Charles Blow initiates a futile embargo:
This is it. This is the last time I’m going to write the name Sarah Palin until she does something truly newsworthy, like declare herself a candidate for the presidency. Until then, I will no longer take part in the left’s obsessive-compulsive fascination with her, which is both unhealthy and counterproductive…. People on the left seem to need her, to bash her, because she is, in three words, the way the left likes to see the right: hollow, dim and mean. But since she’s feeding on the negativity, I suggest three other words: get over it.
I never cease to find it amusing watching one clueless, shallow, and ignorant individual castigate others for their clueless and shallow ignorance. While Blow is correct and the attacks from the Left and the elite moderates of the Republican party only add to Palin’s already formidable popular appeal, it’s far too late to declare a moratorium on discussing her. No one cares if she’s hollow, (she’s a POLITICIAN, after all, and is therefore hollow by definition), no one of any political sophistication believes she’s any more dim than the average politician, and she’s demonstrably far less mean than her critics.
The reality is that there is a high probability that Palin will win the next presidential election if she a) elects to run and b) continues to strongly align herself with the opinion of the majority of Americans. This isn’t because she is a secret genius, but because intelligence is vastly overrated when it comes to the public appeal of politicians. Consider: the two most intelligent presidents of the modern era were Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon. And the last two presidents whose intelligence was methodically denigrated by the media both won second terms.
The main reason Palin enjoys such strong support is very simple and obvious. People do not see her as a Wall Street whore, unlike nearly every other national politician. Yes, she publicly supported the 2008 bailouts as John McCain’s running mate, but charges of hypocrisy are not going to stick because everyone knows that a vice-presidential candidate is supposed to echo the presidential candidate’s opinion, not express his own. Obama, Clinton, Biden, Romney, and every other national political figure who is taken seriously as a presidential candidate are all seen as Wall Street whores, with the sole exception of the New Jersey governor, Christie. Palin may be one as well, but she is not perceived that way now.
To win in 2012, whether Obama drops out or is defeated in the Democratic primaries or not, all Palin has to do is stay on the right side of the masses on immigration and the banks. She’d do better if she’d come out against the ongoing military occupations, but she can’t be harmed on the issue since every other potential rival supports them as well. She’ll come in for tremendous criticism, of course, if she refuses to give way on the two central issues but as Blow is among the first to finally notice, that won’t hurt her in the slightest.