Sarah Palin is unstoppable

How she’s changing the face of American politics

Unstoppable

Photograph by Sally Ryan/The New York Times/ Redux

John McCain thought he needed to spring one more surprise on America.

In August 2008, his presidential campaign against Barack Obama was listing badly. Some of this was his fault. But after eight years of George W. Bush, anyone representing the Republican party came with a lot of baggage. McCain needed to choose a candidate for vice-president who underlined his reputation as a maverick within the party and who was untainted by close ties to the previous administration. The stakes were high. As John Heilemann and Mark Halperin write in Game Change, their book about the campaign, “If McCain’s running mate selection didn’t fundamentally alter the dynamics of the race, it was lights out.”

McCain’s original plan was to partner with Joe Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic nominee for vice-president. McCain hoped such a choice would prove his bipartisan credentials, steal thunder from his opponents, and back-foot the press­—allowing his campaign to regain some momentum. But when word of the Lieberman plan leaked, much of the Republican party rebelled, and McCain was forced to scramble. “We need to have a transformative, electrifying moment in this campaign,” McCain strategist Steve Schmidt said. No one on the short list of alternative candidates could deliver this. Schmidt suggested a new option: Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

There wasn’t time to vet Palin properly, or to probe her thoughts on foreign and domestic policy. Picking Palin was a Hail Mary pass in the dying seconds of a championship game. But McCain met and liked her. She was confident and calm. She wasn’t afraid to burn bridges and upset people, even in the Republican party. She was an outsider, like him. Steve Schmidt told McCain choosing Palin could hurt him. But a safer candidate, he said, wouldn’t help. It would be better to go for the win and lose big than to tiptoe to a narrow defeat. “High risk, high reward,” another one of McCain’s advisers cautioned. “You shouldn’t have told me that,” McCain replied. “I’ve been a risk taker all my life.”

The gamble didn’t pay off. Sarah Palin arguably sunk whatever slim chance McCain had of winning the 2008 U.S. election. She introduced herself to America with a humdinger of a speech, but her comments and gaffes during the campaign that followed have become almost folkloric. She thought living in Alaska gave her foreign policy expertise; she wouldn’t, or couldn’t, name a newspaper she read.

Now Sarah Palin is back as a political force in America. She’s a popular commentator on Fox News. Her memoir, Going Rogue: An American Life, has sold more than 2.2 million copies. She has hundreds of thousands of Facebook fans. Thousands more follow her on Twitter, where her postings can read like those of an overexcited teenager who has just discovered what an exclamation mark is. “YES!!! USA. 5-3 with 44 seconds to go… YES AMERICA!!! Sweeeeeet…” she wrote on Feb. 21, during an Olympic hockey match between the United States and Canada.

She’s also an inspiration to the populist Tea Party movement, whose libertarian members have the potential to either force the Republican party further to the right, or siphon off voters should it morph into a formal political party. And she’s considering running for president in 2012. Many hope she will. Not all of them are Democrats.

“She is a hero among conservatives,” says Darrell West, director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. “She has an authenticity that people really like. Her very ordinariness is a major political asset. There is a lot of cynicism about American politicians. People think they don’t have core values, and that they shift with the winds. What people like about her is that she is an authentic person.”

These were the same qualities that first attracted McCain’s team to Palin. But they proved to be worth little as the campaign wore on. In its closing days, more than half of likely voters had a negative opinion of her. Three in five considered her unqualified to be president—a position to which the vice-president ascends should the president die, resign, or be removed from office. Independent voters, once evenly divided on Palin, turned against her. By mid-October, more than half of likely voters said Palin’s selection as McCain’s running mate made them less confident about decisions he might make as president.

Unstoppable

Photograph by Louis Deluca/Dallas Morning News/ Corbis

None of this has damaged Palin’s brand among a broad swath of American conservatives—especially those coalescing around the Tea Party who resent the growth of government under Barack Obama’s administration. For them, damning leaks from inside the McCain camp describing her as a “diva” and a “whack job” burnished her anti-establishment lustre. And if the media portray Palin as clueless and unqualified, that just proves their liberal bias and cements her revolutionary credibility. At the Tea Party’s national convention in Nashville, Tenn., last month, where Palin was a keynote speaker, hundreds of attendees turned to the journalists at the back of the hall, pumping their fists and shouting, “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”

“She does matter,” says Haynes Johnson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning co-author of The Battle for America 2008, a chronicle of the campaign. “She matters in the sense that she’s the perfect example of the frustration and the ideological divisions in America. She speaks to that in a powerful way. And she has a hard core that is so passionate about her. It doesn’t matter whether she’s ignorant, or whether she knows anything, she is a factor to be reckoned with in our politics. It’s an old, old, old American phenomenon—the hatred and distrust of power, of elites, of Washington, particularly, in recent decades. And she personifies that in a way that nobody else in our politics does at the moment. She represents something about the fury, the anger, the frustration in the country.”

