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    July 07, 2009

    President Palin (not an obituary)

    Posted by: Andoni


    I'm a little nervous that a lot of the liberal chattering class is proclaiming the death of Sarah Palin's political career. I'm old enough to remember a similar situation with Richard Nixon in 1962 after he told the press that they wouldn't have Nixon to kick around any more. The liberals were dancing in the streets with joy. By 1968 he was elected president.

    The short version of how Palin can be elected president is as follows. In a 2 party system, your choices are either A or B. If the public turns on candidate A (or his party), they then vote for candidate B no matter who it is. The prime example of this happening is incumbent President Herbert Hoover losing to Franklin Roosevelt in 1932. The public turned on Hoover because of the economy. The Democrats could have run anyone against Hoover and would have won.

    Only two things have to fall in place for Palin to become president: 1). she gets the Republican nomination in 2012 and 2.) Barack Obama cannot turn the economy (or the unemployment rate) around and it gets worse. When the public turns on A, the only alternative in a 2 party system is B, even if B was fairly well despised at one time (Think Richard Nixon). The public has a short memory.

    Richard Nixon was much disliked by the public when he left politics in 1962. He was regarded as mean and not to be trusted ('tricky Dick"). But between 1962 and 1968 he traveled the country helping other GOP candidates raise money and win elections. The IOU's he gathered were immense. As a result he got the Republican nomination in 1968 largely due to all the favors owed him.

    Sarah Palin's popularity among the base will put her in a position to raise enormous amounts of money for other GOP candidates and help them win in Red states. The IOU's she collects could help her get the Republican nomination, just as it did Nixon. The other half of the equation of course depends on Obama's ability (or luck) in turning the economy around.

    Herbert Hoover was one of the smartest people of his day and he followed the advice of supposedly wise economic advisers .... who turned out to be wrong. As a result the public turned on Hoover and the Republicans after a 70 year dominance of the White House. Like I said, it didn't matter who the Democrats ran against Hoover, the people did not want Hoover.

    Other examples of the public turning on a party in power and choosing the other candidate are as follows: Richard Nixon (the despised) beat Lyndon Johnson's chosen successor largely because of the public's turning on the Vietnam War ...as well as the disgust over the police beatings at the Democratic Convention in Chicago. The public turned on Gerald Ford for pardoning Richard Nixon and elected a rather inexperienced, unknown Jimmy Carter in 1976. In 1980 the public turned on Jimmy Carter because of rampant inflation and the Iran hostage debacle and turned to Ronald Reagan, someone the left thought could never, ever be elected president.

    So the bottom line is the pundits don't know everything and don't have a good track record in predicting the political future. And when the public turns on the incumbent, the other person has a darn good chance of winning, no matter what their previous reputation was.



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    1. Doug on Jul 7, 2009 4:41:44 PM:

      Big difference between Nixon and Palin. Nixon had already been a congressman and vice president. Nixon didn't resign from any office mid-term either. Palin baled out of her first statewide elected office mid-term to go fishing. Comparing Palin to Nixon in the same sentence is laughable to say the lest.

    1. John on Jul 7, 2009 6:04:24 PM:

      I'd add Clinton in 1992, who beat out Bush 41 after he neglected to tend to domestic matters and forgot his "no new taxes" pledge. As for Palin, I do think that quitting mid-term, regardless of the reason why, will be her biggest obstacle should she decide to run for president in the future.

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Jul 7, 2009 6:14:08 PM:

      I'm gonna have to agree with Doug on this one. Palin has lost credibility with many of the hardcore base in the GOP, who were some of her strongest supporters. Although she has been popular in the past, her rash decision resign and her bewildering press conference will make it very hard for her to recover. Also, consider that there are plenty of other conservatives to take up the mantle, like Bobby Jindal and Butch Otter.

    1. Andoni on Jul 7, 2009 6:27:08 PM:

      John, I agree with you on 1992.
      Doug, your arguments are quite rational. Those arguments "should" prevent Palin from being nominated by the GOP and should preclude her election if they do. HOWEVER, when the electorate gets angry, they do not act rationally, they act emotionally. And if they get really really angry, they act very irrationally and very very emotionally, almost like mob psychology. Here are two examples: I knew left wing radicals who hated, really hated Nixon in 1968, yet they were so angry at Hubert Humphrey for not coming out against the Vietnam War, that many of these people voted for Nixon to punish the Democrats to teach them a lesson. Others stayed home, knowing it would help Nixon. Rational thinking had nothing to do with it.

      The other example is Adolf Hitler. He was a failed soldier, failed artist, had zip experience in political office, and a quitter or failure at everything he did, but the German people elected him because they were so angry at the government for the German economic collapse, war reparations, and hyperinflation. Again, emotional, not rational.

      A similar irrational anger could occur in the US should we have a depression as a result of Obama's policies or another really bad terrorist attack that the right wing could possibly link to an Obama softening of Bush's defense tactics (warrantless eavesdropping, torture, endless detentions). Then the fact that Palin (if the nominee) is unqualified or a quitter, however rational at this moment, will not matter at all when the country acts on emotions, not rationality.

    1. Chuck on Jul 7, 2009 8:14:32 PM:

      Chris and Andoni, I have been around on the planet long enough to be familiar with all of the scenarios you listed and everyone of them was right on the money.

      Of the many excellent points that you made, this one was the most frightening of all.

      The public has a short memory. Truer words were never spoken.

      Never deny the possibility of the impossible happening. It often does, as you so well illustrated.

    1. Tim C on Jul 8, 2009 8:54:53 AM:

      The big difference between Nixon and Palin is at the end of the day, Nixon was intelligent, competent and disciplined. Palin has natural political skills (she couldn't have gotten where she is without them) but she has little discipline and has demonstrated few abilities of analysis or critical thinking. Palin is like many gifted athletes who have inborn skills but who fail when placed under pressure or in the spotlight.

    1. Georgiaguy on Jul 8, 2009 1:30:11 PM:

      Palin's announcement and her subsequent interviews yesterday in waders remind of Greta Garbo's withdrawal from the silver screen. "I want to be alone!" seemed more the theme, although she doesn't rule out running for President later. I doubt she runs in 2012, but 2016 is possible. After some time away from the spotlight, her race would be like VP Dan Quayle's run in 2000. Remember that, he seems like an intellectual compared to Palin. His campaign garnered little attention and he quickly withdrew.

    1. albieon on Jul 8, 2009 2:12:00 PM:

      log into crossdaily.com and click on chat. What you will find will confirm Chris's comments.

    1. Kary on Jul 9, 2009 4:57:16 PM:

      The woman is inarticulate, under-educated, apparently doesn't read regularly, and thought Africa was a country. And she is still a potential GOP presidential candidate? The mind reels.

    1. cheap ugg boots on Nov 21, 2010 10:21:04 PM:

      Your point certainly makes sense but the only rationale that would move our politicians is if these cases allowed these couples to skip out on taxes or something to that effect, which I guess it does not. Our politicians seem to not think of us as people but something much less.

    1. cheap uggs boots on Nov 29, 2010 4:51:21 AM:

      Excellent point, Chris. One would surely think that the old adage "Misery loves company" would be the operative here.

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