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Thursday, November 13, 2008

For Better or Worse: Sarah Palin is Here to Stay

For the last week plus, one of the post debate questions that pundits on all sides have asked is how does Sarah Palin stay relevant now that she has lost. It seems the horse race for 2012 has already started in some people's minds, and Palin is some folks front runner for the Republican nomination. As such, the pundit class wonders how she can continue to stay relevant given that she's a Governor in a state outside the continental U.S.

I have news for the pundits. Sarah Palin could do just about anything and still stay relevant. Palin could get a cooking show on the Food Network and she would still stay relevant. The governing of Alaska will become front page news from now on if Palin is the Governor of Alaska. Whether she moves to the Senate, stays in the Governor's office, or retires, she will continue to be relevant.

Today, the Republican Governors got together at their annual RGA gala. Normally, this event would only draw the attention of the true political junkie. Today, it was front page news and that was for one reason and one reason only...

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Thursday the Republican Governors Association is committed to returning to the bedrock values of the party after a battering in the Nov. 4 election left Republicans in a weakened state across the nation.

“Let us resolve not to become the negative party, too eager to find fault or unwilling to help in this time of crisis and war,” she told the gathering Thursday. “Losing an election does not have to mean losing our way, and for governors, the way forward leads through our own state capitals in reforms we will carry on or begin anew.”

Palin, whose vice presidential nomination led to her being cast as one of the GOP’s rising stars, told reporters ahead of the group’s plenary session that she’s not thinking about her personal ambitions but putting the country back on the conservative track.

The appearance of one Governor Sarah Palin at this conference suddenly made the whole thing a front page story. In fact, so far, since the election, Sarah Palin has garnered nearly as much attention as the future President, Barack Obama.

Governor Palin will stay relevant for the same reason that she drew so much attention to begin with...she's an endlessly fascinating individual. Never have I seen a VP candidate garner so much attention, scrutiny and debate. Her foes and critics just don't get it. Governor Sarah Palin is an endlessly fascinating person and now that she's entered the national stage she isn't going away.

In fact, both Barack Obama and Sarah Palin are both endlessly fascinating however for exactly the opposite reasons. While Barack Obama is fascinating because of the mystery surrounding him, Palin is endlessly fascinating for everything we know about her.

1) Toughness

She got her nickname Sarah Barracuda because back in high school she took her team to a state championship while playing on a fractured ankle. That was pretty tough however it was only the beginning of her toughness. She's taken on the establishment in Wasilla, the Republican establishment in Alaska, and the oil companies. Each and everytime she stared down these powerful forces and she won.

2) Unconventional

How about a moose hunting, gun shooting, hockey mom, who started out volunteering for the PTA, ran for and won the city council, mayor, the Governor, and finally for the VP. She didn't graduate from an Ivy League school but rather the University of Idaho. She ran a commercial fisherman's business. She's been a beauty queen, sports caster, and whistleblower.

3) Genuine and without a lifelong political ambition

She's not your typical politician. In fact, she became a politician almost by accident. She isn't part of the political class and she frankly doesn't want to be. Whatever political ambitions she has, they are all recent. She's endlessly charismatic and that's because she likes who she is. Furthermore, she doesn't much care who does and doesn't like her.

So, we are back to the question that the pundit class is asking: how does Sarah Palin stay relevant. As long as she doesn't change, staying relevant will be nothing more than a by product.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I saw her on CNN today being interviewed by Larry King.

Incoherent was the word that sprung to mind.

If she can actually learn to make a point she might stand a chance.

I hope thinking Republicans see this women for what she is [a good looking, charismatic women with very limited understanding of the world around her]

God help the world if this women gets anywhere near the Presidency.

mike volpe said...

I have no idea what you are talking about. You have to be more specific. If she was incoherent, there are examples.

S.R. Adams said...

Sort of reminds me of another republican governor who went from a blip to being one of the most widely recognized names in America, that being Mike Huckabee. Both Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee share many of the same charismatic qualities, humility, and "common-sense solutions" philosophy which will make them relevant for years to come.

Meredith said...

I'll add to your list: Fearless and Enduring- she comes off a grueling 9 weeks of campaigning and instead of recharging quietly at home, she hits the interview circuit fast and hard and looks...energized! She is one of those rare people that feeds off of challenges, long odds, and even being underestimated. Fascinating to watch.