Palin’s ascent has thrown the Republican party’s mainstream off balance. “They’re sort of stunned by it,” says Stephen Hess, who worked in the Eisenhower and Nixon administrations and was later an adviser to presidents Ford and Carter. “The old East Coast establishment, Wall Street—she doesn’t appeal to them one bit.”

She may not appeal to them, but they can’t ignore her popularity or the energy she brings to the party. “She turns on Republicans in a way that nobody else does at the moment,” says Hess. In other words, they can’t cut her loose.

But Palin, and the Tea Party movement that has embraced her, risk driving the Republican party too far from the political centre to be electable. The Tea Party is a diverse group united by opposition to big government. In this they’re hardly alone. A recent CNN poll found that 56 per cent of Americans believe the federal government has become so big as to pose a threat to individual rights and liberties. But the movement has its fringe of racists, extreme social conservatives, and conspiracy theorists.

“There are signs that responsible people in the Republican party are a little bit troubled by what’s crawling out from under the rocks that the Tea Party has turned over,” says William A. Galston, a former adviser to president Bill Clinton who is now at the Brookings Institution. “The Republicans would like to take advantage of the political energy this movement has created without endorsing it or being seen to endorse it. The question is who’s using whom at this point.”

Galston says Palin and the Tea Party have already forced a shift in Washington’s political rhetoric. He points to the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, at which leading Republicans Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, normally not partial to overheated speeches, turned it up a notch. Romney praised the Tea Party and condemned “liberal neo-monarchists” who he says want to expand government’s reach. Pawlenty suggested the party learn from Tiger Woods’s wife and “take a nine iron and smash the window of big government. We’ve had enough.”

“When you have mild-mannered people like Romney and Pawlenty turning into fire-breathers, that tells me that there’s a parade and they’re trying to get closer to the head of that parade rather than getting left behind,” says Galston. Galston sees Palin’s shadow even among her Democratic opponents, as they echo public fury against financial institution bailouts. “Even though I’m sure everyone in the administration believes they were the right thing to do, they’re modulating their rhetoric in response to the populist anger that the Tea Party represents,” he says.

Unstoppable

Photograph by J.Scott Applewhite/ Associated Press

Palin’s influence will likely increase this year during the approach to the November mid-term elections. Mid-terms typically have a lower voter turnout than presidential elections, which means that energizing a party’s base—a task at which Palin excels—is crucial. She also has the ability to shape Republican nomination battles. She already endorsed Rick Perry as the Republican nominee for Texas governor. He won on the first ballot. “There will be plenty who will try to take advantage of her,” says Hess.

The big question is whether Palin will run for president in 2012. She’s acting like she will. As well as linking herself to the growing Tea Party movement, she recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and even delivered a public speech in the sumptuous Palomino Room at Calgary’s BMO Centre last weekend. (Her denunciation of “snake oil” climate science was greeted joyfully by an elite, wealthy audience that included federal Treasury Board President Stockwell Day and former Calgary mayor Ralph Klein.)

More than 70 per cent of respondents to a recent Washington Post/ABC poll said she’s unqualified to be president—an even higher percentage than during her campaign for vice-president in 2008. But to secure the Republican party’s nomination, Palin needs to win over a comparatively small number of voters during the primaries. In theory, these Republicans will make their choice at least in part based on who they think has the best chance of winning when it matters: against the Democratic nominee on election night. But it rarely works that way in practice.

“The primary process in the United States pulls both parties to the extreme,” says Karlyn Bowman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank. “That’s always been the case. And that may be the case in 2012 for the Republicans. When primary voters go out in the cold in Iowa, they’re really true believers. They want someone they think agrees with them. I think Palin has the advantage because she is so popular with the base.”

At the Tea Party’s national convention last month, audience members chanted: “Run, Sarah, run.”

Henry Olsen of the American Enterprise Institute thinks Palin wants to run, and will if she thinks she has a chance of winning. For now, he says, big-money Republican donors are keeping their distance. But Barack Obama proved that a campaign can be built on many small contributions rather than a few big ones. “The political process in America is entrepreneurial,” he says. Palin may learn something from her favourite punching bag.

