By Stacy Drake
Mona Charen wrote another anti-Palin hit-piece Thursday for the National Review titled, “Why Sarah Palin Shouldn’t Run.” Just as other establishment talking heads have done recently, she echoes the opinion that Governor Palin shouldn’t run for President. These people are all starting to sound identical to me. It’s almost as if they’re reading form the same talking points… I’ll save the conspiracy theories for the television-shooting freaks on the left. I’m sticking with the theory that these establishment pundits are really just a collective group of self-proclaimed elitists, devoid of original thought. Charen begins (emphasis mine):
By telling Barbara Walters that she thinks she can defeat President Obama, Sarah Palin has dimmed hopes cherished by sensible Republicans that she might decide against a run for the White House in 2012. Here are just some of the reasons she should not run.
The Republican nominee should be someone with a vast and impressive record in government and the private sector. Voters chose a novice with plenty of star power in 2008 and will be inclined to swing strongly in the other direction in 2012. Americans will be looking for sober competence, managerial skill, and maturity — not sizzle and flash.
I’m pleased with the thought that Mona’s “hopes” have been “dimmed” by a 24 second clip released by ABC. Last I checked, Governor Palin still has not made a decision about running in 2012. This does show you how much these establishment types are thinking about the prospect however.
Now, let me delve into what I’m sure Mona Charen considers the ‘substance’ of her article. She states that the Republican nominee “should be someone with a vast and impressive record in government and the private sector.” Mona Charen is either ignorant of the governor’s record, or she is purposely ignoring it. Governor Palin is no novice and, she is much more than “sizzle and flash.” Whatever that is supposed to mean.
Governor Palin was first elected to office in 1992. She has almost two decades of public service experience including City Council, Mayor, president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors, chair and ethics officer of the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, and Governor of Alaska. She has also helped run a commercial fishing business with her husband, which they have done for many years. That may not be up to a northeast elitist’s standard for private sector experience, but I assure you the Todd and Sarah Palin kept a budget to mange their expenditures and overhead. Unlike our current president, Governor Palin has held many jobs in her life. She also runs a pretty successful little operation these days. The one the media complains she makes too much money doing.
For a handy list of the governor’s accomplishments, Whitney composed a great down-loadable document awhile back, you can find here. The piece continues:
After the 2008 campaign revealed her substantive weaknesses, Palin was advised by those who admired her natural gifts to bone up on policy and devote herself to governing Alaska successfully. Instead, she quit her job as governor after two and a half years, published a book (another is due next week), and seemed to chase money and empty celebrity. Now, rather than being able to highlight the accomplishments of Sarah Palin’s Alaska, we getSarah Palin’s Alaska, another cheesy entrant in the reality-show genre. She’d so much rather be out dog sledding than in some “dull political office,” she tells the audience. File that.
Charen writes, “after the 2008 campaign revealed her substantive weaknesses.” Excuse me, but Governor Palin was the Vice Presidential nominee on that ticket. Mona should understand that the person in that role has to be a team player. They aren’t in charge of the “substance” of a campaign, but more so in selling the ticket’s message. If you have a problem with the “substance” of the McCain 2008 campaign, take it up with those in charge of that effort.
Mona Charen then says that Governor Palin “quit her job as governor” to “chase money and empty celebrity.” For those of us who paid attention to what happened in Alaska after the election, and actually cared that someone who represented the GOP in that race was being politically and financially savaged, Mona’s implication is insulting. Governor Palin did not resign to get rich. If you truly want to understand what lead to her decision, I strongly recommend reading chapter five in the governor’s book, Going Rogue called “The Tumpin.”
Charen also seems to have a problem with Governor Palin’s show on TLC. As someone who was originally a skeptic of the show idea in the beginning (primarily because I loathe television), after watching it, I think I understand why she did it. It is not “empty celebrity.” Sarah Palin’s Alaska showcases one of the most beautiful places on earth. A place Governor Palin promotes at every given opportunity. It also gives Americans a glimpse into who Sarah Palin is as a person. The governor is aware that many Americans have a false impression of her. The media went above and beyond to distort her reputation, and that effort continues to this day. She has once again, figured out a way to communicate with the country without the use of a press agent’s microphone. The governor uses the word “unconventional” a lot for a reason. I suggest establishment Republicans obtain an understanding of the word’s definition. Charen goes on:
There is no denying that Sarah Palin has been harshly, sometimes even brutally, treated by the press and the entertainment gaggle. But any prominent Republican must expect and be able to transcend that. Palin compares herself to Reagan. But Reagan didn’t mud-wrestle with the press. Palin seems consumed and obsessed by it, as her rapid Twitter finger attests, and thus she encourages the sniping. She should be presiding over meetings on oil and gas leases in the North Slope, or devising alternatives to Obamacare. Every public spat with Dave Letterman or Politico, or the “lamestream media,” or (God help us) Levi Johnston, diminishes her.
