Ziegler: Palin’s heading in the wrong direction for a 2012 bid

posted at 12:15 pm on March 3, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

John Ziegler is known for his tireless defenses of Sarah Palin, especially for his outstanding documentary Media Malpractice, which builds a powerful case for media bias in the differing media treatments of Palin and Barack Obama.  His combative exchanges with media hosts had made his appearances on national shows rare, especially on MS-NBC.  Today, though, John gets a late spot on Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough and has a somewhat mellow exchange with Scarborough while giving an uncharacteristically dour analysis of Palin’s chances in 2012:

As it happens, I agree with John that the moves Palin has made are brilliant for someone who wants to focus more on activism than electoral politics, and for the reasons that John gives in this appearance.  At least in 2010, Republicans need to have a big draft among disaffected independents in order to gain a governing coalition in Congress, and then they need to maintain that reach in 2012 if they want to make Barack Obama a one-termer.  The nominee will have to have credibility with both the base and with independents in order to achieve the necessary cohesion and energy to defeat an incumbent President, which is somewhat rare over the last 100 years; only Taft, Hoover, Carter, and Bush 41 have lost such efforts (excluding Ford, who wasn’t elected in the first place). Palin’s moves since 2008 have gone in the opposite direction.

That doesn’t mean that Palin can’t do it.  There is plenty of time for her to focus less on her base, which is already tremendously loyal, and start working on her appeal to independents, if she’s interested in the 2012 race at all.  Her appearance on Leno last night was a good step in that direction, but she may be playing for a longer game than her fans and critics think.

John still gets in his dig at MS-NBC, which has mainly consisted of Obama jock-sniffing for the last three years, with the exception of Scarborough.  MS-NBC manages to get its dig in on John, too, as the graphic shown in the front-page pic attests.  The only two notable events they can highlight is that John started off as a sportscaster and got fired from a TV gig?  Really?  Should a network that has a sportscaster as its “news anchor” be throwing stones in that direction?


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MoodyBlu on March 3, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Pretty much the way I feel. I’ve been of the opinion that Palin is not going to run since I got her book. Her gig on Fox sealed the deal for me. I liked her a lot last year, but I can’t say I’m as enthusiastic about her now. But she’s young yet.

entropent on March 3, 2010 at 1:20 PM

I agree with her at the moment. We should take back the GOP.

HondaV65 on March 3, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Sarah Palin ran on the same ticket as John McCain. In what alternate reality is she advocating “taking back the GOP”?

Her record shows that she works within the party to take on actual corruption, but that’s about it. She challenged an incumbent of her own party for Governor, and she blew the whistle on his criminal friends in the GOP. I have never heard of her attacking people for a difference of opinion. She is strong enough in her own convictions.

chunderroad on March 3, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Let me restate this …

Sarah Palin is NOT running for President.

Sarah Palin’s ONLY goal is to wrest the GOP out of the hands of the RINOs and moderates. In short – her goal is to ensure that Ed and Allah don’t have their way with the party nomination next time around.

HondaV65 on March 3, 2010 at 12:36 PM

But Allah is quite clear he believes she’s too stupid to think all smart like that.
Plus it’s a fair certainty she doesn’t watch any of the food-fight shows so she’s culturally backwards too.

Stephen M on March 3, 2010 at 1:24 PM

entropent on March 3, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Palin will announce whether she is running in 2012 when everyone else does. Until that moment, she has every right to pursue office. So, there’s no reason to rule out a 2012 run, especially since everything she does indicates that she will.

chunderroad on March 3, 2010 at 1:25 PM

“I would be willing to if I believe that it’s right for the country,” Palin said when asked if she would run for president in 2012. Sarah Palin on Fox News Sunday, February 7, 2010

chunderroad on March 3, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Intrade 2012 nomination rankings:

1) Romney $26
2) Palin $24
3) Thune $14

Palin was at $6 immediately after she resigned.

Jon0815 on March 3, 2010 at 1:32 PM

chunderroad on March 3, 2010 at 1:25 PM

But I’m thinking if she was intending to run, she would have written a different book. A pleasant, chatty campaign memoir is a fun read for anyone who loves her. But it looks backward. She did touch the values and small government bases, but in a general way. Her book was no plan for the future. And when she signed a multi-year deal with FoxNews, that did it for me.