Haynes Johnson, the author and journalist, is also convinced Palin intends to run. He doesn’t think she’ll win the Republican nomination, much less the presidency. She will shape the party’s politics, however, and, he believes, hurt it. “In the long run, she’s very much a negative. She’s so divisive and she has nothing to offer. She is, really, truly ignorant about issues. It’s breathtaking in many ways,” he says.

And yet even Johnson agrees she can’t be sidelined. She’s too popular. She brings energy and excitement to a party that doesn’t have much of either. The most the Republican party’s establishment can hope to do is control her. It won’t be easy.

Sarah Palin is unstoppable

  1. "Sarah Palin arguably sunk whatever slim chance McCain had of winning the 2008 U.S. election."

    I'm glad that you stuck in the qualifier "arguably", but still, I have yet to hear a plausible scenario that had McCain winning (or even doing any better) with anyone else as VP.

    • Your response in itself is total stupidity but what can you expect from a sore loser.

      • Actually, I agree with Steve M. McCain, deserving or not, had very little chance before Palin. His campaign was slowly grinding itself out against the message of change and hope that Obama was putting forward, and not even Joe the Plumber was really putting a stop to that.

        Palin certainly did seem to energize the base a lot, so saying that she sunk McCain's chances does seem to be overstating things.

      • Deanne,

        Ouch. I'll tell you what you can expect from a Palin-basher: an ad hominem attack instead of a rebuttal.

        But seriously, nobody's disputing that Obama won cleanly and decisively. I simply meant that between the Bush legacy and the economic collapse, McCain was going to lose anyway, and I think he would have lost by even more (yes, yes, "close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades") with any of the other names that were floated as likely VP's (Huckabee, Pawlenty, Ridge, Lieberman, etc.). But I'd be happy to hear an argument that there was someone who could have put McCain over the top.

        p.s. Thank you, Thwim.

        • And you're still a loser.

        • Also, notice how the lefty media first supported McCain (to stop a true conservative from gettin the nomination) then attacked him (during the campaign) and now loves him again since he is their bulwark against right wingers. Sounds like the anti-Harper people when Red Toryism was being sent back to the Liberal Party where they belonged.

    • That's what the liberals do Steve, call people names and offer no comment except that conservatives are stupid and evil. They talk a big game about inclusion, but they'd rather side with Islamic terrorists than with conservatives. That's the truth.

      • Are…you joking? You accuse Liberals of calling people names and then claim that Liberals side with Islamic terrorists. Uh huh.

    • Well Steve. how do you account for the fact, that in September of 08 the McCain-Palin campaign team were up by five points, before the conspicuously coincidental market crash just before the election?

  2. "It doesn't matter whether she's ignorant, or whether she knows anything…"

    That sounds like the type of thing the media used to make fun of George Bush for saying. Where's W's Pulitzer?

  3. It's pretty offensive to lump sensible libertarians in with the fundie crazies that have hijacked the tea party people.

    • Isn't that an oxymoron?

  4. Here in America, there's a cherished pastime in which we threaten to move to Canada is such-and-such should actually happen. So, if Palin *doesn't* get stopped, Canada can probably expect a lot more pesky Americans looking for a place to live:

    [youtube pOegic3FcNA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOegic3FcNA youtube]

    (satire)

    • In 2012 the liberal loons will be moving to Canada. Please let them in.

      • So that the dumb people can be left to run America? Nice one idiot.

    • if the health care bill passes, i'm moving to costa rica

  5. This article leaves out a fair amount, such as Schmidt's admission that he had given up the campaign after the collapse of Lehman Brothers that might explain why they sent her to sit through six hours of Katie Couric, (they aren't that rough at Gitmo), it doesn't consider how the statements that she made during the campaign about what Obama would do, have been substantially born out, how the concern about her supposed inadequacies, didn't anticipate the actual ineptitude of the current Vice President.. It ignores the campaign of out right lies and distortions, that were spread through the internet and the major media, about her, by associates of the Obama campaign, and even staffers that covered up their own retreat mentioned above

    • The reason the statements Palin made about Obama during the campaign have substantially been born out, is that Obama campaigned on these statements and now has set out to accomplish them. The novel concept here is that a politician is actually doing what he said he would do during his campaign and was elected for. It's not a concept that conservatives undertand very easily, especially those here in Canada.

