Obviously we can’t know what is other peoples minds. Even when they tell us what they think and why they do things there is a good portion of doubt as everyone is the hero in the movie of their lives and heroes don’t (at least the run of the mill heroes don’t) have complex and conflicting desires and varying levels of the awareness of them.
Still, even given all the above, there are times when you have to wonder “I “X” really that staggeringly stupid?!?”
This is where I am with half-Gov. Sarah Palin this morning. The New York Times has a good piece running down the factors that make it look as though La Palin might actually be considering a run for the Republican nomination for president. She has bought a house in Arizona which would make travel easier (plus it gets her away from the Payton Place of the North that is Wasilla and all the antics of her meth fueled in-laws and out-laws).
She has rehired staffers who used to run her political appearances. She is having the dreadful documentary of her time as governor shown in Iowa and she is starting to schedule more appearances. All this looks like someone that is at the very least considering running.
Maybe it is the perception that the current Republican field is weak. Maybe it is that all the ones who are even vaguely reasonable as candidate are so damned boring. Last week I was waiting to see Tim Pawlenty give and interview and it was five minutes into the thing before I realized the picture was not just of a blank beige wall, but rather Gov. Pawlenty sitting there!
For whatever reason it seems the Sister Sarah thinks she has a chance. From a strictly political science point of view, she had the things she needs. A base that sees her as doing no wrong, name recognition and the ability to raise a lot of money, coupled with the fact she has been on a presidential ticket before. All this should make her a pretty strong candidate, except for one thing.
Sarah Palin is not smart enough nor stable enough to really be president. It does not matter how much money she can raise or how many yahoos she can turn out in Iowa and South Carolina Mrs. Palin is a pathologically unable to stick to the truth or even a single version of it.
Beyond that she has a series of gaffs and mistakes that make her unelectable. The most recent one being the way that she reacted the Tucson shootings. At a time when six were in the morgue and a United States Representative lay in a hospital bed with a bullet to the brain, she made the whole thing about herself. She was unable to summon the largeness of spirit that at president has and put the needs of the nation ahead of her own needs, even for one minute.
There is also the issue of her lack of curiosity and spotty, at best, education. The second President Bush was a person who skated through life with a lot of “gentleman’s C” but he did, at the minimum attend college and graduate school. Even with attending some of the best schools in the nation he was not very well educated and it showed in the way that he governed our nation. Palin is not even close to the level of intellectual rigor that Bush had. The memory of a chimp like president and what it meant for the country is still too fresh for anyone to want to go back to that kind of thing (with the exception of Republican/Teahadist troglodytes who live in an alternate reality anyway).
Perhaps the most important reason that half-Gov. Palin should not be considering this run is that she is not very good at campaigning. There is no way that she would be able to avoid the press and have to answer question after question after question. And not the kind of softball questions like “what do you read for news?” (Just a quick aside; my wife who is only a political dabbler said right after Palin muffed that question “Why the hell didn’t she just say “I read the Wasilla Gazette, the Washington post and of course I always make time for Guns and Ammo!”? It would have been a slam dunk but the supposedly prepared Palin couldn’t handle a question that even a small time political activist nailed off the cuff.)
I remain unconvinced that Mrs. Palin will run. I am hard pressed to see the upside for her of actually getting in the campaign. However after she has seen the kind of publicity boost that Donald Trump got from toying with the idea and then (predictably) backing out after this whole Birther shtick collapsed maybe the Elle May of Wasilla saw the way to improve her flagging appeal.
Making moves that political reporters will almost certainly see as gearing up for a run in a time when Republicans are suffering from the choice of which boring middle aged white guy they will nominate, she has the chance of being a real spark in the coverage. And lets face it, what Sara Palin has always been about is making Sarah Palin wealthier and more well known. She has never really given two hoots about governing, after all if she did, she’d be finishing up her term as governor of Alaska right now.
One fly in this ointment is if Michele Bachman gets in the race. You see Rep. Bachman really does want to be president and she has all those factors that Sarah Palin has in terms of crazy base, ability to raise money and being bat shit insane enough for the Fundigelical base that includes the Teahadists.
More importantly Rep. Bachman has actually served all the terms of her various offices. If she gets in the race it takes all the air out of Palin just flirting with the idea for publicity. It requires that she put up or shut up and let Bachman take the spotlight as the relatively good looking (if you can get over the crazy fucking eyes ,which personally I can’t) candidate that is a lot more fun than T-Paw (what kind of candidate has a nickname they give themselves?) Romney and Huntsman.
Still as I started out with we can never really know what is in peoples minds. It is possible that Sarah Palin is listening to the voices in her head telling her that the weak field is a sign from Yahweh to run for president and that she’ll have divine help along the way. Or maybe she is listening to the sound of more coins falling into her bank account or maybe it is just that she wants more attention. But for whatever reason it looks as though we will have another Season of the Sarah in our future.
The floor is yours.