On Sarah Palin and the 2012 Election

Should Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice Presidential nominee in 2008 and the former governor of Alaska, run for President in 2012? Some Republicans want her to. And, curiously, some Democrats want her to as well.

At the Netroots Nation Convention, a gathering of progressive activists, over the weekend, a straw poll there gave Palin the overwhelming nod (48 percent, with #2, Representative Ron Paul of Texas, garnering 11 percent) for the preferred GOP candidate two years hence.

It’s not hard to see why. Her negatives, especially with independent voters in the center, are very high. She has a rocky relationship with the media, avoids interviews with mainstream outlets, and shuns press conferences. She has demonstrated a lack of perseverance. As a proponent of the Tea Party movement, she has aligned herself with a political group that can be charitably described as “the lunatic fringe.” In short, Palin would be damaged goods were she to be the nominee in 2012; she would have the appeal to a rump Republican base, but among the wider electorate she would be an off-putting candidate.

But there are some who think she is the candidate to beat in 2012. Andrew Sullivan, in referring to her chances, writes “Know fear.” (Or here.)

Me? I think she shouldn’t run in 2012. Or ever. If Sarah Palin is at all sane, she won’t. Which, of course, is the reason why she will — Sarah Palin is many things, but sane she is not.

The reason she shouldn’t run? She is an oppo researcher’s dream, as some recent e-mails from the Journolist mailing list make clear. If the media is aware of the rumors surrounding Palin, her potential opponents — Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum — are certainly aware. Running for President will risk exposure on all sorts of things. Her opponents would even need to go to the rumors and speculation — just spelling out the reckless disregard for human life Palin showed in her son Trig’s birth would be enough to damage her by raising questions of her credibility and her fitness to lead the nation.

If Palin does run, it will be hilarious to watch, especially if she does well in early caucuses and primaries, because then the negative slime will start oozing out. Spend some time researching Palin, and red flags raise themselves. Imagine George W. Bush’s idiot clone running for President, that’s who Sarah Palin would be. The GOP establishment will have to destroy her just to save themselves, to keep the stench of Palin from destroying the party, but they can’t do it in such a way that drives the teabaggers away, so they’re going to have to humiliate and discredit her. That’s going to mean opening the door on questions of character — like the birth of her son, like quitting as Alaska’s governor for no discernable reason — and following that wherever it goes.

If Palin were sane, she wouldn’t run at all in 2012. She would know that she’s an oppo researcher’s wet dream and she has some pretty major skeletons in her closet. Palin may think that she can spin enough lies to make things go away, and she may think that she’s impervious to negative attacks (either because of her gender or because she believes she has the teabagging base sewn up and they won’t desert her).

That’s why progressive activists want Palin to run in 2012. She will destroy herself, she may destroy the Republican Party, and Obama will crush her like Darth Vader crushed Admiral Motti’s windpipe.

Bring popcorn. It will be so much fun to watch. 😀

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