Sunday, July 18, 2010

Can Sarah Palin Swim?

There is an interesting article by NY Times reporter Jeff Zeleny, "Palin Wades Into Republican Midterm Primaries." Don't let it scare you. Sure, there may be some scary parts like:
... One year after leaving public office behind, defiantly stepping down as governor of Alaska to become a best-selling author and a television celebrity, Ms. Palin has waded deeply back into electoral politics, and she plans to increase her visibility on the campaign trail after Labor Day. ...

... That she is leaving a major footprint on the 2010 midterm elections is not disputed, but less clear is whether the endorsements are rooted in an effort to amplify her image or to create a political strategy for the future. ...
But some common sense, too:
... She has delivered a few policy addresses in recent months and seemed to be moving beyond the family drama that often enveloped her.

That changed last week, when her daughter Bristol announced on the cover of Us Weekly that she was engaged to her former boyfriend, Levi Johnston, stirring a reminder of the circus-like atmosphere that accompanied the Palins’ arrival on the national scene two years ago. ...

... Fred Malek, a Republican fund-raiser who is a friend and supporter of Ms. Palin, said it would be incorrect to view her role in the midterm elections through the prism of the 2012 presidential race.

Mr. Malek said she does not seek his counsel — nor that of any other Republican establishment figure — in deciding whether to support a candidate. “She carefully watches what’s going on in the political world and makes decisions based on who she thinks deserves support,” he said.

Indeed, the endorsements provide little evidence that she is moving closer to a presidential run. A willingness to inject herself into so many primary fights and frustrate the supporters of the candidates she overlooks is a risky way of building establishment support.

In conversations with Republicans in recent months — including at a rally Ms. Palin held with Mr. McCain in Arizona, at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans and at campaign events here in Georgia — voters often give Ms. Palin high marks. But asked whether they believe she should run for president, few say yes.

Judy Pruitt, a 70-year-old retiree in Lawrenceville, said she came to see Ms. Handel partly because of the Palin endorsement. But she had a swift answer when asked if she would welcome a 2012 Palin campaign.

“I’m not sure she’s ready for the presidency,” she said. “I do like listening to her, and I respect her views on things. But I think she can have more of an impact if she’s not running. I really do.”
Indeed, from a recent CBS/NY Times poll of Tea Partiers we have: "Tea Party supporters were asked in the poll what they thought of a few notable figures. The most popular was Sarah Palin, who is viewed favorably by 66 percent of people in the movement. Only 40 percent, however, believe she would be an effective president, a smaller percentage than Republicans overall. (emphasis added)

The Times' article has a graphic, Sarah Palin's 2010 Choices. There you can see that she has endorsed in 20 congressional districts with contested Republican primaries. There are an additional 8 House endorsements in districts without a primary, and in 5 of those she has endorsed the incumbent. Palin has made 28 House endorsements, about 6.5% of House seats. She has made easy choices with those endorsements: 19 in open seats that a newcomer might hope to win. (Jean Schmidt of Ohio's 2nd district is Palin's only endorsement of an incumbent facing a primary.) Palin may be hoping that if Republicans become the majority party in The House and if enough of the candidates she has endorsed can be thought to have tipped the scales, then it might be spun: Sarah Palin took back our House of Representatives.

She's an opportunist. Don't forget to vote.

Update: The graphic's "Would face Incumbent Democrat" column needs to be considered, and it's easy to miscount: some of her endorsed candidates aren't facing a primary, some are. Anyway, a strikeout has been applied to the post. See the comments.


Joie Vouet said...


"One year after leaving public office behind, defiantly stepping down as governor of Alaska to become a best-selling author and a television celebrity, Ms. Palin has waded deeply back into electoral politics."

How is the reporter using "defiantly?"

esteban said...

But remember all politics are local, and Sarah Palin has not backed her endorsements as much as she could financially. It was Romney with his organization of state PACs who was able to give Nikki Haley $40000. How much did Palin give her?

Any spin Palin could put on a flip in the house majority would be weak at best, if the facts are considered.

It's interesting the article didn't mention her disastrous NY 23rd endorsement of earlier this year, along with the other four losses.

Another point is that fourteen of her House endorsements will face an incumbent Democrat.

Joie Vouet said...

Thanks, esteban, for your insightful comment. I missed the graphic's "WOuld face Incumbent Democrat" column!

esteban said...

Should have written "would" for "will" in "Another point is ..." Point being they "would face an incumbent Democrat," if they get to run against the incumbent.

Anonymous said...

WASHINGTON – Vice President Joe Biden is assuring House Democrats that he thinks they'll keep control after the fall elections. Only a week ago, President Barack Obama's press secretary infuriated members of his own party by suggesting that voters could put Republicans in power.

"I don't think the losses are going to be bad at all. I think we're going to shock the heck out of everybody," Biden told ABC's "This Week."

That cheery prediction contrasted with the dour but realistic appraisal last weekend by White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, whose quick backtrack that he didn't think the GOP would get a majority didn't ease the criticism that flew his way.

By Sunday the Democrats appearing on the news shows had rallied around the idea that the rift Gibbs exposed between the White House and its congressional allies was no big deal.

"There is always tension between the White House and the House and the Senate," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. "My view is, the president and Democrats in the House and Democrats in the Senate have the same objective."

Republicans face a high wall to achieve the net gain of 40 or so seats needed to take back the 435-member House. In the Senate, the Democrats' 57-41 majority — they also have the support of two independents — appears to be tougher. Story here

Joie Vouet said...

That's interesting, anonymous. In this account of his weekly address,

Striking a deeply partisan tone in his weekly radio and online address, Obama said the GOP leadership has chosen to "filibuster our recovery and obstruct our progress" by blocking votes on agenda items the president says would breath life into the economic recovery.

"These steps aren't just the right thing to do for those hardest hit by the recession," Obama said. "They're the right thing to do for all of us."

it is clear that The President may be able to effectively counter some of the Republicans' demogoguery.

Joie Vouet said...

Oops! Here is what should have been my last comment's link to an AP article.

The 'this account' link goes to Obama's actual address.


LoLz! I started working nights for a while, last night, and woke up today thinking it was Monday morning. I did go to sleep after working Sunday, when it was dark outside. Sunday morning!

It's only Sunday afternoon ... very confusing. Clearly need more sleep.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't we be asking whether Joie vouet can count rather than asking whether Sarah Palin can swim?

Joie Vouet said...

Shame on you, Anonymous. I provided an excellent excuse at 3:04. LoLz.

Joie Vouet said...

Good night (or morning), everyone.

nswfm said...

Sleep well, Joie. Working nights is not great for quality sleep.

Joie Vouet said...

nswfm, thanks. It may take as long as 3 days to adjust to sleeping during the day. Here is the clickable link to Progressive Alaska's post.