I’m all for giving her Huckabee’s time slot, incidentally.

entropent on March 3, 2010 at 1:34 PM

Why is Ziegler sexist against Sarah Palin?

Proud Rino on March 3, 2010 at 1:34 PM

I think Ziegler is right on his first point, that Mrs. Palin has simply played the cards that were dealt to her, and done so brilliantly. But I don’t agree with his second point, that she is not doing what she needs to do to make a serious run for the Presidency in 2012. If you are strictly going by the old playbook, he may be right. But Ziegler, of all people, should realize that Sarah Palin has thrown out the playbook. She is writing a new one for herself. It may or may not work, but you can’t write her off based on the old formula.

In addition, so much is going to happen between now and the fall of 2011. She may yet be the right person at the right time. She may not be. But it’s silly for any analyst on the right or left to either crown her or dismiss her.

Many, many people wrote off Ronald Reagan after 1976. He was seriously challenged in 1980 by George H.W. Bush and pushed into the “far-right” corner by the media. But he won the nomination and the presidency anyway, because he was the right man for the times.

rockmom on March 3, 2010 at 1:37 PM

But I’m thinking if she was intending to run, she would have written a different book. A pleasant, chatty campaign memoir is a fun read for anyone who loves her. But it looks backward.

entropent on March 3, 2010 at 1:34 PM

She needed to write an autobiography first. Her next book can be about policy and her vision for 2013 and beyond.

Doughboy on March 3, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Sarah Palin ran on the same ticket as John McCain. In what alternate reality is she advocating “taking back the GOP”?

Her record shows that she works within the party to take on actual corruption, but that’s about it. She challenged an incumbent of her own party for Governor, and she blew the whistle on his criminal friends in the GOP. I have never heard of her attacking people for a difference of opinion. She is strong enough in her own convictions.

chunderroad on March 3, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Amazing, isn’t it, how people see and hear what they want to hear from her. Which is exactly why she may very well be our next President.

rockmom on March 3, 2010 at 1:41 PM

I agree Ziegler made a great documentary, but his salesmanship couldn’t be worse – you can’t afford to be as snarky and whiney as he is and sell your message. Of course, how many sales does he expect to get by going on MSNBC as often as he does anyway? I think he prefers cage matches to generating sales on TV. He whines that only Rush on the conservative media has applauded his efforts. That’s just not true.

kscheuller on March 3, 2010 at 1:45 PM

***
Sarah Palin’s record as Governor of Alaska towers far above that of any other real conservative candidate I have seen. Who else ever removed more corruption from a state?–she took on both parties. Has anyone in your state cut a better deal for the taxpayers with the oil companies and given back the money to the people? How many politicians “walk the walk” on pro-life?–most opt for their own convenience. Name another Governor who sold the state’s private jet and fired the pilot and takes commercial flights instead. What other Governor fired the cook and does the job at her own expense?
***
SARAH’CUDA for POTUS and JOHN BOLTON for VP in 2012–the America First ticket. I want someone who works for me–not for themselves at my expense.
***
John Bibb
***

rocketman on March 3, 2010 at 1:45 PM

She should do whats best for family, which is make as much money as possible and no POTUS run.

Speedwagon82 on March 3, 2010 at 1:46 PM

She should do whats best for family, which is make as much money as possible and no POTUS run.

Speedwagon82 on March 3, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Barefoot and pregnant… For the kids!

chunderroad on March 3, 2010 at 2:07 PM

the moves Palin has made are brilliant for someone who wants to focus more on activism than electoral politics

Said it before, will say it again: Palin is the conservative Oprah. She can do more as the “Alaskan Xena – Culture Warrior” than she could as a GOP pol.

Bruno Strozek on March 3, 2010 at 2:10 PM

If Palin leads a huge sweep in 2010, she can do whatever she wants.

Ronnie on March 3, 2010 at 2:30 PM

It may or may not work, but you can’t write her off based on the old formula.

In addition, so much is going to happen between now and the fall of 2011. She may yet be the right person at the right time. She may not be. But it’s silly for any analyst on the right or left to either crown her or dismiss her.

rockmom on March 3, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Rockmom, you are so right.

