The latest Rasmussen poll, taken after Palin's announcement of resignation, shows she is still viewed favorably by 3/4ths of Republicans. Palin leads among Republicans in the very favorable category (45%), and is only beaten out by Mike Huckabee when "very favorable" and "somewhat favorable" categories are combined (78% Huckabee and 76% Palin). Only 21% have an unfavorable opinion of Palin.
Considering that 66% of Republicans identify themselves as conservatives (and 27% moderates and 5% liberals), Palin seems to have won almost all the conservatives with liberals and most of the moderates being those unhappy with her.
Unfortunately National Review's editor Rich Lowry has decided to lead conservatives by slamming Palin for being disingenuous and self-interested. Here’s Lowry on Palin’s resignation:
"It’s just too absurd. Palin mentioned Alaska or Alaskans 34 times in a 17-minute statement that must be a new record in the history of protesting too much. Palin says she hates politics as usual, and true to her word, on July 3 she staged a spectacle in politics as unusual. But she still proved adept at the traditional political art of extreme disingenuousness." [How many times did Reagan refer to California or Californians in his gubernatorial speeches or to America or Americans in his presidential speeches?–Protested too much?]
"She didn’t want to put Alaska through the hell of a lame-duck governor who would “hit the road, draw the paycheck, and ‘milk it.’” Never mind that if she feared becoming a lame duck, she could run for re-election — especially if “serving [Alaska’s] people is the greatest honor I could imagine.” Or that she could endeavor to work her hardest at her job until her last day in office. That may sound outlandish, but it’s been done before." [If serving the people of California was such a great honor for Ronald Reagan, why didn’t he run for senator or representative from California after being governor?]
"Sarah Palin’s words served only to throw a tissue of rationalization over a calculated choice made in her personal self-interest. In all likelihood, Palin is going to embrace her political celebrity with gusto, freed from the burdens of the geographic isolation of the Alaska governorship and its (relative to national politics) petty distractions. Her decision wasn’t particularly public-spirited, but neither was it crazy. She has seen her opportunities, and she’s going to take them." [Just as Reagan’s words only threw a “tissue of rationalization over a calculated choice” made in his personal self-interest. Reagan embraced political celebrity with gusto, freed from the burdens of the California governorship and its petty distractions. Reagan’s decision wasn’t particularly public-spirited, but neither was it crazy. He had seen his opportunities, and he took them.]
This may be Lowry's honest venting, but it’s not too smart either in political terms of getting a conservative elected president–-or for National Review. When you rely on conservative readers and spit in the eye of 76% of the party that is mostly made up of conservatives, that's like spitting into the wind. Good luck on that.
Poor National Review seems less and less to be leading conservatives than defying them.
Cross posted at The Next Right