Palin to conservative leaders: They said Reagan was unelectable too, didn’t they?

posted at 9:38 pm on October 8, 2010 by Allahpundit

A follow-up to yesterday’s post about her huddle with 50 top Republicans in Florida. If there was any lingering doubt that she’s very seriously considering running, it just disappeared.

Speaking to a group of well-connected Republicans at a private dinner in Florida this week, Sarah Palin implicitly addressed questions about her own electability by noting that critics also said Ronald Reagan couldn’t win in 1980, three attendees told POLITICO.

Palin, at an event organized by the conservative magazine Newsmax, told the right-wing crowd that those who don’t have the same convictions will always say a true conservative can’t win.

Pointing out that the knock on Reagan was that he was also too far to the right, the former Alaska governor repeatedly invoked the 40th president and conservative icon, at one point citing the quotation he was most fond of: that America is a “shining city on a hill.”…

“I was surprised about how many people in room said ‘yes’ when I asked if they could see themselves supporting her,” said one attendee. “I was expecting to hear what you mostly hear – ‘I hope she doesn’t do it’ or, ‘She’s more effective doing what she’s doing.’”

All three sources said they were impressed with how she handled questions off-the-cuff. Her point about “true conservatives” being deemed unelectable by those who disagree with them is fair enough, although (a) as George Will once noted in writing about Palin, the naysayers sure were right about Barry Goldwater; (b) it’s been said plenty of times that the reason McCain (and Bob Dole) lost is because they didn’t stand clearly for conservative principles, which is basically this same argument in reverse; and (c) general sentiment, I think, isn’t so much that doctrinaire conservatives can’t win as it is that doctrinaire conservatives or doctrinaire liberals can’t. You know the old chestnuts as well as I do: America is a center-right nation, elections are decided by the middle 10 percent, etc etc. That’s why The One positioned himself last time as a post-partisan “pragmatist” with the sort of sharp-edged pantcreases that so impressed David Brooks and Peggy Noonan and Christopher Buckley and Kathleen Parker. It’s not that they wanted to support a true-blue liberal; it’s that they were easily suckered by his promises of centrism, which were geared precisely at attracting people like them. The money question for Palin is figuring out whether she’s Reagan or Goldwater, which may in turn depend on whether Obama is Carter or LBJ (which itself may depend on how the economy’s faring in two years). If he’s Carter, having presided over a full term of malaise and economic stagnation, then a “true conservative” can win because centrists will flock to him/her as an alternative to the loser in the White House. If he’s LBJ, with the economy having turned around (at least a little) and the media in a full-court press to frame the GOP nominee as the nuttiest of extremist wingnuts, centrists will be hard to come by. Which, of course, reminds us of the great silver lining for Obama in a Republican rout next month — by forcing him to the right to get things passed, they’ll end up giving him some centrist credentials for the 2012 election.

Exit question: While down in Florida, Palin said (and not for the first time) that she’d run “if the American people want me to.” What exactly would constitute a sign that they want her to? Because pretty much every poll for at least the past year has shown her underwater both in favorable ratings and on the question of whether she’s qualified to be president.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 3 4 5

I would have also have taken the issue to the people and reminded them that this was happening. I would also have used my twitter and facebook status to raise money or my defense fund. There are numerous ways that she could have handled this. People want leaders who overcome these kind of challenges, at least I do.

Boxy_Brown on October 10, 2010 at 1:11 PM

She did have a defense fund that was started by some close friends of hers. They tried to make sure that everyone knew this was the “official” defense fund, rather than internet impostors, of which there were several.

Guess what. The defense fund itself was the impetus for even more ethics complaints and FOIA requests. It is illegal to solicit contributions as Governor. That is why she did not do it herself. Even this arrangement was attacked as somehow corrupt or inappropriate, even though it was vetted by many big time lawyers, some of whom had worked on establishing the Clinton’s legal defense fund.

Your ignorance of this situation is revealing. You did not even know about the Defense Fund, and the events surrounding it.

When it comes to Palin’s resignation, you don’t know what you are talking about.

