Charlotte Allen: Sarah Palin Is the New Ronald Reagan
Posted by Dr. Fay on November 17, 2012
From an op-ed at the Los Angeles Times by Charlotte Allen:
The Republican Party has been doing a lot of hand-wringing and finger-pointing since the presidential election. Half the conservative columnists and bloggers say the GOP lost because it overemphasized social issues such as abortion and gay marriage. The other half says the party didn’t emphasize them enough. And everyone denounces Project ORCA, the campaign’s attempt to turn out voters via technology.
But I’ve got a suggestion for cutting short the GOP angst:Sarah Palin for president in 2016.
You think I’m joking? Think again.
In 2008, Palin, running as my party’s vice presidential candidate, was widely supposed to have cost John McCainthe election. But that wasn’t so. A national exit poll conducted by CNN asked voters whether Palin was a factor in their voting. Of those who said yes, 56% voted for McCain versus 43% for Barack Obama.
Furthermore, Mitt Romney, the GOP’s anointed contender this year, got almost a million fewer votes than McCain did in 2008. (Meanwhile, President Obama, although winning reelection, lost far more voters than the Republicans, with nearly 7 million fewer voters checking his name on their ballots than did in 2008).
Palin can more than keep up with the Democrats in appealing to voters’ emotions. Hardly anyone could be more blue collar than Palin, out on the fishing boat with her hunky blue-collar husband, Todd. Palin is “View”-ready, she’s “Ellen”-ready, she’s Kelly-and-Michael-ready.
A Palin “war against women”? Hah! Not only is she a woman, she’s got a single-mom daughter, Bristol, to help with the swelling single-mom demographic. On social issues, Palin, unlike Romney, has been absolutely consistent. And let’s remember that most Americans, whatever their view of choice, disapprove of most abortions.
Palin’s son Track is an Iraq war veteran, so she can be proudly patriotic without being labeled another George W. Bush, looking to do aggressive nation-building. She seems aware there is only one nation in need of building right now: America.
Furthermore, looks count in politics, and Palin at age 48, has it all over her possible competition, including Hillary Rodham Clinton, who will be 69 by election day 2016 and who let someone talk her into adopting the flowing blond locks of a college student, making her look like Brunnhilde in a small-town Wagner production. Men love Sarah Palin, and she loves men.
She’s tough as nails too. After Election 2008, she was supposed to have been through. This year eight of the 14 GOP candidates Palin endorsed for Congress won election or reelection, including tea party favorite Ted Cruz for a Senate seat in Texas.
There are also the snooty East Coast Republican intellectual types, such as Peggy Noonan, who look down their noses at a woman who doesn’t shop at Neiman Marcus and didn’t attend an Ivy League university. But Peggy made a fool of herself calling the election for Romney on Nov. 5. Who’s going to care what she and her ilk have to say next time?
Some Republicans will say Palin has too much baggage from 2008, and we need to look for a new Sarah Palin. But I don’t see what’s wrong with the one we’ve got. Ever since the 1990s, Republicans have been looking for the next Ronald Reagan. Reagan is now revered in bipartisan circles, but during his presidency he was, like Palin, ridiculed by liberals. They cited “Bedtime for Bonzo” and sneered at his no-name college degree.
Sarah Palin is the new Ronald Reagan: charming and affable and unwilling to back down if she’s right. I can’t see what’s wrong with that.