Via “America’s Morning News,” skip ahead to 3:50 for the key bit. The most interesting part of this, aside from reminding listeners that grassroots hero Sarahcuda doesn’t always endorse the most conservative candidate in the race: Kingston’s suggestion that the Mama Grizzly-in-chief might be playing identity politics in her choice of endorsees. Jim Geraghty elaborates:
The polling backs Kingston’s interpretation: “The majority of voters (56 percent) says Nathan Deal is a conservative in his political beliefs. In comparison, only 35 percent of voters say Karen Handel is a conservative, while a significant percentage of voters say she is a moderate (30 percent).” In other words, when a woman who is arguably the nation’s most prominent conservative endorses a candidate who is perceived as the less conservative of the two options, Republicans probably wonder what motivated the endorsement. As Kingston’s comments suggest, if Republicans deem the endorsement to be driven by gender solidarity, they probably dismiss it.
Palin gives the reasons for her endorsements when she makes them. But looking over her list of candidates, it seems easy to argue she has a soft spot for military veterans, women, and candidates who are outsiders or who define themselves in opposition to local party establishments. (“Mavericks,” you might say.)
I’d be curious to know what Chuck DeVore supporters, who bristled when Palin backed Carly Fiorina over the “true conservative” in California, think of that. Certainly she’s trying to build a brand with the “Mama Grizzly” thing, which is good retail politics ahead of 2012 (especially since she typically polls worse among women than men), but I think it’s a step too far to conclude that she’s endorsing women just because they’re women. NBC points out that she’s actually endorsed more men thus far (including Joe Miller over her old nemesis Lisa Murkowski) and has held back on endorsing women in other races even when they’ve faced a male opponent (Jane Norton vs. Ken Buck, Sue Lowden and Sharron Angle vs. Danny Tarkanian). As for why Kingston is singling her out for butting in when people like Romney and Huckabee also jumped into race, I’m not sure. Huckabee’s apparently had a working relationship with Nathan Deal for awhile but I’m unaware of any connection between Karen Handel and Mitt. Is Kingston letting him off the hook because he didn’t come to Georgia to campaign like Palin did, or just because her endorsement’s much more likely to make headlines and become a factor than Romney’s is?
I think his real issue here is that she dared to jump in and breathe a little life into the perceived RINO in the race. Exit question: Why does Sarah love RINOs?