Brian1972 on October 11, 2010 at 3:31 PM

MadisonConservative on October 11, 2010 at 11:38 AM

There you go again. When Sarah invokes Reagan, do you really think she is doing so to offer up comparisons?

long_cat on October 11, 2010 at 4:21 PM

If she wants to run, let her run. I agree with her about what the know it all press and RINOs said about Reagan. However, I also lived in California while Reagan was governor, and he had the same problem when he was president, he never saw a spending bill he could veto. Reagan of memory is much more conservative than as he governed. Part of that of course was because he had to deal with a Democratic Congress, but what wasn’t Democratic also wasn’t conservtive. Few true conservatives were in Congress at the time. Neither McCain nor Dole were true conservatives, Dole more so than McCain, but both had been in Washington way too long and had become corrupted by the systemic problems of the city. And the same will ring true in twenty to thirty years when the next president elected as a conservative is evaluated. Let us move past the hero worship of Regan and address the issues before us today. If Palin can win the Republican nomination and the dems put up the type of candidates they have put up of late, I should think that the values that Palin stands for should carry the day. If she doesn’t then the country gets what it deserves.

georgeofthedesert on October 11, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Who else among the Lilliputian GOP croud could rightly claim the mantle of Reagan?

When I was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, my Republican parents assured me that Reagan wasn’t electable and the media painted him in caricature and parody – words and images.

But the boy from Eureka College showed everyone, including the ensconced Ivy Leaguers in government and the media.

Sarah inspires people the way Reagan used to do.

Her detractors ignore her and joke about her at their own risk.

molonlabe28 on October 11, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Her detractors ignore her and joke about her at their own risk peril.

molonlabe28 on October 11, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Fixed ya.

long_cat on October 11, 2010 at 5:13 PM

georgeofthedesert on October 11, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Exactly my thoughts. But more progressivism and marxism? If the electorate makes this mistake again we are done. BTW, anyone hear the soundbites of BH0 on the campaign trail these past few days? He sounds like a crazed dictator, very Jim Jones-ean. Just my 2 cents.

long_cat on October 11, 2010 at 5:18 PM

Your ignorance of this situation is revealing. You did not even know about the Defense Fund, and the events surrounding it.
When it comes to Palin’s resignation, you don’t know what you are talking about.

Brian1972 on October 11, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Actually it sounds like I got it just about right and you are looking for another way to rationalize the fact that she walked away from the job she was elected to do.

As it stands now, if Sarah Palin were to be the one who came thorough the primaries I would vote for her, but the fact that she has this cult of personality with people who will mindlessly defend anything that she says, does or tweets is just one more drawback for me. Indeed, it’s sounding more and more like the Ron Paul nuts have simply switched over to Sara Palin.

Boxy_Brown on October 11, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Who else among the Lilliputian GOP croud could rightly claim the mantle of Reagan?

When I was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, my Republican parents assured me that Reagan wasn’t electable and the media painted him in caricature and parody – words and images.

But the boy from Eureka College showed everyone, including the ensconced Ivy Leaguers in government and the media.

Sarah inspires people the way Reagan used to do.

Her detractors ignore her and joke about her at their own risk.

molonlabe28 on October 11, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Agree 100%. Palin is a close to Reagan as I have seen in a potential national GOP candidate.

If she runs, she will win.

Norwegian on October 11, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Boxy_Brown on October 11, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Actually no, you did not get it about right, you got it wrong.

It is very disturbing to observe this cult of people who will mindlessly criticize anything and everything about Sarah Palin and anyone who expresses any desire to see her advance to the Presidency, especially when they are not familiar with the facts they purport to be experts on.

That Ron Paul crack was even more ignorant.

Use your brain next time, instead of blind emotion and mindless cultishness.

Brian1972 on October 11, 2010 at 7:29 PM

The real question is: why does anyone worry about Palin running in the Presidential primary, if she is such a zero?

entagor on October 11, 2010 at 4:45 AM

I’m a Palin supporter and I think the objection is that lots of Democrats will cross over to vote for her and spoil the primary and that she will go on to lose to Øbama.

