Sarah Palin is not a conventional politician. She thinks outside the box and pulls off remarkable victories by going against conventional political wisdom. She won the Alaskan governor’s job by running against Frank Murkowski as an outsider fighting a corrupt GOP establishment. When she gained office, she remained true to her word, and cleaned house. Big Oil, and the politicians it used to rely on, were not happy with the new Governor. Her success attracted the McCain campaign, which faced hopeless odds, and it picked her as the GOP VP candidate. She was the only thing that stood between McCain and an epic defeat that would make George McGovern and Walter Mondale feel a little better. It sure is odd when the VP candidate draws bigger crowds than the candidate.
Obama/Biden won and Palin/McCain lost. McCain went back to the senate and resumed his role as the maverick Rino. Palin went back to Alaska with a huge target painted on her back. She threatened to take away a core constituency of the Democrats, the soccer Moms, while attracting Reagan Democrats. The Democrats and their MSM lackeys continued their relentless election-time attacks on her and her family. And they found a weapon, that Palin created, to use against her. In fighting corruption in Alaska, Palin had promoted a strong ethics law that made it much easier for Joe Public to fight corruption. Palin’s opponents, some of them with links to George Soros and the White House, started filing ethics complaints against Palin. This had two impacts; she and her staff were wasting a huge amount of time and tax-payer dollars responding to these complaints, and she was running up frightening legal bills. This was a Democrat’s dream come true; she would be stuck up in Alaska as an ineffectual governor struggling with ethics issues, a narrative the MSM was only too eager to run with.
Palin escaped that Alinsky trap by resigning. Pundits on the left and right wrote her off as a quitter. Well, she did quit being a target. They got that right. But she wasn’t quitting; she was reloading. She wrote a NY Times best-selling book that made her a millionaire. She found speaking engagements at $100K a pop. That’s Bill Clinton level fees. And she started zapping the Obama administration using Facebook. She almost derailed Obamacare with her “Death Panels” post, which she backed up in subsequent FB posts. Obama proved her correct when he used an unnecessary recess appointment to make Dr. Donald Berwick head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That puts Dr. Death in charge of the Death Panels. He’s the sort of anti-market progressive who doesn’t understand that today’s expensive drug is tomorrow’s generic sold at Walmart.
Palin has defied the pundits and become even more influential than she was as McCain’s VP candidate. In fact, their roles have reversed; he needed her to endorse him in his Senate race.
Palin starts using her political celebrity to endorse candidates in races across the country. Her logic escapes the pundits. Is it gender based? Is it race based? Is it anti-establishment? They don’t understand that it is American based. Colonel West is an American hero. Rand Paul wants America’s finances under control. Nikki Haley wants to rein in Government spending. Tim Scott is a fiscal conservative. Joe Miller is the anti-Rino.
The Republican establishment has suffered some stunning defeats at the hands of Sarah Palin. Joe Miller? Nikki Haley? Carly Fiorina? Even when she’s lost, she’s had an impact. Her endorsement of independent Doug Hoffman in NY-23 destroyed the RINO GOP candidate. Palin has said that the democratic process requires competitive primaries. She has stood by that and shaken up many key races. But she has also remained loyal to the GOP and discouraged 3rd party candidates (NY-23 was a special case). I don’t think her successes are due to dumb luck. We can easily Google pundits on both sides of the political spectrum who thought her endorsement of Joe Miller was an act of political suicide. Well, actually we can’t, because Google doesn’t let us restrict searches to a prior date. It is very hard to ask what were people thinking before this happened. Be that as it may, I’m pretty certain the last thing a GOP primary candidate wants to hear is that Sarah Palin has endorsed their opponent. It is too often a kiss of death for RINOs.
Post mid-terms, we will see a GOP much more attuned to Palin than McCain. As you sow, so shall you reap.