Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, still painting Barack Obama as a mere “community organizer” and suggesting Obama is unworthy of Amnerican troops, delivered a speech that galvanized many at the 2012 CPAC convention. She pushed all the hot buttons she does so well: resentments, a warning to the GOP elites to listen to the Tea Party and give them more power within the party, layers of snark and sarcasm aimed at Obama and few (if any) specific policy suggestions
. But it shows why Palin is such an effective Republican political celebrity — one who will be able to help work to get a big chunk of the GOP out to the polls. The key here is her spirited call for party unity, no matter who the party nominee is. She could play an important role for Republicans in 2012.
If Sarah Palin had been on the ballot for the straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference, there is little doubt she would have won.
The former Alaska governor received far-and-away the most spirited and enthusiastic reception at this convention of about 10,000 conservative activists.
She drew the audience to its feet more than a dozen times during her keynote address on Saturday.
Palin made it clear that she felt a brokered convention would not be that bad an idea since it would maximize the chances for a serious party debate. And that she feels former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney needs to do more. Here is a video of her complete speech, which of course also mentions “a biased media”. Palin articulates and channels resentments but also shows her own at her 2008 experience in dealing with Republican Party bigwigs and the press.
In the years since she and 2008 Republican ticket front-runner John McCain went their separate ways, Palin became a small industry – public speaker, author, reality TV star, Fox News commentator, and potential presidential candidate who made tons of money while tantalizing millions of tea party supporters around the country with suggestions that she might run this year.
But polls show most Americans (including most Republicans) don’t think she’s qualified to be president, and through 2011 until the present, her approval ratings continued to drop – down to 38 percent favorable and 56 percent unfavorable, according to one CNN survey.
Donations to her political action committee dropped sharply during the second half of 2011. “Palin’s relatively meager second half haul came despite heavy spending on fundraising and a bus tour that fanned speculation that she might seek the GOP presidential nomination,” Politico reported recently.
And that slide from favor may eventually hurt her financially, particularly in her pitch for another “reality” TV show.
Hollywood Reporter put it this way recently:
“So far, networks have balked at the steep asking price…. Another obstacle is Palin’s waning status as a cultural lightning rod. The former Alaska governor burst onto the scene as the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate with a compelling personal storyline and outspoken conservatism that made her the darling of the right and a target of the left, helping her land a $1 million annual contract with Fox News.…. Says one network insider, ‘I think it’s safe to say her time has passed.’”