While I think the first part of that will happen and she will be the nominee if she runs, I think whether or not she loses is wholly dependent on Øbama’s popularity and the state of the economy.

I think another benefit will be that she will break the “next in line” chain that plagues the GOP and, win or lose, she will change the GOP for the better in the long run.

Kafir on October 11, 2010 at 7:39 PM

Actually no, you did not get it about right, you got it wrong.

Where exactly did I get it wrong? You say that I didn’t know about her defense fund when I specifically mentioned it. You insinuate that the American public wont mind that she shrunk away from her obligation… anything to back that?

“It is very disturbing to observe this cult of people who will mindlessly criticize anything and everything about Sarah Palin…”

There was nothing mindless about it. Quitting in the face of adversity isn’t a leadership quality that we should be looking for in a president.

“That Ron Paul crack was even more ignorant.”

The tantrums here confirm it. Go sell flowers at the airport for her campaign…

Boxy_Brown on October 12, 2010 at 8:18 AM

The tantrums here confirm it. Go sell flowers at the airport for her campaign…

Boxy_Brown on October 12, 2010 at 8:18 AM

Yet more ignorance. If she is so unacceptable to you, when she runs for the nomination then you shall be vindicated by her imminent implosion when faced with the adversity of hostile media and competing candidates, right?

If you are correct about her, then your opinion will be the opinion of most GOP primary voters, she will lose the race, and we will move on to defeat Obama with someone else.

What’s the big deal? Let the games begin, and may the best candidate win out fair and square.

No need to pompously insult someone you have a minor disagreement with. I just think you have been wrong on the facts, and your opinion is misguided.

I do take the Paulnut insinuation to be an insult, especially since you know nothing of my opinions about his positions, which are not at all good.

Anyone running around bleating about “American Empire” sounding like a leftist from International ANSWER will never get my support for anything ever. Much less his collaboration with Barney Frank and Denis Kucinich to completely gut the industrial base that produces the world’s best military technology, and completely castrate the active forces of all branches. Unforgivable.

Just because a person may see admirable qualities in Sarah Palin that would make a good President, which I do, does not follow that that person is an unthinking cultist easily led by anything. Nothing is farther from the truth.

Your arrogance does nothing to add to your persuasiveness.

Brian1972 on October 12, 2010 at 8:40 AM

Boxy_Brown on October 12, 2010 at 8:18 AM

Hey Dufus: She resigned because of the frivolous ethics complaints against her and to deflect the undue strain on the taxpayer because of it. Stop posting this stupid talking point!

long_cat on October 12, 2010 at 8:42 AM

Let us not degenerate into dems with name calling. Part of the problem we have now is the low class machine pols from Chicago who must revert to form when they are loosing an election. If we argue the public virtue must come back into the political framework, it must start with each of us. Let them sling mud, notice how little of it is sticking this year. Their panic is obvious, it stench is palpable and originates in the White House.

georgeofthedesert on October 12, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Yet more ignorance.

Yet more insolence.

“If she is so unacceptable to you, when she runs for the nomination then you shall be vindicated by her imminent implosion when faced with the adversity of hostile media and competing candidates, right?”

As long as this doesn’t become an excuse to stay home on election day. Last time around there were plenty of excuses…

“No need to pompously insult someone you have a minor disagreement with. [...] Your arrogance does nothing to add to your persuasiveness. “

So introducing yourself by calling someone ignorant is not insulting or arrogant…..

Boxy_Brown on October 12, 2010 at 1:13 PM

Hey Dufus: She resigned because of the frivolous ethics complaints against her and to deflect the undue strain on the taxpayer because of it. Stop posting this stupid talking point!

long_cat on October 12, 2010 at 8:42 AM

George Washington didn’t cross the Delaware river because it was really, really cold out.
Lincoln let the south secede because it would have been an undue strain on the taxpayer to fight the civil war.
Eisenhower didn’t invade Europe because the Nazis might have gotten their lawyers out.

There are lots of great reasons to quit. It doesn’t make great leaders though.

Boxy_Brown on October 12, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Comment pages: 1 3 4 5