Our political Quote of the Day comes from former first lady Barbra Bush — someone who many believed often would say out loud what others in her family said in private. And it sounds like she isn’t a friend on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page:
Sarah Palin may not have the biggest fan in former first lady Barbara Bush.
“I sat next to her once. Thought she was beautiful,” Barbara Bush said. “And she’s very happy in Alaska, and I hope she’ll stay there.”
Bush, along with her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, spoke to CNN’s Larry King in an interview set to air Monday.
The quote is not really surprising.
Some of the candidates Palin tried to defeat and helped defeat were GOP establishment types who had strong ties to the Bush family. And the Tea Party movement is in many ways the repudiation or George W. Bush’s idea of “compassionate conservative.” If a conservative today argued for his party to be compassionate he’d either be blasted by Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity or face a primary challenge — or both.
Additionally, if there are hopes that Jeb Bush will run in 2012 (unlikely) or 2016 (likely) Palin will be a roadblock.
This quote underscores the fact that Palin remains an acquired taste, has failed so far to extend the constituency and coalition, and polarizes even within the Republican party. On the other hand, she gets as many Internet hits as the President of the United States so he (or she) who underestimates her abilities within her party or potential if she runs for national office may live to regret it.
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.