I honestly couldn’t disagree more. I have been in the news business for over a decade. I am well aware of just how the media works against people outside of the left-wing spectrum. Conservatives not fighting back has always been a source agitation for me. Why let someone lie about you? Why let the irresponsible media get away with trashing their own trade? The media have a responsibility in a free society to be ethical. It is a threat to any free society when the press become agents of any political faction. Governor Palin understands that. Besides, I don’t know about you but I like a fighter. She calls out the press when they are making things up, which they do daily. Regardless of what Karl Rove says, she does not answer all the attacks leveled against her because that would literally consume all of her time. She does however, call out the most glaring, and in some cases, more distorted attacks directed at her record, her character, and her family. Keep fighting, governor!
The next segment of Charen’s article attempts to take Governor Palin to task for supporting Bristol in the audience on Dancing with the Stars. She writes:
Speaking of television, have you watched “Dancing with the Stars”? Calling the show cheesy would be too generous. Perhaps the former governor should not be blamed for the decisions of her adult daughter. Yet there in the audience we see Sarah and Todd Palin, mugging for the camera and cheering on their unwed-mother daughter as she bumps and grinds to the tune of “Mamma Told Me Not To Come.” Her parents had advised her, the 20-year-old Bristol told an interviewer, that she had to stay “in character” if she expected to win. Being “in character” evidently meant descending to the vulgarity that DWTS peddles on a weekly basis. The mama grizzly was apparently unfazed by, or — equally disturbingly — unaware of, the indignity. And she is supposed to be a conservative culture warrior?
I take it Mona isn’t a big Dancing with the Stars fan. Fine, but lambasting someone for supporting their child during a competition is slightly heartless. Governor Palin is not ashamed of her children, nor should she be. Bristol is her daughter and she is a very proud mother. To try and make the governor feel bad for attending these performances, speaks loudly to the kind of character Mona Charen is. In other words, I feel bad for Mona’s kids.
In the next paragraph, Mona Charen derides Governor Palin’s endorsements from the misterm elections. Please note that Mona left out any discussion about the very successful campaigns that Governor Palin supported. She writes:
Voters prize judgment, above all, in a presidential candidate. Some of Sarah Palin’s 2010 endorsements were sound and arguably helpful. Others betrayed flightiness and recklessness. Tom Tancredo, Palin’s choice for governor of Colorado, has ridden his anti-immigration hobby-horse in a style perfectly suited to alienate Hispanic voters (describing Miami, for example, as a “Third World city”). Her endorsement of Christine O’Donnell was irresponsible and damaging, losing a seat that would otherwise have been a Republican pick-up. Of course, O’Donnell received an absurdly disproportionate amount of ink and attention during the race (the liberal press naturally seizes upon any opportunity to make conservatives look kooky), but Palin should have anticipated that. Besides, this one cannot be laid at the feet of the biased media. O’Donnell was a thoroughly unqualified candidate.
Yes, voters do indeed prize “judgment.” The judgment to place principles above filling congressional chambers with people who may belong to your party, but do not belong to your ideals. Governor Palin did not endorse candidates just because they were Republicans. She was not going to help elect people who would sell out our liberty, or help cosponsor any of Obama’s ‘transformational change.’ She chose the candidates she chose for good reasons. Every campaign was different but the bottom line is that Governor Palin cannot take full responsibility for the losses. Charen’s establishment buddies played a pretty big role in those losses as well by publicly trashing Conservative candidates, even after the primarily were over.
Charen’s ends it by saying:
Palin has many strengths. I admire her fortitude and her principles. Her ability to connect with a crowd is something most politicians can only dream of. I will always remember her 2008 convention speech as a rollicking star turn. She would be terrific as a talk-show host — the new Oprah.
But a presidential candidate? Someone to convince critical independent voters that Republicans can govern successfully? Absolutely not.
Mona Charen admires Governor Palin’s fortitude and principles, yet wants her to be talk-show host. While I’m sure principled talk-show hosts are a good thing, I think Mona is trying to diminish the governor with the suggestion. If Governor Palin does run for President, she will run an unconventional campaign. I’m sure these establishment types won’t understand what they’re looking at when they see it, but they are probably not going to like it. It won’t fit their presidential campaign mold, just like the governor doesn’t fit their presidential candidate mold. So what?
Governor Palin said she would take some things into consideration before making a decision to run for president. She has stated she will evalute the issues, the possible GOP contenders, how her family feels about it, and after prayerful consideration, she will make up her mind. She never said she was waiting to hear from the elite of the east coast to help make this big decision. The bottom-line is that Mona’s opinion doesn’t mean a thing at the end of the day.
May all of your hopes be dimmed in 2012, Mona!