Andrew Malcolm: Palin Punches Have Power
Posted by Dr. Fay on March 18, 2013
Excellent article by Andrew Malcolm at Investor’s Business Daily (emphases mine). It was actually written after her CPAC 2012 speech, but it is still a good analysis of how Gov. Palin connects with here audience.
Sarah Palin has been generally laying low these past several months save for her regular guest shots on Fox News and Fox Business and carefully-calibrated op-ed commentaries on a wide variety of current subjects released on her Facebook page.
It can be a good life not running for anything. Ask Mike Huckabee. You can talk about what you want to talk about. Not talk about what you don’t want to discuss. Life isn’t a blur of airplane hangars and cellphone flashes at your every move.
With two daughters in tow, Palin emerged from Alaskan hibernation this weekend to headline the year’s top conservative political event, the Conservative Political Action Conference in a sprawling Washington hotel the size of Rhode Island.
No wonder CPAC saved Sarah for last. And adjourned the conference during her applause.
No one in their right mind would go on-stage after Palin’s political palaver. People who dislike or fear her are incapable of seeing or admitting it. But that doesn’t diminish the reality that Palin is a rare political celebrity and, therefore, an unharnessed power to be reckoned with within the GOP for the foreseeable future.
We’re not talking about her running for any office. We’re talking about her influence, her enduring proven ability to attract and then ignite a crowd — even before anyone sees her. The CPAC buzz was electric all-day. Impatient “Sar-ah! Sar-ah!” chants broke out during preceding speakers.
She has the ability to speak about issues that profoundly bother the audience in common ways and words that listeners instantly recognize and wish they had thought to say just that way. Watch in the video below of her full CPAC speech for how this church-going mother of five mocks Obama’s Winning the Future program with an almost off-color aside. And prompts shared laughter, not shock.
She gets immense unspoken credit for withstanding an amazing amount of abuse and keeping on ticking. Palin punches have power, like her elbows beneath the basket in high school athletic days. One supporter said to me, as if it was the highest contemporary compliment possible, “She fights like a girl!”
Most politicians these days talk to their audiences or, worse, at them. Even the Real Good Talker, who made his name on a 2004 convention speech and has been giving too many ever since. Governing is hard work. Campaigning is tiring, but much easier. So, he has been and will be campaigning, blaming others as usual.
Instead, instinctively Palin doesn’t speak at or to audiences. She speaks for them. She tells them what they’ve already accomplished through the tea party, for instance, and what they can accomplish this year and beyond if united. It’s empowering and invigorating, no longer burdened by the attacks of enemies, she need play no defense. The audience hears that she knows them and eagerly becomes hers. To criticize Sarah is to criticize them.
It’s a refreshing phenomenon to watch politically when compared to the current bipartisan cast of characters trying to communicate publicly in this presidential election year. Fascinating, as on either side the ones who are running aren’t connecting. The one who isn’t, is.
Excerpting Palin speeches loses the flow, the knitting together of her thoughts with the audience’s. Even television filters the electricity of listening in the same room. The best we can do for now is provide her full speech on video.
P.S. After his CPAC speech, Santorum and clan walked off the stage. After theirs, Romney and Gingrich stepped down to shake hands with front-row members for a few minutes. Good moves.
After hers, Palin got a standing ovation. She waved for two minutes then plunged into the audience. Moving slowly like a mini-mob from one side of the vast ballroom to the other to accommodate the waves of well-wishers with hands outstretched and cellphones poised. Some sections spontaneously sang ‘Happy Birthday’ for her. And she was thrilled every time.
Sarah Palin did this for the better part of another hour, longer actually than her speech. TV was oblivious, the crews coiling their wires to go home as she continued shaking and touching hands on the ballroom floor below.
h/tp Josh Painter/The Sarah Palin Journal