Sarah Palin has never been accused of being a flawless speaker. Quite the opposite, since she stepped into the political limelight, she has often made a fool of herself. Palin often relies on props to emphasize statements or actions by those in the news, (unless they are members of the TEA Party). She carried a large cup of soda to the podium to mock former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg said he wanted to ban ‘super-sized sodas’ to help fight obesity. When Palin began her speech at a Republican conference in Iowa last weekend, she held up a ‘Ready for Hillary’ magnet. She then said ‘can anyone stop Hillary,’ to which the crowd responded, ‘yes we can.’
‘Ready for Hillary’ is a PAC collecting money for Clinton’s expected campaign. After Palin’s botched use of a prop and her chosen remarks, donations began arriving after her speech on the ‘Ready for Hillary’ web site. The final tally was nearly $50,000.
‘Ready for Hillary’ e-mailed Clinton supporters and said that Republicans would be on the attack immediately after she announced her candidacy. They asked for, and received the donations.
In predictable Palin style her meaningless rants continued. She apparently attacked Clinton’s age; she is 67-years-old. She said; ‘is Hillary a new Democrat, or an old one.’
Political writers, stand-up comics, and the late night talk show hosts must thank Palin for not disappearing into the Alaskan forest after she lost the election for John McCain, and embarrassed herself and the nation. She is fodder for thousands of jokes at her expense. Sometimes it’s just too easy.
Palin’s style is wearing on the public, including many conservatives. In her speech she said that President Obama was acting like a ‘spoiled little boy.’ That remark received some criticism from Republicans. Leaders of the Party also dispelled the idea that the half-governor of Alaska was considering a 2016 White House run, indicating that she would not receive support from Republican leadership.
Palin is a former contributor to FOX News. Former allies from the right wing network directed criticism at the folksy TEA Party spokeswoman. Sean Hannity questioned her Iowa speech, asking her if the teleprompter failed, or if she hadn’t considered her words before she spoke; (does she ever)?
Bill O’Reilly, who has divorced himself from Palin’s antics, said that Palin, like Donald Trump, is more suited for a reality show than political office.
Are you ‘Ready for Hillary’ in 2016? Is it inevitable that she will be the Democratic standard bearer in twenty-one months? If she is virtually unopposed, is that good for the Party and good for her campaign?
There is no doubt in the minds of Democrats and Independents that Clinton would be a good choice for president. She is qualified, and would bring a new perspective to the office from a woman’s point of view. And it is highly unlikely that she will have a viable opponent for the nomination. Few have indicated that they will oppose Ms. Clinton. She may experience a challenge from Vice-President Joe Biden, but polls have her leading Biden by double percentage points. There is some belief that she would be a stronger opponent in the general election if she was challenged in the primaries.
Clinton does have opposition from the left. A significant number of liberals supported Elizabeth Warren; she says that she will not be a candidate. Those farther to the left would prefer a more progressive candidate who is anti-establishment and reminiscent of Democrats of the 60’s and 70’s.
Sadly, for comedians and political pundits, it is unlikely that we will see Palin in the political limelight in 2016. The Republican choice would be wise to distance him or herself as far away from Caribou Barbie as possible.
Commentary by James Turnage