A comparison of Obama and Palin

Yesterday I linked Tom Junod’s adulatory eulogy in Esquire to the Barack Obama that no longer is. Also writing yesterday, Richard Fernandez at The Belmont Club compares Junod’s Obama—a messiah rock star who can only sing his own song—to Sarah Palin, who through her championing of tea party candidates shows that, unlike Obama, she derives genuine satisfaction from advancing politicians other than herself. Fernandez quotes Palin and comments:

“Anyone with the courage to throw his or her hat in the ring and stand up and be counted always has my respect.” But that would mean rivals. It would mean peers. It might even mean, God forbid, that someone else might be greater than yourself. So you will never hear Barack Obama say anything like this, at least not in earnest. On the contrary, he demonstrated, in the last campaign, a serene willingness to sacrifice every other leader on the altar of the vision—not the modest ambitions, the secret dreams of the common herd, but the unutterable vision vouchsafed to him “through the red soil of Africa.” Sarah Palin may never be president; nor fit to be. But that is irrelevant. The real difference between the two competing visions is what question they answer to. For most Democrats the 2012 elections will be about re-electing Barack Obama. For most members of the Tea Party it will be about taking back America.

And while Palin might be never be the rockstar Obama is, her vision may be greater.

While Fernandez’s argument is interesting, I must add that there are conservative critics of Palin who make the opposite point about her—that all she cares about is herself. Becoming an extremely wealthy star of media and politics was a much more “fun” prospect for her than finishing her increasingly troubled term as Alaska governor, and so she chose self over duty. Indeed, it could be said that the reason she left the governship was that she had once been an Obama-like star in Alaska herself, had lost that high status as a result of the 2008 presidential campaign, and dealt with her painful fall from favor by quitting her job and seeking fairer pastures elsewhere. Maybe the reason she spends so much time promoting other candidates is that, as the resigned half-term governor of a tiny state, she has so little credibility as a candidate in her own right.

- end of initial entry -

LA to James N., who sent the Fernandez article:

Thanks, I’ve posted something on it.

But you may not like my spin.

James N. replies:

No, I think your take is fairly accurate. I started drafting a “why Palin will never be President” email to you after the failures in Nevada, Colorado, and Delaware, but after seeing her on several comment shows I thought better of it.

She’s obviously been taking acting lessons (or whatever you call polishing a politician), and she also obviously regards “the voice” as an asset (your mileage may vary).

What strikes me is that her whole shtick is Obama in reverse. She is the Obama anti-particle, if you will. Maybe America will be so cured of “President as American Idol” by 2012 that a serious statesman will have a chance.

But will that happen? Betcha not.

In that case …

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 05, 2010 08:40 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):