Thursday, February 11, 2010

Palin Derangement Syndrome Blowback

Oh, the poor Palin haters. Their Palin Derangement Syndrome (PDS) is now provoking blowback from even heavy liberals like Joe Klein.

The ridiculous assertions about Palin writing notes on her hand because she couldn't remember her core beliefs has brought Newsweek's Joe Klein to Palin's defense:
"As Jay Newton-Small notes below, Sarah Palin inked some crib notes on her hand in preparation for her "big" speech to the Tea Party soiree. This has caused glee and derision in the left-wing blogosphere (as has her rather, well, unsubtle wearing of a joint US-Israeli flag pin). I have no problem with either gesture. . . . As for the crib notes, all politicians use bullet points. Some use teleprompters. It doesn't matter what you crib. It matters what you say."
Then there is MSNBC's Joe Scarborough claiming that Chris Wallace rolled his eyes in embarrassment upon ending an interview with Palin on Wallace's Sunday interview show.

So, what has to happen? Chris Wallace is asked whether he rolled his eyes, and on the way has to respond not only to that but to Palin's seriousness as a candidate--which is the real issue.

No one would have asked Wallace his take on the interview except for Scarborough's off the wall comment. And Chris Wallace gives a big push back citing not only his own view that Palin did exceptionally well in the interview when he threw lots of heavy questions at her, but Wallace cites Joe Klein and David Broder as witnesses that she is a serious candidate and a serious person.

So, two PDS swipes at Palin have turned out to increase her credibility as a serious presidential candidate, by bringing out unlikely (Joe Klein) and unusual (Chris Wallace) defenders. Palin's opponents are undermining the very point they are trying to camp on: Palin is stupid and not a serious candidate. Jennifer Rubin explains:
[Broder's] sort of unconventional-conventional wisdom is precisely what drives the Palin haters up the wall. Stop taking her seriously! Remember the Tina Fey parodies — she’s a joke! Her critics have gotten used to the luxury of a shared assumption among “serious” pundits that Palin is not ready for the big leagues. They’ve become accustomed to deriding her with cheap jokes and snide references. But along the way, they stopped listening to her and watching how the trajectory of her political development tracked the emergence of a grassroots, anti-statist movement. In their haste to denigrate her gig on Fox, they missed her new-and-improved sound-bite-polished TV delivery. Now along comes the dean of the Beltway to tell them: you guys have been asleep!
Here's what David Broder had to say:
"The snows that obliterated Washington in the past week interfered with many scheduled meetings, but they did not prevent the delivery of one important political message: Take Sarah Palin seriously.*

"Her lengthy Saturday night keynote address to the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville and her debut on the Sunday morning talk show circuit with Fox News' Chris Wallace showed off a public figure at the top of her game -- a politician who knows who she is and how to sell herself, even with notes on her palm."
. . .
"Her invocation of "conservative principles and common-sense solutions" was perfectly conventional. What stood out in the eyes of TV-watching pols of both parties was the skill with which she drew a self-portrait that fit not just the wishes of the immediate audience but the mood of a significant slice of the broader electorate".
[emphasis added]
[*David "she's a joke" Brooks, call your office!]

Broder even compared Palin with (gasp!) Ronald Reagan, not to mention Bill Clinton.
"More important, she has locked herself firmly in the populist embrace that every skillful outsider candidate from George Wallace to Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton has utilized when running against 'the political establishment.'"
The first major hole in the "Palin's stupid" dike was Stanley Fish's positive review of Going Rogue in the New York Times.
"The message is clear. America can’t be stopped. I can’t be stopped. I’ve stumbled and fallen, but I always get up and run again. Her political opponents, especially those who dismissed Ronald Reagan before he was elected, should take note. Wherever you are, you better watch out. Sarah Palin is coming to town."
Yep. The lady's seriousness and political potential is on par with Ronald Reagan's. Even clear-eyed liberals and centrists are seeing that.

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