Fox News continues to jettison some its most notable “contributors” and when I heard the news Dick Morris joined Sarah Palin on the Fox ash heap (but not Karl Rove? What’s up with that? Does he have pictures or something?) I got Palin’s fate stuck in my head and pondered it.
So I dug around online and saw Game Change for the first time last night and while I still think much of it is a self-serving attempt by people like Steve Schmidt and Nicole Wallace to shield themselves for future political employment opportunities, one could not help but feel sorry for Palin to be thrown into difficult situation. Both she and her family had to deal with a lot they weren’t completely ready for. Had the McCain people been a little more understanding of the situation, perhaps much of the unpleasantness could have been avoided.
That being said, where Palin realy screwed up was not so much in the campaign but in its aftermath leading up to her now apparent political exile back to Alaska. No can deny she has natural political talents that made her be able to connect to voters on an emotional level very few politicians have not to mention she’s one of the few Republicans, if not the only one, with the kind of star quality which transcend politics to pull the casual citizen into politics and campaign they normally wouldn’t pay attention to.
And yet, she squandered it all to point where not even Fox News wants her around anymore. People assumed she was going to run for President. No one would have begrudged her leaving the governor’s office early in term or any of her TV gigs or her campaigning on the Tea Party Express bus if it all done for a larger purpose, which was for the Oval Office. But when she didn’t run after so much teasing (including the fact she had people in Iowa trying their best to stir up a campaign for her on their own), she destroyed the link she had between the voters who loved her and herself. Not running made her just another celebrity, another talking head, another ex-politician trying to cash in. She made have thought it served her purposes better four to eight years down the road but it wound up wrecking such chances. And by leaving elected office and not doing anything which would have helped her prepare to be President only made her look less serious. She self-fulfilled everything the Schmidt and Wallace said about her in the book and the movie well after that campaign concluded.
Maybe she’ll get back into politics in Alaska to try rebuild her career but I have my doubts. I vacationed there in 2010 and even at that time I saw very little from Republicans or the public-at-large which wanted to acknowledge her existence outside of a few airport T-shirts. She became a parody of Conservative INC., more interested in profit than policy. That’s fine for her and family, but for those whose hopes and dreams she spoke to from her personal story and background (and I think we all know who I’m talking about), it doesn’t do much for them. They needed a champion and instead they got Mitt Romney. No wonder turnout was down. She may dream of comeback but who, even amongst the talk show hosts and other activists who would be her biggest fans, even speaks of her now or takes her seriously? No, Palin can dress fancier now but she’s also shrunk a few sizes in stature.