|Sarah Palin at 2015 Iowa Freedom Summit|
Palin is the only Republican who has hit speech home runs since Reagan. Her 2008 acceptance speech set conservatives on fire--as did her stump speeches. She's the only Republican who has drawn the sort of crowds Barack Obama drew. McCain-Palin (59,946,378) got more votes than Romney-Ryan (59,134,475) got in a supposedly much easier election.
So, I clicked on the link to York's column. It seems to be a mishmash of quotes from people who didn't like Palin's speech in Iowa. The column is headed, "As 2016 race begins, GOP faces its Palin problem". I looked in vain for a significant problem. Apparently, the only problem is whether people should invite Palin to candidate forums.
But if there is indeed nothing behind her "seriously interested" talk — and it appears there is not — should she be included in events leading up to the 2016 caucuses? A lot of GOP activists may come to agree with one of those well-connected Iowa Republicans quoted above, who remarked, "The sooner these forums in Iowa focus on those actually running, the better."Huh? That's a problem? Have these people lived through any pre-primary period before? If there were to be a forum now with only declared candidates, who would be there?
Has Byron York gone stupid? No, this is a recurring one-off that is part of professional hazards for commentators. Because they write (or talk) a lot they say stupid things now and again.
Now, to the main part of York's column. Some conservatives didn't think Palin's speech was good. Yawn. Some didn't like her salty speech. Probably the same people who think newly elected Senator Joni Ernst was too gross to be a serious candidate.
So what if this isn't Palin's best speech. Who cares? She's had so many great ones. When Mariano Rivera had a bad night pitching, only idiots said it was the beginning of the end for him.
I remember when Reagan lost Iowa in 1980, he was considered over the hill and not sharp enough to run a good primary campaign--let alone a presidential campaign. George Will was for Howard Baker and then George H. W. Bush over Reagan. So much for his ability to see Reagan's greatness. National Review didn't support Reagan even unofficially over the other Republican candidates in the 1980 primary supposedly because even Bill Buckley (!) was concerned about Reagan's age and physical and mental energy.
And President Reagan had real flubs. But, he also hit a lot of home runs both in speeches and in policy. Palin has hit more home run speeches than any one else who spoke at the Iowa event or even all of them combined. Maybe she should be given a little leeway.
One hopes the future comments of Byron York will better reflect the realities of politics in the context of historical perspective.