Sarah Palin defects from the neocons

One theory is that Palin never had any real foreign-policy convictions. She allied with George W. Bush when it was popular to do so in her party, adopted John McCain’s attitude when it was politically advantageous, and is changing again now that her most likely path to political relevance lies within a Trump Administration.

Another theory is that she was earnest in bygone foreign policy pronouncements, but it isn’t her priority. In this telling, Palin has substantive disagreement with Trump’s views, but they are inconsequential to her given other similarities in their outlooks.

Either way, Palin has defected from the neoconservative camp to a candidate who is openly antagonistic to the neocon worldview. And that strikes me as significant. The shift is eased by the fact that, like many neocons, Trump talks about foreign policy by declaring that the United States needs to be strong and tough. But the rhetorical similarities are juxtaposed with hugely different approaches.

Going forward, it will be fascinating to see what Palin says about foreign policy, especially if Trump squares off against Hillary Clinton, with her neocon proclivities.