The knives are coming out in both the Democratic and Republican parties as both parties gear up for 2012 and wings of the each party feel the other wing is dragging them down. The latest twist is a New York Daily News piece that says former President George W. Bush feels that former Alakas Gov. Sarah Palin is not qualified to be President, John McCain was wrong picking her – -and that McCain ran a lousy losing campaign for President:
Two years of retirement haven’t dulled George W. Bush’s political zest – and President Obama and Sarah Palin are among his under-the-radar targets.
The 43rd President has told friends the ex-Alaska governor isn’t qualified to be President and criticizes Arizona Sen. John McCain for putting Palin on the 2008 GOP ticket and handing her a national platform.
“Naming Palin makes Bush think less of McCain as a man,” a Republican official familiar with Bush’s thinking told the Daily News.
“He thinks McCain ran a lousy campaign with an unqualified running mate and destroyed any chance of winning by picking Palin.”
Meanwhile, the Daily News reports that Bush feels Obama is a failed President. Bush himself has been called just that — as Obama has been called that recently by not just Republicans but by some Democrats and at the ballot box by many voters:
As he prepares for the Tuesday launch of his memoir, “Decision Points,” Bush scrupulously gives his successor a public pass – a statesmanlike stance urged by his father, President George H. W. Bush.
“I want my President to succeed because if my President succeeds my country succeeds, and I want my country to succeed,” Bush typically says when asked about Obama.
“He won’t call Obama by name but he won’t trash him,” a confidant noted, referring to Bush’s comments in post-presidency speaking appearances, which have netted him millions, often at $100,000 or more a pop.
Still, he thinks Obama has failed as a President – a judgment supported by this week’s robust Republican gains.
On stories like this you have to wonder about sourcing. For instance, could it be someone close to Karl Rove (or Rove)? But sourcing aside, this is a fascinating article.
It underscores one fact:
Sarah Palin remains an acquired taste. And for some, it is a taste impossible to acquire.
Her supporters adorer her and go haywire when they hear or read someone who doesn’t react the same way (just watch comments under this post or any links that come in about it). But the fact is that a LARGE number of Americans including Republicans feel she is not qualified to be President. That does not mean she cannot win the nomination or election, her many critics notwithstanding.
But it indicates that if she won election she would probably be the most polarizing President ever because snark, sarcasm, and catchy talk radio style phrases do not
expand a constituency but limit it. She would a far more polarizing than Richard Nixon, George W. Bush or Barack Obama.
Could she win? Under the right circumstances, you betcha.
Could she govern with widespread support? Unlikely since so many American who could accept a President Huckabee or President Romney or President Jeb Bush would not be convinced — and above all Palin seems uninterested in trying to win over or convince those that don’t already agree with her.
On the other hand, George W. Bush represents the Republican establishment and old guard that Palin often disses.
It’s clear, though, that the “dissing” is mutual, given the recent comments of Rove and this clearly leaked report of what GWB feels (look for a denial as Rush Limbaugh raises it and defends his favorite Presidential hopeful..but stories like this are not invented or made up: a reporter talks to a source who usually has a motive in giving info).
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.