After Rep. Michele Bachmann’s star turn in the Republican debate, Sarah Palin’s fans have been very active rebutting the notion that Palin can’t run because of Bachmann, while encouraging her to jump in. On MSNBC, Martin Bashir claimed that Bachmann is “the thinking person’s Sarah Palin.” Many on the Left have been saying she can’t run for president because of poll numbers showing she can’t win the general election. That isn’t stopping Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum or Herman Cain, so it shouldn’t stop Sarah either. Mark Halperin has opined on “Morning Joe” that if Sarah wants to run she’ll be a factor. I’m in that camp as well, though I think she’s got a serious impediment to prevailing for the nomination.
Althouse on Palin email saga. She’s absolutely correct about one item. That nothing of note was found, still hasn’t been found, should be reported as widely as the frenzy Jon Stewart mocks.
2. The fact that there was nothing was actually news, and the journalists should have protected their integrity — appearance of integrity — by reporting the nothing with clarity. In the run up to the receipt of the boxes of xeroxes, air time was devoted to speculating about what might be in those emails. Most notable — it’s in the middle of the “Daily Show” montage — was the suspicion that the governor’s husband was secretly running the show, pulling the strings. (You know, the shameful sexism.) But there was absolutely nothing that looked at all like that. Maybe there’s another montage that could be made of these reporters spelling out clearly what was disproved by the emails. But I think what they did was dribble out statements like “no smoking gun yet” — seemingly expecting that we’d gradually lose interest and move on to something else.
I did one post on it, linking to news organizations that were covering it or putting together a database. After requesting the information after she became veep, the expectations from those sending reporters to cover the story was huge.
As I said in the comments at the time, the only thing that is regrettable is that Sarah Palin is no longer the politician who took Alaska by storm. Like so many others in the game, she’s been corrupted by money, fame, then add Fox News. The thing I learned from the very few emails I read is the same thing I learned from Alaska newspapers online and other sources. She started out taking on her own party, as well as working with Democrats, but always having the people of her state in mind. Now all she thinks about is keeping her own star’s trajectory in orbit and her fans at her feet.
But it doesn’t change one thing. If Sarah Palin decides she wants to get serious she can still impact the Republican nomination process, because her fans are loyal and ready. What they don’t understand is the likelihood of her doing this depends on the bottom line: can she financially afford it at this point? Can she raise enough money to support a candidacy? It’s not a small consideration against Mitt Romney, whose plan is to slog it out until the end, and also Jon Huntsman. Palin cannot self finance and there’s no evidence of any major donors willing to help her, though there’s little doubt if Sarah’s circus came to town she’d get press and give the GOP establishment the vapors.
This post has been updated and edited; cross-posted as “Emails aren’t Sarah’s Problem, It’s Money.”