. Now, like I just said, the way I think about it, if you have to say it, then the whole notion is dicey. Frankly, no one knows what will happen in four years. So, the idea that anyone can predict the future presidency prospects of anyone is a bit ridiculous. Yet, this piece is another in a long line of media scrutiny on everything Sarah Palin. We are now more than six months since the election and so far at least, everyone's fascination with the governor has not waned one bit.

So, my question is why is there so much fascination, both supporters and detractors alike, with the presidency prospects of Sarah Palin. Never has a failed Vice Presidential pick been the subject of so much fascination, speculation, and endless analysis.

Now, I continue to find Governor Palin to be endlessly fascinating but my fascination continues to revolve around the same set of unique qualities (winning a state championship on a bad ankle, going from PTA mom to governor, hunting wild game, etc.) So, unless I want to write the same post over and over, I have said all I can about her fascinating persona.

So, now, I much more fascinated in the media's endless fascination with her. Nearly four years out, she is already the subject of endless scrutiny and speculation about her chances at the presidency. Now think about that for a second. Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Bobby Jindal are all just as legitimate a candidates. Yet, none of their potential candidacies have received one tenth the scrutiny that Palin's has. That's because they aren't nearly the fascinating persona that Governor Palin is.

So, what is the fascination? In my opinion, it's because Governor Palin goes against almost all general types. She is unlike almost all politicos to ever come on the scene. First, she only recently gained any political ambition. Her entire career is mostly the result of accidents and happenstance. She didn't gain her political power through any connections. She comes from a faraway place that most people know little about. Her husband isn't merely a champion athlete but in "snow machine racing". Her political resume and list of accomplishment is the envy of most, and that's something that her opponents would rather not admit. Finally, she is comfortable in her political philosophy and she makes no excuses or equivocations for her belief system.

So, since most can't write about how they are fascinated with her, they make up topics mostly as an excuse to simply write about her. That's why there is an "analysis" that says she not only can't be president FOUR YEARS FROM NOW, but would be the worst idea any Republican could make in 2012 as the piece by Mayer does. Most of this pseudo analysis four years out is really nothing more than an excuse to write endlessly about a persona that most of the media and public find as endlessly fascinating as I do.


Anonymous said...

I like her because her last name sounds like Pelican, lol.

Anonymous said...

She is fascinating to many because most cannot believe someone so stupid could be so famous.

Its rather like a car-wreck, you slow down to take a look.

You have a severe case of Palin derangement syndrome.

mike volpe said...

Boy there's so much in that last comment that is confusing.

First, did you recently administer an IQ or some sort of equivalent test to measure her intelligence? How do you know she is dumb exactly?

Second, I know of lots of actors, singers, and athletes that aren't all that bright but still famous, and yet, the media isn't nearly as fascinated with them as with Palin.

Third, she was a hockey mom ten years ago, and now she is Governor and on the cusp of running for President so if that's a trainwreck I want to be sitting in the front.

Anonymous said...

She is popular with the far-right of America.
That is it.

Hollywood celebrities and athletes are often stupid too. I agree with you there.

Greg said...

Palin is a fascinating person, no doubt about that. When she arrived for the Right to LIfe event in Evansville, there was a big crowd of people waiting in front of the building just trying to get a glimpse of her, take her picture, shake her hand, get an autograph, and these people weren't even going to the event itself. The cops ended up blocking off the street to traffic because of the crowd. Once inside the banquet room it took her 20 minutes to reach the front of the room because she was once again mobbed. Look for the same reaction at every event she attends now that she's free to travel.

Pawlenty, Romney, Huckabee, Sanford, Gingrich, none of these guys could ever draw a crowd of tens of thousands of people would be willing to stand, sometimes in temps in the 30's, for hours waiting to see her, as they did in Williamsport PA, Springfield MO, and other places during the campaign.

Anyone who can inspire that kind of fascination has something really special.

Palin's going to be on the American Chopper show on April 30. Watch, that show will have its highest ratings ever.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous at 7:18 am, yeah you, didn't your read Axelrod's memo of the 15th. He specificially told us to stop making giggly little comments like that, it makes us look stupid.