And Ziegler is just drawing attention to himself by first defending her, then criticizing her. It’s the Dick Morris strategy, and so transparent.

DaydreamBeliever on March 3, 2010 at 2:36 PM

As it happens, I agree with John that the moves Palin has made are brilliant for someone who wants to focus more on activism than electoral politics, and for the reasons that John gives in this appearance.

Have to agree with Ziegler’s analysis as well. Frankly, I don’t care one way or another what Palin might be planning for the 2012 elections. She’s obviously willing to be out there as a pinata for the MSM, which deflects their focus from other viable potential candidates, thanks to their unholy obsession with all things Sarah Palin related. For that I’m thankful that she’s taking everything they throw at her and is whistling a lighthearted tune and skipping gaily all the way to the bank. She’s earned it!

KendraWilder on March 3, 2010 at 2:37 PM

entropent on March 3, 2010 at 1:34 PM

If a policy book is what she needs, after the midterms is when to hit with it. “Going Rogue” was her side, and image rehab. Policy books (like Mitt’s, IMO) will be in the dustbins and back of memories by summer 2011- unless she drops it in, say, March 2011.

Then, the others are old news, and hers has proximity to the election cycle.

Unless the Fox gig and her (by then well-polished) stump speech are deemed adequate for her policy chops.

cs89 on March 3, 2010 at 2:44 PM

I always like the way Zeigler was one of the few that really stood up against the unfair attacks against Palin and USED to think he was a big supporter of hers, well NO MORE.

Even Romney said it this morning on the same network, Sarah Palin IS qualified to be President!

WHY such an ABOUT FACE Mr. Zeigler? Just what is YOUR agenda regarding Sarah Palin?

Conservaboomer on March 3, 2010 at 2:53 PM

WHY such an ABOUT FACE Mr. Zeigler? Just what is YOUR agenda regarding Sarah Palin?

Conservaboomer on March 3, 2010 at 2:53 PM

I’m pretty sure Ziegler doesn’t want SP to run for President, but prefers that she tie up Todd and have sex with him instead, professing her undying love…

Jenfidel on March 3, 2010 at 2:58 PM

chunderroad on March 3, 2010 at 2:07 PM

When did conservatives become the PC party? I’m sorry, but there is a difference between a mother with 3 little kids having a demanding job like the Presidency and a father with in the same situation. Do you really think Trig benefits from the lack of time with his mom?

Speedwagon82 on March 3, 2010 at 2:59 PM

If Palin tries to appeal to middle-of-the-road voters, she going to start pissing off the “purity testers” that make up her base.

Palin is never going to be president. And I kind of doubt she’ll ever run.

Tom_Shipley on March 3, 2010 at 1:03 PM

I find it interesting that people attack Romney for appealing to the independent voter and that Mitt won’t win because he is popular among the independent voter…

…and yet Palin folks are encouraging her to go after the independent voter so she can win.

So…its not ok for Mitt to go for the independent voter but its ok for Palin to do so?

I sense a double standard.

Conservative Samizdat on March 3, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Conservaboomer on March 3, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Maybe it’s not an agenda. Maybe it’s actually his opinion. You don’t have to agree with it.

alwaysfiredup on March 3, 2010 at 3:00 PM

When did conservatives become the PC party? I’m sorry, but there is a difference between a mother with 3 little kids having a demanding job like the Presidency and a father with in the same situation. Do you really think Trig benefits from the lack of time with his mom?

Speedwagon82 on March 3, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Why is there a difference?
And do Malia & Sasha NObama benefit from the lack of time with both their mom and dad?
And who are you to judge such private family matters?
How do you know Trig “lacks” time with his mother anyway?

Jenfidel on March 3, 2010 at 3:02 PM

there is a difference between a mother with 3 little kids having a demanding job like the Presidency and a father with in the same situation.

Speedwagon82 on March 3, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Are you denigrating Todd Palin’s parenting skills? I’d watch out for an iron dog-league can of whup-azz if I were you.

alwaysfiredup on March 3, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Those liberal assclowns just can’t help themselves. Did anyone else notice the negative information on Ziegler, referring to losing his job for joking about one America’s other favorite felons, OJ Simpson? And that has what to do with the topic at hand? MS-NBC is just a network of leftist scumbag political hacks.

