Republicans eager to knock Sarah Palin from her presumed perch at the head of the cluttered 2012 presidential primary field have found an unlikely wedge issue that includes an unlikely ally:
The first lady and flab.
In an odd turn of events, some conservatives have taken to defending Michelle Obama's anti-obesity initiative from the salvos of Palin, and suggesting that she has gone too far by seeming to mock the first lady in a recent broadcast of "Sarah's Palin's Alaska."
In the reality show, the former governor and high school basketball player prepared s'mores (ingredients: marshmallows, Hershey bars, graham crackers) and said the treat was "in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert."
In fact, Obama has never suggested that sweets be banned from the dinner table, cafeteria or campground. She says that she tells her kids, Sasha and Malia, that "dessert is not a right" and that meals should be balanced with fruits and veggies. ...
The Post's article has a history of this particular controversy: How it began with an appearance by Sarah Palin on Laura Ingraham's radio show: How President Obama responded to Barbara Walters' question about it; Republican, and former Governor, Mike Huckabee's response; as well as the response of Republican Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi. Then the coup de grâce: The Wall Street Journal opined: "Mrs. Palin would be more effective if she made some distinctions among the Obama policies that really are worth opposing."
It's interesting that Republican Governors, Palin's most likely opposition, should she pursue the nomination, have challenged her on this issue. We haven't yet heard from Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty ... . But there is really only one right side on this issue, unless someone is hoping to be awarded The Silly and Petty Award for the year.
The interview with Laura Ingraham was really the beginning of Sarah Palin's end among Republicans. During that interview she not only took a cheap shot at the First Lady, but blamed the Bushes (and implicitly Republican hero Ronald Reagan) for our current economic problems. The blog put up a brief post about the interview, here, which has audio and some other material.
The Washington Post's Alexandra Petri wrote an amusing article about the food fight, which I have entitled, "Let Us Eat Cake!" It is here.