No Joke, Not Kidding, Not Joshing Ya, Not the Onion: Sarah Palin for GOP Nominee in 2016?

No, this is jot a joke. Not kidding, not joshing ya, not The Onion. Esto no es un chiste y yo se que Vd. no puede creerlo. As the GOP is now reeling from an election campaign where it’s clear failed Presidential candidate and increasingly self-discredited-by-mouth Mitt Romney ignored, turned off, or neglected to woo key growing groups the GOP needs to survive….as the GOP is soul searching about ways to offer a more affirmative and positive form of politics that offers solid specifics rather than warmed over talk radio riffs or lines seemingly grabbed from blogs… Charlotte Allen in the L.A. Times suggests what it really needs is: Sarah Palin as its 2016 nominee.

The Republican Party has been doing a lot of hand-wringing and finger-pointing since the presidential election. Half the conservative columnists and bloggers say the GOP lost because it overemphasized social issues such as abortion and gay marriage. The other half says the party didn’t emphasize them enough. And everyone denounces Project ORCA, the campaign’s attempt to turn out voters via technology.

But I’ve got a suggestion for cutting short the GOP angst: Sarah Palin for president in 2016.

You think I’m joking? Think again.

She makes her case in detail and says:

Some Republicans will say Palin has too much baggage from 2008, and we need to look for a new Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin has so much baggage TSA is opening a new office to inspect it.

But I don’t see what’s wrong with the one we’ve got. Ever since the 1990s, Republicans have been looking for the next Ronald Reagan. Reagan is now revered in bipartisan circles, but during his presidency he was, like Palin, ridiculed by liberals. They cited “Bedtime for Bonzo” and sneered at his no-name college degree.

Sarah Palin is the new Ronald Reagan: charming and affable and unwilling to back down if she’s right. I can’t see what’s wrong with that

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What’s wrong is? Let me count the (or just a few) ways.

*Just because someone is ridiculed by liberals doesn’t mean he/she is the next Ronald Reagan.

*The supporters of almost every Republican now love to paint their idol as the next Ronald Reagan.

*After the first debate quite a few conservative writers said, why, there was something almost Reaganesque about Mitt Romney in that debate. I knew Ronald Reagan, I was then a Democrat who voted for Ronald Reagan. I became an independent, then a moderate Republican then an independent. Sarah Palin is no Ronald Reagan. She is not even the embodiment of the potential some saw in her when she was plucked from Alaska to run with Arizona Senator John McCain. And, yes, she is now widely perceived by most thoughtful analysts and real political scientists (that lets Dick Morris out) as having been have been a huge mistake and not a plus for the ticket.

*By several published accounts, she has not even won over Fox News’ Roger Aisles, let alone chunks of the American electorate that were mesmerized by her in 2008 (there are some conservatives who think she is political magic and many other Americans that think she is political poison).

*When McCain lost, all the networks scrambled to cover her first foreign policy speech . (I know because I was on CNN as a talking head and I was in a studio for some 5 hours as they kept us on hold to do two segments…she was considered possibly the wave of the GOP future and merited major live speech coverage). She never took off beyond the person running around talking about Barack Obama “paling around with terrorists” — a phrase that conjured up images of Obama with his arms around at terrorists. Palin stared paling around with talk show host type blunt rhetoric and never ended that rhetorical friendship — which turned off indies and moderates.

*She is closely identified with the Tea Party which is not a huge plus with many American voters.

*Many GOP establishment types (including Karl Rove) noted early in this primary season where some of her supporters thought she’d throw her Facebook page into the ring and run that Sarah Palin seemingly never made the SLIGHTEST attempt to expand her existing constituency.

At first I thought this well written and when-you-read-it logical L. A. Times commentary was actually written under a pen name by Democrats Bob Shrum or Paul Begala. But, no, it is serious, inded.

I am betting it’s highly unlikely that thoughtful and/or powerful GOPers will seriously consider her for 2016. On the other hand, she remains popular with partisans.

And we’ve now had an election where we’ve seen a candidate who said just enough to outlast and outspend his competitors to get the support of the GOP base.

And we’ve seen how it turns out when Republicans nominate a candidate preaching mainly to the choir and seemingly thirsting for the nodding approval of talk show hosts and Fox & Friends but unwilling to try to become a best bud of another part of American (about 47%).

So it’s unlikely but still possible that in 2016 we’ll get Palin with her binders full of political polemics.

