A note and a question to Palin supporters
I’m much too anti-Sarah, and it makes some of you feel bitter
toward me. But I have to tell you this. If Palin were the GOP nominee in 2012, and if she were firmly committed to repealing Obamacare, I would probably vote for her. This is because repealing Obamacare is at this historical moment the transcendent issue in American politics. My other concerns about Palin would have to take second place to that.
I hope she is not the nominee, for a host of reasons, one of which is that she would very likely lose. And that consideration leads me to turn the question back to you Palin supporters. If you agree with me that the survival of America as a free country depends on the repeal of Obamacare, doesn’t that require you to oppose Palin for the nomination, since, though she could win the nomination, she would almost certainly lose the election? Which is more important to you—having your beloved Sarah as the Republican nominee, a nominee who would almost certainly go down to defeat, or repealing Obamacare and saving America?
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James N. writes:
“Which is more important to you—having your beloved Sarah as the Republican nominee, a nominee who would almost certainly go down to defeat, or repealing Obamacare and saving America?”
I completely agree that electability is the sine qua non for anyone seeking the 2012 Republican nomination. I also agree that it is the biggest question about Palin.
I don’t agree that the answer to the question is known, and I don’t think it will be known for a while yet. If she does not contest New Hampshire, where she is unpopular, I don’t think she should be the nominee. She must demonstrate the ability to shrink her negatives by campaigning.
However, I also think it’s true that, as witnessed on VFR in the recent dialogue, that she definitely has the power to cloud men’s minds, which is a very powerful weapon in a politician. In six months or so, we’ll have a better idea about what her game is, and how she wants to play it.
Just remember that, while Romney, and Pawlenty, and Huckabee are down in the weeds (that reads better than cowering in fear, don’t you think?), she is vocally and visibly opposing every single aspect of Obamunism, using unconventional tactics (Facebook) and reaching millions.
There ARE conventional, and conventionally-qualified, candidates who may want into the game (Pence, Daniels, DeMint, Thune, etc). If Obama continues to make a mess of things, the menu will be rich in talent. The alternates, however, have yet to show their magic.
“Almost certainly go down in defeat?” Too soon to tell.
David H. writes:
Your point about her election prospects are valid and I have thought about that. I am not a blind faith follower of any person. I agree about Bush, I came to loathe him and all of his ilk. Sarah has strongly opposed the health care plan. Remember her famous metaphor for rationing “death panels” witch will be sure to come from this evil plan. Also she will have to take a strong stand against amnesty. She has strongly supported the Arizona law and stood side by side with the governor of Arizona in support of her. I know she took McCains side in 08. In fact that is one of my main doubts about her. I have all ways despised that man. I knew about Sarah before McLame selected her. In her post ‘08 statements and speeches she seems against amnesty. I think time will tell on that point. My problem was not with valid points that you make. It was your tone more than substance.
N. McCoy writes:
First, I’m not bitter towards you, Mr. Auster! But I think the argument that, if Sarah Palin is the Republican nominee, she would go down to defeat is a false one. Among the Republican candidates who may seek the Presidency for 2012, I’m hard pressed to find a candidate more committed to the repeal of Obamacare, of saving America, than her. I think your argument is overly simplistic.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 10, 2010 10:49 PM | Send
I agree with James that electability will be among the highest and prominent issues surrounding the Republican caucuses and primary fight, which will start here in Iowa with the Republican Presidential straw poll next summer. The last time the Republicans were the out party, the 1999 straw poll was a huge event, and cemented the fact that George W. Bush was the front runner. (As an aside, the candidates who came in second and third were “Steve” Forbes, Jr. and Elizabeth Dole. Steve Forbes is happily in charge of the Wall Street Journal, and Mrs. Dole served out only one term as Senator of North Carolina.) The straw poll is a pretty big deal in measuring the pre-caucus organizational strength of a candidate. And it worked, because, whatever his flaws as president, Bush demonstrated he could field an organization and win a crucial vote when needed.
There are other ways to define “electability.” The Daily Caller has an article referencing the fact that Palin is the most polarizing candidate the Republicans could field for 2012. Newt Gingrich’s unfavorables among the left will rise should he declare his intentions toward the presidency. Most people (the mainstream media) when referring to electability refer to this phenomenon, of wanting Republicans to nominate a candidate that committed leftists could feel they could control. Republicans shouldn’t kid themselves, the media will thrash whoever the Republicans nominate, because they stand to lose much in the defeat of Obama.
Using the left’s definitions to field and sort candidates on the right is insane, and speaks to the problems we read here on VFR.
Despite a barrage of criticism from the D.C. establishment, the media, and Hollywood, Sarah Palin’s stature has risen among the grassroots of the Republican party as she has withstood the negative press and caricatures. James is correct, in that “she is vocally and visibly opposing every single aspect of Obamunism, using unconventional tactics (Facebook) and reaching millions.” She is every bit the happy warrior the Gipper was in denouncing the American left and their agenda.
As far as other candidates who may be better able to challenge Obama, where does one start? Gingrich? Romney? Gingrich stands a better chance than Romney among the Republican grassroots, but that’s not by much! Romney has a host of problems, from his past stances of abortion, gay marriage, and the Massachusetts Health Care program that went into effect when he was Governor. I hate to address it, but among evangelical primary and caucus voters, Romney’s Mormonism alone disqualifies him in their eyes. I have trouble seeing Pawlenty getting the nomination, his nice guy persona doesn’t square; its something I can’t put my finger on. Thune? He’s a stalking horse for a future run, and frankly, we’d be insane to run a candidate from the Senate. Republicans do best with Governors. That’s just fact; the last time a Republican won the Presidency while actively serving in the Senate was 1920. That’s a record only slightly better than the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series. Then you look at someone like Mike Huckabee, and he just seems lacking. Outside of evangelical circles, he’s not going to do well. He’s less relevant than ever, plus he seems to have a lot of fun with his variety show that airs on Fox News Channel on the weekends.
There’s other candidates who may or may not run, but Sarah’s the best chance the Republicans probably have, in this writer’s humble opinion.