Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In which I continue to fail to be in awe of the Hockey Mom

This HuffPo article details some of the steps that Sarah Palin will have to take before she can really be a serious national candidate. "Formidable", in Stuart Whatley's own words. He brings up a good point near the end.
One thing that surely won't help is her ongoing row with "the media." Her media-blaming gambit with filmmaker John Zeigler following the election was ill-received and seen as gratuitously souring, revealing that she is still rather naive when it comes to safely navigating the public sphere. Needless to say, the video footage of Palin in front of a turkey-beheading machine is precisely the type of thing she needs to avoid. Much of this will depend on luck, but Palin should indeed follow Gingrich's advice to recruit the best and the brightest advisors available. Still though, beyond cramming up on policy, the "hockey mom" must become a real person again.

"Souring" is a pretty good descriptor. You can see the video and a recap of the highlights here. There is very much a "have it both ways" attempt going on. If you go on Saturday Night Live to face off against Tina Fey, it doesn't really do to sputter with shock and sadness when the parodies turn out to be popular. Of course the "it's all rigged" complaint will resonate with some voters. I know a few. But it's not the way to charm swing voters.

Which is not to say that the right couldn't have a resurgence in the next few years, or that she won't be leading it. But in the Republican Party, the "conservative" vote is in high demand. Palin's competitors won't just hand it to her out of politeness. How savvy they are will determine who's holding the whip.


susan said...

From a purely personal point of view I hope never to have to see the woman again. Of course, the way things are going election-wise a new 'who will be next?' circus is due to start shortly.

Ben said...

She is very popular among a section of the electorate. I know a couple of guys crazy for her. The weird thing is that they're both Catholic, and she's from the Jack Chick wing of Protestantism. But you're right. There will soon be a lot of noisemakers out there.