A major surprise: it appears Palin is not running for President

(Note: In a later entry, a reader takes the other side of this issue.)

Sarah Palin has signed a multi-year contract as a commentator on Fox News Channel. That’s not what a person does who wants to elevate her stature and make herself a plausible candidate for the presidency. Which would especially seem to be the case when we remember that the main feature of Fox News Channel is its plethora of female “political commentators” with big hair, plunging necklines, and short skirts.

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Palin is planning to follow the unedifying example of Patrick Buchanan, who, over several election cycles, kept going back and forth between running for President of the United States and participating in the low brow fisticuffs of CNN’s Crossfire.
Larry G.writes:

I believe you are wrong about this.

If I have my history correct, Richard Nixon, having lost his bid for the Presidency to JFK, and having lost his run for governor of California to Pat Brown, turned to a young man named Rodger Ailes to help him rehabilitate his public image. Richard Nixon went on to win the Presidency in 1968. Much later, Roger Ailes became the head of Fox News. He visited Governor Palin in Alaska shortly after her resignation last summer.

Ronald Reagan, having lost the 1976 GOP nomination to Gerald Ford, broadcast weekly radio addresses giving his views on a variety of subjects, building on the speeches he gave around the country as a representative of General Electric. This kept him in the public’s mind and helped him hone his positions. Governor Palin has been writing op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and issuing commentaries on Facebook, where she has more than a million followers and even more readers.

Governor Palin has entered into a win-win arrangement with Rodger Ailes, where he will help her rehabilitate her public image and give her a forum to express her views and answer her critics, while she will boost Fox News’ ratings. This arrangement has the feature that whenever CNN or MSNBC take shots at Palin, viewers may turn to Fox News to see her rebuttal, probably on Bill O’Reilly’s show, which has a larger audience than its competition on CNN and MSNBC combined. Once having sampled Fox News, the viewers may decide to stay.

BTW, a multi-year contract does not preclude having an escape clause should she decide to run for office. Mike Huckabee has a weekly show on Fox News and a multi-year contract, yet he is considered a potential candidate for 2012.

This is admittedly a risky strategy for Palin, as it could result in her not being seen as serious. It will depend on the roles she assumes and the way she presents herself. (Note that she will appear on Fox News and Fox Business News, and write for foxnews.com.) Right now she is just being introduced to the audience through interviews—15 minutes on O’Reilly last night, and a full hour with Glenn Beck today at 5pm, with maybe others to come. Once that is done, she will assume an analyst/commentator role, and we will see how well it works out. But true to the title of her book, she is once again “Going Rogue”.

If you don’t have access to Fox News, you can find this week’s interviews posted at http://www.conservatives4palin.com/ .

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 12, 2010 02:17 PM | Send

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