Please nominate this woman in 2012

Roger Simon is paid to think and write about politics. I don't really know why. His column for Politico today, in which he offers "7 things Sarah Palin must do now" to win the 2012 nomination, is hilarious. Let's go through a few of them, shall we?
2. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE SMARTER THAN YOU ARE. That shouldn’t be hard, her opponents will say. OK, let them laugh. They laughed at George W. Bush when he ran for president in 2000 and at Arnold Schwarzenegger when he ran for governor of California in 2003. Both benefited from low expectations and smart staffs.
Simon has already made the easiest joke for me, so I'll move on to the comparisons between Bush, Schwarzenegger and Palin. Both Bush and Schwarzenegger started out with low expectations, perhaps, but both were relatively unknown political quantities (at least on the national level, in Bush's case), which allowed them to shape their public personae to fit the electorate. (Remember "compassionate conservatism"?) Palin, on the other hand, is already a known quantity, and has already made a strong (and polarizing) impression on the national level, which she has done nothing to alter. On that same point, he offers this:
I am not one of those people who believe that staffs win or lose elections — candidates win or lose elections — but the Democratic presidential race in 2008 certainly demonstrated the difference that staffs can make. Hillary Clinton assembled a staff of loyal people who were largely inexperienced in presidential campaigning. Barack Obama assembled a staff of loyal people who were very experienced in presidential campaigning. It made a difference.
It sure did. Sadly, the people Palin has chosen to build the foundation for a 2012 run don't seem to be doing a particularly great job.

Also hilarious:
4. STUDY UP. Before CBS’s Katie Couric and ABC’s Charlie Gibson flew to Alaska to interview Palin, they studied hard, backed up by excellent research staffs that prepared a lot of material for them. Palin has to do the same before major interviews. While she is not bad at answering direct questions, she falls down on followup questions. She has to do what successful candidates do: Rehearse. The rule is that you have to study at least as hard as the people trying to trip you up.
Yeah, boy. That tricksy Katie Couric and her wily questions about "what newspapers do you read?" and such. I'm not sure rehearsing would help someone who answered that question with "All of them."

Then there's this:
5. DON’T BELIEVE YOU CAN’T DO IT. Palin’s critics point out that she is no Ronald Reagan, and that in tough times, voters are going to turn to potential candidates like Mitt Romney, who stress competence. But Palin has a chance because of what the Republican Party has become: a smaller, more conservative party that has already driven away many moderates and “soft” Republicans. The Republican Party today is like a star that has gone nova and collapsed to its densest core. While some potential nominees will try to sell a big-tent message, demanding that the party moderate its positions to win more voters, primaries are usually dominated by hard-core activists. This is where Palin has the potential to do well.
Sure, the "densest core" of the party (and I think "dense" is a particularly apt description) may go nuts for Palin. True that. But that's precisely the problem for Palin, who seems perfectly content to play to the base while making no headway at all with those departed moderates and "soft" Republicans. (Contrast Hillary Clinton, who preceded her national candidacy by tacking to the center on abortion, courting Rupert Murdoch, etc.) Palin encapsulates exactly what is wrong with the GOP right now, and would get creamed in the general election.

I love this:
6. DON’T GO CHANGING. In her debate with Joe Biden, she did far better than most expected by being warm and passionate and by using everyday language like “I betcha” and “heckuva opportunity” and “darn right.” She even winked. It didn’t make her look dumb; it made her look human.
No, it made her look dumb, and didn't necessarily help with those women voters, either.

And, to sum up:
7. DON’T WORRY ABOUT FAILURE. Heck, there’s always 2016.
Suuuuuuure there is. Because the GOP will totally go for a two-time losing candidate.

I love that Politico has Roger Simon. I just don't, for the life of me, know why.

1 comment:

  1. >> It didn't make her look dumb, it made her
    >> look human.

    > No, it made her look dumb...

    I don't think that's a pejorative *enough* statement. Out of all of the things that any candidate said or did during the last campaign, that was the one that still sticks in my mind.

    I can't *believe* that a candidate for any office would do that. Whatever her intention was, the act itself *screams* out, "Don't vote for me on account o' what I just said, vote for me 'cause I'm cute."