Guest Post by VinnieF
Will she run or won’t she? That’s been the biggest question regarding Sarah Palin all year. I’ve been of the opinion for a while now that Palin will not run, that she’s simply teasing us all with the prospect of a presidential campaign. This article explains why I feel this way and, if true, what this behavior says about Sarah Palin.
First of all, I could be wrong. I’m not at all arguing that Palin should now be ignored. It’s quite possible that Palin will run and could even get elected president. We need to continue to fight against that dreadful possibility. I sincerely believe that the research done on this website and others is a strong deterrent in Palin’s decision to run.
I could go on and on presenting why I think that she is not going to run. Here are the highlights:
- The polls show her doing poorly – Her ‘dislike’ values are the highest of all prospective candidates, even among Republicans. She does horribly in polls one on one against Obama. She’s way too polarizing to win over independents and moderates.
- She knows the difficulty of campaigning – The Bailey and Dunn books show that she had a difficult time in 2008 even with the McCain camp keeping her out of the limelight. If she were the presidential candidate herself, there would be real debates, real interviews, no hiding out, and no time off for catatonic breakdowns. Troopergate, babygate and other information would get major coverage.
- She not taking concrete steps to build a campaign –If she is running, she’s wasting valuable time. She’s not raising money. She’s not building an organization. The brief bus tour and Pella have been her only public outings in several months. To be frank, I don’t think Palin has the leadership capabilities to run a viable presidential campaign, nor the ability to delegate that task to someone other than herself.
After 2008, Palin rightly deserved a fair amount of fame. There have only been five Republican VP candidates in the last 30 years and Palin was the first woman ever to assume this role. The fame offered Sarah a chance at fortune. She dropped her $125,000 a year governor job to pursue the millions offered by book deals, a reality TV show, the speaking deals and the Fox News gig. Palin left the world of politics to become a celebrity.
The value of any celebrity depends on their fame. Since 2008 Palin’s fame has dwindled. The reality TV show is over. Another book is out of the question. The speaking deals are drying up. They’ve had to resort to Bristol ‘writing’ a book and doing her own reality show. That’s scraping the bottom of the barrel. Right now, the only remaining selling power for the Palin brand is as a potential presidential candidate.
Bristol said her mom has already made up her mind about running. Sarah’s comment on that was just that Bristol shouldn’t have disclosed family secrets. I believe that Palin made up her mind long ago and decided not to run. If I am right, what we’ve been witnessing all year is the greatest tease in the history of American politics. It fits Sarah’s narcissist personality disorder that she can’t stand to be left out of the spotlight.
Candidates owe it to the public to make up their mind in a reasonable time. At least Huckabee and the intractable Trump spared us the sideshow of their ‘campaigns’ going on through the summer. Demonstrating her self-centered personality, Palin is keeping her name in the news solely for the purpose of advancing her own celebrity status. She doesn’t mind that this charade is causing a huge distraction to the very serious topic of the 2012 presidential campaign.
Not only has Sarah failed to disclose her intentions, she has taken deliberate actions which serve to tease the nation and keep the media talking about her. The bus tour came right at a time when other candidates were formally getting into the race. It’s not surprising that the media came out in droves expecting her to make an announcement. The DVD release of her movie will happen right during the time frame that Sarah has said that she’d make a decision. Now there’s a Tea Party speech scheduled for September 3rd which has raised the level of speculation once again.
The conservatives4palin (C4P) site recently had an article saying the opposite of what I’ve been arguing. They say that Sarah is not money hungry and that she is seriously considering running. Not only that, the most regular theme on that site of late is showing that almost all of Sarah’s recent actions are clear indications that she really is going to run for president. They argue that Sarah would never let them down. We’ll see.
It’s absolutely false to say Sarah hasn’t been asking for money. The website for Sarah’s PAC has featured a “Donate” button in conjunction with the bus tour for months now. Of the $1.65 Million that the PAC spent in the first half of the year, over $100,000 was spent on Internet fundraising and over $575,000 was spent on mailings (more on the PAC spending below). While The Undefeated was produced by an independent filmmaker, Sarah’s PAC used the movie to solicit a $100 donation in exchange for a copy of the DVD. Obviously, most of this money will go to the PAC. The C4P site even had an article advertising this deal to those who couldn’t make it to the movie (which is all of those people who don’t live near one of the TEN theaters it was playing at, i.e. almost everybody).
I would have some respect for Palin if she were taking a principled political stand, even though I despise her politics. Her behavior since 2008 has been primarily about her celebrity with politics simply serving as a backdrop. It’s all about Sarah all of the time. In her tweets, Facebook posts and Fox News interviews she is simply rehashing staid Tea Party talking points. There’s no indication she’s seriously researching political issues. Her ‘commonsense conservatism’ is a code word for simple ideas that don’t require much effort to develop. Today’s complex issues require intelligent analysis not simple sound bites.
As noted, since quitting as a governor, Sarah has moved away from political activity and towards well-paying celebrity opportunities without “real responsibilities”. (Punditry doesn’t count.) One could argue that her PAC is a serious political endeavor. I would argue that it’s a slush fund for Sarah to play around with. Looking at the $1.65 Million in expenses for the first half of the year is very telling. Only $79,000, less than five percent of all expenditures, went to candidates or other political organizations. The bus tour that Piper described as a ‘vacation’ was considered a political event to be paid for by the PAC. Over $350,000 was spent on various consultants! $50,000 was spent on legal fees. $150,000 was spent on travel including over $11,000 for the Israel trip. $90,000 was spent on the treasurer. And, of course, there’s the nearly $14,000 spent on the bus wrap. I guess it’s ok to spend flagrantly if it’s “other people’s money”.
Fortunately, it looks likes more and more people are seeing Palin for what I believe she is – The Great American Tease. The media is getting wise and is showing less and less interest in her latest tweets and Facebook posts. Her movie has proven to be quite the failure. More and more people are predicting she’s not going to run. While all evidence is that she’s been largely dormant for the last several months, her supporters assume she’s assiduously planning the mother of all campaigns. Her devotees imply that there’s a media conspiracy to spread the rumor that she’s not running. Of course, the real reason people believe she’s not going to run is because of her own actions. She is simply not acting like a serious presidential candidate, save the teasing.