[Guest post by DRJ]
Toby Harnden analyzes Sarah Palin’s chances in 2012 and he doesn’t like them:
“The hatred of Mrs Palin by the east and west coast elites – to whom her very accent is an affront – is not shared by most American voters. But polling shows that the former vice-presidential candidate has some serious problems on her hands if she is to pursue her presumed ambition of winning the presidency in 2012.
A recent Gallup survey found that 63 percent of voters would not seriously consider her for the presidency next time around. She remains very popular among Republicans but among independents – who will decide the next election – her favourability rating is just 41 percent.
This is not snooty elitism – it’s based on the perception that Mrs Palin’s track record is thin and that while she has real star quality her political prescriptions are vague. Sound familiar? That may have worked for Barack Obama in 2008 but Americans are likely to want much more substance next time around.”
Instead of running against President Obama in 2012, Harnden thinks Sarah Palin should challenge another O — Oprah. Palin would have good personal reasons to avoid running in another national political election. She cited the cost of ethics probes to Alaska and criticism of her family as the reasons why she resigned as Governor of Alaska. She’s also making more money from giving speeches and writing books than she could earn as an elected official.
I like Sarah Palin. I voted for her in the last election and I would vote for her again. Today’s anti-Palin sentiment doesn’t bother me because I believe Palin will be remembered as someone who opposed Obama’s policies, a history that may resonate with voters in 2012 (especially jobless voters). So I disagree with the bottom line of Harnden’s analysis: Palin isn’t Obama-lite, she’s the anti-Obama, and I hope she throws her hat in the 2012 GOP primary ring because she will energize Republicans as they face an election against an incumbent President.
However, I’m also willing to consider the value of having Sarah Palin in the world of television celebrities. More than any conservative I can think of, she could help get the conservative message out to the demographic where the GOP needs it most — with unemployed and low-income women and minorities who are more likely to watch daytime TV and vote for Democrats.
Thus, if conservatives want to win the culture war [Edit by DRJ: In other words, the conservative agenda of lower taxes, less government, abundant energy, and more jobs], then having Sarah Palin on daytime TV might be a good place to start … but I still hope she runs.