Anonymous at 9:52, I'm talking to you, you obviously didn't get the Axelrod memo of the 19th. He said that we were supposed to stop using the words "stupid" and "trainwreck," people are starting to catch on that there only the 3 of us making all these thousands of anti-Palin posts all over the internet. Now, get with the program.

mike volpe said...

Sixty some percent of Alaska is far right? Oh, I guess in Alaska, where she is Governor, she is popular with a lot more than merely the far right.
Though, frankly, I didn't say she was overwhelmingly popular but fascinating and that you didn't address.

Anonymous said...

Governor Palin is fascinating because she is different from the cronies we currently have in Washington. People are fed up with the Washington elites. Out with them! We have had enough of the waste, and the conservative movement is just starting.

Anonymous said...

The country needs Gov. Palin to save us from that mental midget B.Hussein Osama. BHO thinks there are 57 states in the union, and he mistook a window for a door. This pathetic mentally-challenged flunky joked about the Special Olympics, but only because he was not smart enough to qualify.

Anonymous said...

Obama is a mental midget alright!

All those Harvard Law School, graduated magna cum laude idiots are.

Personally, I don't trust anyone who doesn't participate in at least two kinds of bloodsport, owns 16 handguns [for personal self-defense of course] and believes global warming and evolution are bunk.

Most importantly, who would you rather have a beer with? That is the really important question.

Anonymous said...

"Governor Palin is fascinating because she is different from the cronies we currently have in Washington"

So are Danny Devito and Angelina Jolie.

It doesnt mean they should run the country. Though they are "fascinating".

mike volpe said...

Maybe, we should just make the cum lade at Harvard the de facto President 20 years after then.

I think comparing the Governor of a state to actors is a bit ridiculous. Besides, this piece is about everyone's fascination with the Governor not her fitness to be president. Though, I would be happy to have that debate as well, especially compared to the average politician.

personal trainers austin said...

I love Palin, but like Newt she is unelectable

crux said...

She is fascinating and popular because she is real, courageous, and unafraid. Our 16th President didn't go to an Ivy League school either, and some would say he was the wisest president this country has ever had. Many of our current senators and representatives went to an "elite" school, and look at the mess we're in now. When you take a look at her record and accomplishments they speak for themselves. Those who oppose her are jealous, threatened, or afraid of her. I include all the snarky reporters.

Belle said...

It is not surprising that she is fascinating. She is a unique politician that we have not seen before. She is a real conservative and constitutionalist who actually lives and governs by the principles she believes. She is very good fiscally. Alaska is in good shape financially even with a shortfall this year due to falling oil prices because of the vision of Goernor Palin to set aside reserves when the oil prices were high. Her charisma is not matched by anyone including Mr. Obama. You can tell that she is more than a fascination to the Democrats because they are throwing everything they have at her, but to no avail. She simply emerges stronger and with more followers. I, for one, and many others hope she chooses to run in 2012

Gary said...

Mike, great blog entry!

Governor Palin is fascinating, because she is real. It's just that simple. She, and her family, could be us. She is very down to earth.

That has a lot of appeal.

But past that, she she is the real deal. She walks the walk, as well as she talks the talk!

She has done an incredible job in Alaska. She is a fiscal conservative, and actually has money in the bank. Something only a handful of states can say.

She also understands that America must be energy independent. She is a strong advocate of using American energy.

And her efforts to get natural gas, in great volume, to the lower 48 is visionary. Natural gas is our miracle fuel. It is extremely clean, and makes a great motor fuel. The Big 3 have been building CNG powered cars for decades.

Past that, the woman has common sense. Something else that is completely AWOL in government everywhere!

Palin is bright, energetic, and highly competent. Everyone who has ever worked with her will attest that she is a real star.

America would be blessed to have her in the White House.

Anonymous said...

A bit late to the party, but what else is new?

Governor Palin is 'just' Sarah. She is the neighbor next door who will loan you a cup of sugar, come over for a chat and a glass of lemonade, will grab a loaf of bread for you if you are out and she is going to the store, anyway.

In other words, she is the American every-woman. Add to all of that her looks, her wonderful personality and her great family and you have it all in one neat package.