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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