Opinion

Fox-y lady: Palin as politician, journalist or celebrity?

Ron Hart Contributor

Sarah Palin took a leave of absence from her Russia-watching post in Alaska to become a Fox News contributor. Who could have seen that coming? She represents diversity on Fox as that network’s only non-blonde correspondent.

It was either that or become the fashion editor for Field and Stream magazine.

As I have said for some time, Sarah Palin is not who I want to see in the White House. I would, however, like to see her in a White Snake music video in which she shakes out her hair, takes off her glasses and dances.

The only reason many of us occasionally take her side is the way the left-wing media savage her. Americans like to rally behind someone who is being picked on. The media might as well stop the Palin-bashing; I think the more Americans see of her, the less we will like her anyway. But the “elite” media do not trust Americans to form their own opinions, so they snipe at those whom they dislike.

Palin came in second in a Miss Alaska pageant in the 1980s, which makes her the only pageant contestant in U.S. history to actually stand a chance of achieving “world peace.” But if we want a president who is a former beauty queen, has her own tanning bed and has worked with judges, then why not Ryan Seacrest?

During the 2008 campaign, Palin did better than expected in the question-and-answer part of the vice-presidential debates. She just wanted to hold her own there so she could get to the part in which she was favored: the swimsuit competition.

Don’t get me wrong; I like Sarah Palin. She seems to be the kind of person you would invite to the church picnic because you know she would start the whiffle ball game with the kids. She is just not, in my mind, presidential material.

I stand more on the libertarian “separation-of-church-and-state” side of the equation. I voted for Ron Paul last time. I would, however, probably vote for Mitt Romney if he runs in 2012. We need a skilled businessperson like Romney who can not only lead, but manage this country’s finances in difficult times. And I like the fact that Romney is rich enough that he does not have to run as an evangelical fundamentalist in the GOP primaries to win. So, Romney for president and CEO in 2012— unless Jeff Flake, Ron Paul or Paul Ryan runs.

Each time Obama’s poll numbers drop, you know Hillary Clinton is scheduling a pancake breakfast somewhere in Iowa. You can also bet that Hillary’s people are taping everything Palin says on Fox to use against her. That will make two Clintons trying to nail Sarah Palin in the next three years.

Fox News has become the waiting room for GOP candidates. Palin and Huckabee are hanging out there awaiting the Iowa primaries. This is a new phenomenon in politics, and I am not sure it is a good one. It might be helpful for us to have a less scripted view of the candidates. It will be bad if a candidate’s celebrity propels him or her to the nomination; then there will be three years’ worth of newsreels the opposition Democrat folks can use in the election.

Palin will also reduce her chances if the rumors are true that she is shopping a reality show. Following in the footsteps of Flava Flav and Snookie of “Jersey Shore” fame might not bring her the gravitas she will need to lead our country.

Exposure, as in the almost full-frontal in Cosmo of Senator-erect Scott Brown, does not necessarily hurt a candidate. Brown proved himself pro-nudity (and clearly anti-Brazilian) in the 1980s picture.

Sarah Palin does have charisma and a certain following. A woman resembling her once walked into a Florida breakfast place and nearly caused a riot. Folks soon realized she was not the former Alaska governor when she started reading a newspaper.

The ever-blurry melding of journalism, celebrity and politics makes Palin’s move interesting. Maybe working in the media and having to stay sharp on issues will help Palin, but she’s just not my cup of tea. Being a publicity hound has, so far, only exposed her weaknesses rather than improve her presidential potential.

Ron Hart is a libertarian op-ed humorist whose new book, No Such Thing as a Pretty Good Alligator Wrestler, is available on Amazon.com or at www.RonaldHart.com.