Why Palin shouldn’t run in 2012

Last week I made a rare appearance on MSNBC (a network on which I have had numerous “YouTube moments” since the 2008 election, when they became the “Obama Network”) and shared some statements which apparently shocked some of my fellow conservatives.

Since even before the release of my documentary about the media coverage of Obama’s election, I have been described by many commentators (both as a compliment and as a condemnation) as Sarah Palin’s most ardent defender against the never-ending stream of unfair media attacks against her. What seemed to surprise people on both ends of the political spectrum was my assertion on “Morning Joe” that, based on her current path, and barring a literal act of God, there is absolutely no chance that Palin can beat Obama in 2012.

Since the television appearance was barely five minutes long and my view of this important subject is far more nuanced than can possibly be articulated in the microwave world of cable TV “news” (or even a later radio interview I did with host Joe Scarborough about this subject), I wish to fully explain my thinking so that any confusion about where I stand may be as limited as possible.

First, the reason I went on MSNBC is that Joe Scarborough and I have had a running (and sometimes rather pointed) e-mail exchange about his coverage of Sarah Palin which was escalated when his show did a seemingly endless segment on how intellectually deficient she supposedly is. Joe has offered me an open invitation to “debate” that and other issues related to Palin when I am next in New York where his show is broadcast. Since Palin was on the “Tonight Show” last week and because I live in Burbank, we decided the occasion might make for a good opportunity to do a quick “preview” of coming attractions. I also made it clear to him that there was something about Palin that I have wanted to get off my chest for several weeks. This was the issue of what her intent and potential is for the 2012 presidential race.

When I first met Palin at her home in early 2009, after our interview for my documentary we had a rather lengthy conversation, which of course eventually turned to her political future. Unsolicited, I offered my very strong opinion that, thanks to the media’s worship of Obama and their unfair destruction of her, that I thought it would be foolhardy for her to even consider running against him in 2012. My advice at the time was for her to run for Senate in 2014 and run in 2016 for President when presumably there will be no incumbent running and when the narrative about her (thanks to the media’s love of a good “comeback”) would likely be vastly more positive than in 2012. Palin was clearly listening intently but said almost nothing in response. Those who witnessed the conversation said she did not seem to like what she was hearing.

However, after the remarkable success of her book and the incredible decline in Obama’s political popularity, I started to think that, with any luck, Palin could win the Republican nomination and that she would at least have a shot against The One, assuming the economy didn’t significantly improve. But now I am thoroughly convinced that while Obama is somewhat vulnerable (if the economy improves, he wins big, if it stays the same, he wins very small, if it gets worse, he loses big), Sarah Palin has less of a chance to beat him than just about anyone else who is currently considered in contention.

The reasons I have come to this painful conclusion are numerous.

  • Anonymous

    It almost seems like Sarah is trying to run out the clock and stay out of the Debates.  I am a fan of Sarah but have decided NOT to vote for her in the Primary.  I will vote for Rick Perry.  He is the only one who can beat Comrade  Obozo at this time.  I am really quite fed up with Sarah’s dithering and cutesie little games.  Count me  out.

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  • inspectorudy

    How about that when 2012 rolls around that the American people are totally fed up with one lie after another from Congress and the Boy President? For all of the reasons that Ziegler gives as to why she should not run, I believe that those will be the reasons that she will win. Her core values are as American as the 4th of July and her honesty is monumental. She has shown that she can get the job done without compromising her principles. Does Obama have any principles? The experience thing is getting a little long in the tooth. What matters most is judgement and values. Take a look at Clinton’s values and judgement. Enough said. If it hadn’t been for Newt and the R’s taking over Congress Willie boy would have been a one term whoremonger. Look at Obama’s judgement and values. Ayers, wright, Rezko, Van Jones, Holder, Emanuel, Axelrod, Jarret and any number of left wing experienced in their field losers. This is his judgement. As for his values, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh hold on, I’ll come up with one in a moment. Battle fields have proven over and over that winners rise to the challenge and their values and judgement are the guides that take them to the winner’s circle.

  • emuni

    Why shouldn’t she run? Even if she doesn’t win the primary, she will have made a valuable contribution to the GOP by pulling their field to the right. The last thing Republicans need is a reprise of ’08, with Romney and Huckabee lined up for a 2nd round. Palin’s willing to speak up for ideas that attract the support of conservatives and independents. She’s not afraid of controversy, and garners instant media attention. Why not attract attention to the Republican primary, and let the best candidate battle for the nomination?
    The only reason not to run is if you assume she is going to be destroyed by the media, and if you believe that’s the case it’s unclear how waiting four years would really help. She now knows the media is lying in wait for her, and she should use that to her advantage. She is the Republican’s best weapon, even though many of them don’t recognize it. She should play to her strengths as a fighter, and keep directing the debate.

  • icarustraveler

    Let me add, Johnston’s quote below was given immediately after Palin announced her resignation. And then, what’s the very next thing she does? A book! And now she’s shopping a reality show (and writing another toss-off book). That kid was psychic! Amazing!

  • icarustraveler

    Out of the mouths of babes, Levi Johnston said the following at a press conference in July, 2009, after Palin quit:

    “(I) heard the governor several times say how nice it would be to take advantage of the lucrative deals that were being offered, including a reality show and a book. I think the big deal was the book. That was millions of dollars.”

  • icarustraveler

    “If she is able to do so, it will forever prove that media’s narrative about her could not be more wrong.”

    How is this a logical conclusion? Much of the “media’s narrative” is that Palin won’t run in 2012 because she’s a money-grubbing celebrity, who couldn’t stand the hard work involved in governing a state of 600k people for 2 years. Who can’t stand facing anything but the sycophants and adoring crowds she controls and enjoys as a celebrity, with no responsibility to anyone but herself. Who’s lapping up her huge money train of celebrity by grinding out shallow, platitude-laden books about “values” and TV shows about Alaska, doing stand up comedy, and other silly fluff for massive paychecks. This is the media narrative Palin will prove by not running in 2012. Not your illogical conclusion. And, if she does run, it will prove she’s a megalomanic.

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