Palin Blogging

I don’t really know why we still obsess over this person, but nonetheless, Noam Scheiber’s profile of Sarah Palin is really good, and it’s incredibly striking how resentful, insecure, and altogether arrogant the woman appears to be. It’s like the inevitable ending point of Nixon-Atwater politics.

Also, I’m increasingly amused by people predicting a Palin 2012 candidacy. Let’s be clear about one thing, Sarah Palin is not going to be the Republican nominee for President in 2012. And that’s not because she won’t run or because Republicans don’t like her, it’s because she’s just not a good politician. Yes you hear people say that you shouldn’t underestimate her and that she’s a quick study and this and that, but it’s hogwash. Good politicians learn what they need to learn to compete. Sarah Palin has, thus far, shown no inclination to really study national issues and form a coherent policy or at least method of conversing in them. And I see no reason to believe that someone who “didn’t blink” when McCain asked them to be VP despite their transparent unreadiness is actually going to be willing to devote substantial time over the next 4 years to actually studying policy, rhetoric, and the like to be able to compete in a protracted campaign of such magnitude.

And yes, Republicans may very well love her, but it’s worth remembering that there are going to be other Republicans running against her (hypothetically) including some that may be liked just as much, and they’re going to be much more polished at the craft. Forget what Republicans say, polish matters to them as much as to anyone. There’s a different art to running in a Republican primary to be sure, but there is still an art and Palin is unlikely to grasp it.¬†And for all their know-nothingisms, conservatives really have invested quite a bit in high minded rationales for their policies. Neoconservatives have a horde of think tanks devoted to serious proliferation of their theories, the Heritage Foundation churns out “studies” on supply side economic theory, the Federalist Society relentlessly drills actual arguments surrounding their legal philosophy. And Sarah Palin isn’t familiar with any of it. She passed a windfall profits tax on oil companies in Alaska and handed out the proceeds to Alaskans in dividends checks. The Club for Growth would call her a socialist for that if she were running against Mitt Romney or Tom Coburn. She said she thinks there’s a Constitutional right to privacy. Can you imagine the reaction of the Federalist Society, to say nothing of the Focus on the Family crowd, if she’d said that in a Republican primary?

Now, again, it’s entirely possible that Palin will go into a mode of deep training to learn how to run the sort of long, grueling, campaign it takes even to win a major party nomination for President, but based on what we’ve seen from her so far it seems unlikely that she thinks she needs to. In which case Republicans will quickly dump her amidst a flurry of gaffes and misstatements for someone with more or less similar views, but a better understanding of how to present them.