Virus-X on March 3, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Conservative Samizdat on March 3, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Oh get over it already, this is a thread about Palin. The candidates have different strengths and weaknesses. Romney has no trouble with indies, it’s the anti-washington GOP base that is his problem. Palin’s problem is the reverse. Therefore, they should and will have different strategies.

alwaysfiredup on March 3, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Hannity keeps repeating–and there is no one more repetitive than Sean–that despite the favorable political climate for Republicans, they are well capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

And Sarah Palin in the No. 1 way to do this. The right-wing base may love her (as is proven here on a daily basis), but a candidate needs those much-reviled independents to win. And independents are not going to support Palin.

Hopefully the Republicans will grow some smarts and get behind a viable candidate for 2012, or it will be four more disastrous years of Obama. As for you idealogues, please stop drooling over the unelectable Palin. You’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Meredith on March 3, 2010 at 3:08 PM

The right-wing base may love her (as is proven here on a daily basis), but a candidate needs those much-reviled independents to win. And independents are not going to support Palin.

Many indies already do support Palin–remember PUMAs?
Not all the folks who went out to see Sarah on her book signing tour were her “right wing base.”
Indies are leaving Obama in droves: where are they going to go?
To the pretty lady who makes all that common sense, that’s where.

Hopefully the Republicans will grow some smarts and get behind a viable candidate for 2012, or it will be four more disastrous years of Obama. As for you idealogues, please stop drooling over the unelectable Palin. You’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Meredith on March 3, 2010 at 3:08 PM

A good deal of us don’t think Palin’s unelectable and can’t understand why you say that.
Why is she “unelectable and not viable” in your opinion?

Jenfidel on March 3, 2010 at 3:14 PM

cs89 on March 3, 2010 at 2:44 PM

I think it is a fair point that Romney’s book will be old news in 2011. I downloaded his book the other day, and while I have not finished it yet, I have gotten the general impression so far that it is good, but not memorable. So, yes, if Palin comes out with her grand vision in 2011, it will pack a punch nearer to the election.

But the downside of waiting is the slow drop-off in support. I’m a perfect example of this; I loved her last year. I like her this year. The longer I look, the more questions occur to me. She would do well to get out in front of this kind of cooling phenomenon in a decisive way by releasing a serious “vision thing” (to quote GHWB) book with solid policy proposals that we can mull over.

FWIW.

entropent on March 3, 2010 at 3:16 PM

entropent on March 3, 2010 at 3:16 PM

That’s fine. I predict your ardor will return when she’s actually campaigning for an office.

alwaysfiredup on March 3, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Many indies already do support Palin–remember PUMAs?

More accurately, they should be called PUMA,MA. I’ll leave it to you to figure out what that means, but a quick look at the 2008 exit polls ought to help.

Not all the folks who went out to see Sarah on her book signing tour were her “right wing base.”

Source?

Indies are leaving Obama in droves: where are they going to go?
To the pretty lady who makes all that common sense, that’s where.

They disapprove of Obama, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to vote for someone else over him. They don’t like Palin either.

A good deal of us don’t think Palin’s unelectable and can’t understand why you say that.
Why is she “unelectable and not viable” in your opinion?

Jenfidel on March 3, 2010 at 3:14 PM

She quit the most important job she’s held so she could write a book and be on TV.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2010 at 3:25 PM

good, but not memorable.

entropent on March 3, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Boy, that just sums up Romney in general, doesn’t it? And I *like* Romney.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2010 at 3:26 PM

She quit the most important job she’s held so she could write a book and be on TV.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2010 at 3:25 PM

That’s not why she quit, that’s just what she did later.

alwaysfiredup on March 3, 2010 at 3:27 PM

That’s not why she quit, that’s just what she did later.

alwaysfiredup on March 3, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Right, I’m sure the two were totally unrelated. Anyway, I’m sure the Democrats won’t point that out in the GE. They’ll probably be really civil and make it an issues-based campaign.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2010 at 3:31 PM

She quit the most important job she’s held so she could write a book and be on TV.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2010 at 3:25 PM

She didn’t quit; she resigned because the her enemies on the political Left, many of whom were Obama operatives, made her term as Governor untenable by filing numerous, baseless ethics charges against her.
She fought and had 15 cases dismissed, but more were on the way.
She was unable to govern the state due to these lawsuits and it was bankrupting her personally as well as costing the state some money.
The deal with Fox came later, but I believe the book was in the works, regardless of whether she was Governor or not.

