“Much as I would like to believe that the answer lies in some elevated consideration, I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the same species of class bias that Mrs. Palin provokes in her enemies and her admirers is at work among the conservative intellectuals who are so embarrassed by her. When William F. Buckley Jr., then the editor of National Review, famously quipped that he would rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the combined faculties of Harvard and MIT, most conservative intellectuals responded with a gleeful amen. But put to the test by the advent of Sarah Palin, along with the populist upsurge represented by the Tea Party movement, they have demonstrated that they never really meant it…
“As for me, after more than a year of seeing how those ‘prodigious oratorical and intellectual gifts’ have worked themselves out in action, I remain more convinced than ever of the soundness of Buckley’s quip, in the spirit of which I hereby declare that I would rather be ruled by the Tea Party than by the Democratic Party, and I would rather have Sarah Palin sitting in the Oval Office than Barack Obama.”
“As for Palin, her political heart, if she had one, would of course be with McCain’s challenger, who purportedly stands for everything she does. But being consistent politically is no longer as important to Sarah Palin as being a star. The McCain gig in Tucson was a big booking; images of being embraced anew by a legend provided resonant media far more valuable than backing the other guy in the race, who merely furthered the Tea Party cause. When she’s out at their fervid rallies, Palin pretends to be talking to True Believers in a political movement. But she’s really only talking to consumers. Buy my book. Watch my show. Hype my brand. She has chosen celebrity over politics, and who can blame her, given what hell it is to try and serve your country in Washington these days.”
“I also know that some people pretty close to her in Alaska who feel as if she has gone ‘Hollywood’ (my words, not theirs) and that the ‘real’ Sarah Palin may be on the verge of being lost forever. There is no doubt that a documentary of this type, which will bring enormous exposure and probably tourist income to Alaska will restore some of her ‘ice cred’ and popularity there.
“Why is this important? Well, it isn’t because of Alaska’s three electoral votes. It seems to me that at least part of what this path provides is the possibility of running for Alaska’s currently Democrat-held U.S. Senate seat in 2014. Under this scenario Palin leads the GOP to victory in 2010, immediately gets out of the way of the other contenders by announcing that, for the good of the team, she is not running for president, and then, after Obama wins reelection she declares herself for the Senate seat. This way she avoids an inevitable defeat and emerges tanned, rested and ready (and, in the minds of many people, more experienced/seasoned) to be the frontrunner for the 2016 nomination in a year that looks like a slam-dunk for Republicans.”
“From the day McCain picked her from obscurity, Gore has seen Palin as a potent, raw political talent who is not to be underestimated. He didn’t mention Palin by name, but he did say ‘anger is not a platform’ and condemned voices who rail ‘against everything without any kind of sensible policy prescription’ for alternatives. Gore’s remarks were typical of those by other speakers at the event, including Reid. Democrats know it won’t be easy to save control of Congress — and Reid’s seat — in November. But the passage of health care gives the President’s party confidence that they have a fighting chance to keep Palin from commanding her grass-roots army to victory. Don’t be surprised if the former Alaska governor, as well as a host of politicians, pundits and the press, use martial imagery to describe events over the next seven months and to rally the troops accordingly. For Palin — and Obama, Reid and McCain — the passage of health care was not the war — it was just the opening battle.”