Longer version cross-posted at Huffington Post.
The first to benefit from the Hillary effect, Sarah Palin is asserting her prowess in 2010 like no other female has done in political history. Her politics are not mine, but credit is due. The void created by Hillary’s historic presidential run, at a time when Sarah made her own history on the right by being the first Republican female on a national ticket, has been filled by an avalanche of women, several of whom on the right have been encouraged and endorsed by Sarah. That she’s leading the Tea Party faction inside the GOP at a time when the Republican brand has crashed works in her favor, no matter what Democrats say. Oh, and remember that George W. Bush beat Gore and Kerry. Besides, it’s not like the Smart Set in Washington is winning raves.
Read John Ellis, everybody else is.
[...] “She’s too stupid” is what the Establishment GOP really thinks about Sarah Palin. “Good-looking,” but a “ditz.” This is unfertile ground, since Palin can turn the argument on a dime and say: “They drive the country into bankruptcy, they underwrite Fannie and Freddie, they bail out Goldman Sachs, they fight wars they don’t want to win, they say enforcing the immigration laws is silly and they call me stupid! I’ll give you a choice: you can have their smarts or my stupidity, which one do you want?” A large number of GOP presidential primary voters will take Palin’s “stupidity” in a heartbeat.
What this means is two things: (1) the pressure on former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to run for the GOP presidential nomination will increase as the year moves along, and (2) the likelihood of a strong independent party candidacy increases as Palin’s support within the GOP broadens. Oh, and it also means one other thing: President Obama is not doomed. – John Ellis
Andrew Sullivan, perpetual Hillary hater and Palin conspiracy theorist, writes about this today; at least he understands Palin’s power, which is more than I can say for most, especially on the left. Interesting that career Hillary hater Chris Matthews gets what’s possible for Sarah, too. In the post-Hillary political era, it seems some men have finally awakened.
As regulars know, I’ve been writing about Sarah’s rise for over a year.
Sarah Palin is the first to benefit from the Hillary effect, which has caused a ripple in the conservative movement and beyond. Not bad having five governors who have a good shot at winning in November, with Congress certainly to tilt towards Republicans whether Democrats retain control or not. If Meg Whitman wins in California it could become Obama’s first nightmare looking to 2012. Call it a slow walk or a steady drum beat that’s getting louder, but during 2010 Sarah Palin has shown why her plan to bail on Alaska and turn the heat up in the lower 48 was the best move for her. It’s also been very good for Republicans, particularly conservative “mama grizzlies,” who are her prime target, along with the military, which has always been the first mention out of her mouth in any event.
In an Iowa poll released last month, Mitt came in at 62% (and is still one to watch), with Sarah at 58%, Newt next, but it’s not even begun, with the “mama grizzlies” just getting organized. In South Carolina, Mitt might have given Nikki Haley the nod first, but it was Sarah’s star power who brought in the klieg lights to lift her up.
In the post-Hillary political era, women are rising. Sarah’s the first to fill that void and her instincts have been dead on since she took to Facebook and wrote about “death panels” taking Democrats off message and igniting the tea partiers, but also when she left Alaska behind to take on 2010. No one knows where she’ll end up, especially since Palin hasn’t proved she can widen her support beyond her own choir, which she must do to be president.
However, way too many people are forgetting that that doesn’t matter in the Republican nomination process. A good portion of primary voters are her choir.
Sarah Palin’s just getting started.
But remember, Barack Obama is a formidable opponent. He beat Hillary Rodham Clinton, so whoever shows up for 2012, they’ll be in for the fight of their life. So while betting against Obama may be popular with some right now, it will take a lot more than what the right is offering now to get the job done.