Jenfidel on March 3, 2010 at 3:47 PM

Right, I’m sure the two were totally unrelated. Anyway, I’m sure the Democrats won’t point that out in the GE. They’ll probably be really civil and make it an issues-based campaign.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Given the mess that NObama’s created in just over a year, Sarah Palin will get to pick the issues if she runs against him because he’ll have to run on his record and it won’t be pretty!

Jenfidel on March 3, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Since I like my opinion better, seeing how it’s just my thoughts in response to a random comment on this thread, and not a demand, why don’t you shut up?

uknowmorethanme on March 3, 2010 at 1:07 PM

BWWWAAAHAHAHA!!!!

Funny how you attack others for doing exactly what you claim to be doing here, but when someone attacks you, you tell them to shut up.

You’re an idiot. But then, your screen name reflects that you’re probably aware of that already.

UltimateBob on March 3, 2010 at 4:14 PM

Why is there a difference?
And do Malia & Sasha NObama benefit from the lack of time with both their mom and dad?
And who are you to judge such private family matters?
How do you know Trig “lacks” time with his mother anyway?

Jenfidel on March 3, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Michelle Obama does nothing all day. First Lady is not a job.

Speedwagon82 on March 3, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Given the mess that NObama’s created in just over a year, Sarah Palin will get to pick the issues if she runs against him because he’ll have to run on his record and it won’t be pretty!

Jenfidel on March 3, 2010 at 3:49 PM

So he won’t run on his record. Bush didn’t run on his record, honestly – he ran on “Kerry’s a flip flopper who likes teh gays.” It worked really well!

But this time, of course, will be different. I’m sure the media will help Palin keep it about Obama’s record though, right?

Proud Rino on March 3, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Gee, Mitt was on Letterman, Sarah was on Leno, he wrote a book, she wrote a book, he’s on Fox, she’s on Fox, he writes op-eds, she writes op-eds. Show me where he’s a more serious candidate than she is.

Kissmygrits on March 3, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Speedwagon82 on March 3, 2010 at 4:19 PM

Is your full screen name Speedwagon1882 since you’re a relic from the 19th century?

In your opinion, all women are capable of doing is having babies and baking cookies.

bw222 on March 3, 2010 at 7:40 PM

Palin is never going to be president. And I kind of doubt she’ll ever run.

Tom_Shipley on March 3, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Way to go out on a limb. Statistically, you could say that about anyone at all and almost certainly be right.

tom on March 3, 2010 at 8:09 PM

Hannity keeps repeating–and there is no one more repetitive than Sean–that despite the favorable political climate for Republicans, they are well capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

And Sarah Palin in the No. 1 way to do this. The right-wing base may love her (as is proven here on a daily basis), but a candidate needs those much-reviled independents to win. And independents are not going to support Palin.

Independents supported Reagan, when the media was telling everybody he was an extremist. Independents supported Bush in the 2004 election, while the media claimed he was toxic.

Independents will decide for themselves whether or not they will support Palin.

Hopefully the Republicans will grow some smarts and get behind a viable candidate for 2012, or it will be four more disastrous years of Obama. As for you idealogues, please stop drooling over the unelectable Palin. You’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Meredith on March 3, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Speaking of repetitious, calling her unelectable repeatedly does not make your claim any more true.

Your concern has been noted.

tom on March 3, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Hannity keeps repeating–and there is no one more repetitive than Sean–that despite the favorable political climate for Republicans, they are well capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Meredith on March 3, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Hannity is a big Palin supporter and has said many times that she would make an awesome President. He was defending her again on his Fox show tonight and saying she would be better at POTUS than Obama hands down!

Your argument doesn’t hold water.

sarahpalinfan99 on March 4, 2010 at 4:44 AM

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