It may not produce a Republican victory.

But it would produce a lot of late night comedian — and Democratic Party — smiles.

UPDATE: Doug Mataconis:

The truth about Palin in 2016 is the same as the truth about Palin in 2012. She may be popular with a particular segment of the Republican Party, but we know from polling history that the public as a whole views her incredibly negatively. Notwithstanding that she’s been relatively silent over the past year or so, I seriously doubt that those opinions have changed very much. If she does decide at some point in the next four years to reinsert herself in the public debate, voters are going to be reminded of everything that they didn’t like about her, and the arguments against her candidacy will come up all over again.

The Republican Party has quite an impressive bench of candidates for 2016 that ranges from Marco Rubio, to Chris Christie, to Scott Walker, Susana Martinez, Rand Paul, Kelly Ayotte, and, as a long shot that I’m putting in because I’d like to see him run, Tom Coburn. The idea that voters would select someone who has essentially done nothing for the past four years, and will continue to do nothing for the next four years, is fundamentally absurd. Sarah Palin and her acolytes will milk the 2016 speculation for all it’s worth, but anyone who considers her a serious contender for the Republican nomination is deluding themselves.

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9 Comments

  1. The biggest stumbling block to her running is and always has been the fact that she is simply not qualified to be COMMANDER IN CHIEF of this nation. Then there are about a million smaller stumbling blocks. I doubt she could make her way to a podium without breaking something en route.
    Perhaps all of us Dems should actively support the idea just for the sheer fun of a landslide victory in 2016. :)

  2. How about Palin vs Clinton in ’16???

    WIPEOUT– they can make it three strikes in a row! What’s Tina Fey doing in 4 years?

  3. Anybody that knows THE TRUTH about Sarah Palin’s record and accomplishments in Alaska knows that she is MORE THAN QUALIFIED to become President of the United States. She would most certainly be a more effective leader than the national disgrace that managed to get re-elected. Palin’s problem is the GOP is dead. Without the Republican party imploding and a powerful, new party being born, the same hurdles that allowed the very weak Mitt Romney stumble to the top of the ticket and forward into failure still exist. The old boys network has betrayed conservatives, women, Hispanics, and other minorities. PALIN/WEST 2016.

  4. I just don’t know what to add to Keith’s statement…

  5. How hard can it be to run a state with the population of a medium sized city and flush enough with oil revenues to actually pay people to live there? And yes this Palin ’16 thing is a joke because its Nov ’12.

  6. Bring it on!!!

  7. There you go. A half term gov. and a guy who was almost court martialed from teh military. A winning ticket if I ever saw one! :)

  8. Actually, keith_sparbanie, anyone who knows THE TRUTH about Sarah Palin’s record and accomplishments in Alaska knows that she pushed through the largest tax hike in state history (yeah, sure, the tax was on the oil industry, but it was a tax hike regardless), and that her successor desperately wants it reversed because it isn’t – as Sarah falsely claimed – “incentivizing” (not an actual word) the oil companies, it’s driving them away. Anyone who lives in Alaska knows that overturning Sarah’s tax hike was virtually the only issue in this year’s state legislature races, and the voters agreed it needs to go because they elected a solid Republican majority pledged to do just that.

    Also, anyone who knows THE TRUTH about Sarah Palin’s record and accomplishments in Alaska knows that her only other notable accomplishment during her abbreviated term in office, the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA) hasn’t induced anything other than millions in state money being paid out to a Canadian company that is under no obligation whatsoever to actually build a gas line, all they have to do is think about it for a few years.

    Apart from those two bills, both of them failed policies, she didn’t do anything other than look pretty for the cameras, an act that wowed the masses for a brief spell, but was already well on the wane even before she was elevated far beyond her level of incompetence. And that, my friend is THE TRUTH about Sarah Palin’s record and accomplishments in Alaska, spoken by someone who LIVES in Alaska and witnessed it first hand.

  9. With concentrations of the population in urban centers, which don’t qualify as “Real America” in Palin’s assertion, as well as her dog-whistle calls of “pallin’ around with terr’ists” about Obama, I’d hardly say she’d have a chance in the general election.

    This “Fake American” would gladly vote against that intellectual lightweight.

    The problem with the GOP is that they divide us (i.e. “real” versus “fake”) and then point the finger at the Dems when the Dems say that we’re divided and should work not to be.

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