  6. Her popularity causes a very "sick" feeling in my gut and causes me to lose faith in the American people's ability to judge intelligence and leadership capabilities.

    • It shows you the lack of intelligence in America. Those that say "they know" and have no idea in that they've locked themselves in their barns with their sheep. They see her for the same as them — ignorant, racist, uneducated and simply put — stupid. I put that word in so they would understand.

    • Don't worry. We still know a rambling hit piece masked as informed commentary when we see it.

    • I understand your point because we have a fool in the WH right now.

      • "I understand your point because we had a fool in the WH not that long ago."

        Fixed!

    • It seems to me that the word unstopable should have another word added— oblivious. Has anyone found evidence that she has replaced her dogged determination to maintain unreasonable views with more intelligent, insightful ones? Has she ever considered both sides of an issue before she decided what was right and not just popular? She seems to act as though a belief which is firmly held will convince people of it's correctness.

  7. John McWho?? I find it hilarious that on one hand apparently most Americans do not believe Palin is smart enough to be President and yet there is almost a panic type atmosphere that most Americans think that is what she may become. Does that mean they would vote for someone not smart enough to hold the office? OH Yeah, I forgot.
    It is also funny that McCain has seemingly dropped off the map but Palin is bigger than life. Regardles of her qualifications for President I admire her energy and drive. What I don't find funny is how McCain has tried to put her down after it was him who thought he was pulling off a huge victory by bringing her into the Presidential race. Shame on you John.
    Also, what makes Obama more desireable as a President, he accomplished nothing of value before and so far has accomplished nothing of value in the White House.

    • Obama can find Afghanistan on a map.

      • Obama can also find 60 states on the map too. He is still looking for that corpse-man and that was with a teleprompter.

  8. Another Left of Center journalist trying to undercut Sarah Palin with twisted facts and emotion laden arguments…
    So many lies and half-truths have been spread, it is a wonder more folks who don't know much about her think she is somehow less intelligent than Obama, or Gore, etc, when the truth is the opposite.
    Even after the coordinated media campaign to sully her reputation, out of fear of her potential, she still is able to fight through the noise.
    This article is so biased, it is illuminating.
    You can repeat the canard that she "appeals to hate and frustration" over and over, doesn't make it true.
    Obama is the scare monger, and Palin is full of hope and light.
    To claim a Governor who publishes an article in the NY Times on Friday, and on Monday is asked what newspapers she reads (in a condescending and gotcha-seeking manner) , can't name the newspaper she just contributed to??
    Is that really a justification for your attempt to see her as somehow ignorant?
    It comes off as an excuse to hate and look down on her.
    Why the hit job, MacLeans? What are you afraid of?

    • Firstly, you are on a Canadian site so your BS as to the journalist – is just that – BS.
      As for Palin, sure wish you and the tea party would quit playing sheep and believe everything that falls out of her mouth. Isn't that a typical politician — which she was a Mayor and Governor so no matter how you slice it – she is a politician who spit lies and spin left, right and center for their personal use. Isn't that what the tea party is against. You wouldn't know it to see how they too can answer no questions about her except the canned answer of 'she's like us'.

      She too has all the backing of the oil companies like those in DC. She too is no different than any in DC. Quit being blinded and actually research her.

      • My God, by the way you ramble on one would think you could be mistaken for a Palin supporter!

      • You had me going until you mention that Palin had the backing of big oil. Wrong move.

        • That's what your parents said about keeping you.

    • Deer in the headlights — doesn't read papers nor anything. How simple would it have been to answer with at least one name? We look down on her because SHE IS NOT QUALIFIED to be a politician, a leader of a country! There is no grey matter there!

      http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/09/22/080

      • The Newyorker is a left wing loon site like the HuffNutPost. Wrong move.

        • And your point is what?

  9. Juan, Great comment… Can you name a man or a woman whom have a PHD that has accomplished as much as Sarah Palin. a Govenor, on oil and gas commission committee member, VP candicate, mother of 5, best selling author, working on a 2nd book, working on a docudrama, campaigning, etc. and she is just 46 yrs old. so why the hit piece?? is it liberal hate, yes I think so.

    • Virtually all media articles must conform to a narrative…be it real or perceived. Reporting is always done in such a way to massage the facts to fit the narrative. "Scary Harper." "Hidden agenda." "Dion the wimp…" Just a few Canadian examples.

      The Palin narrative is that she's an attractive airhead who appeals primarily to dumb as a brick rednecks and cross burning yahoos. So most mainstream media articles on her are filtered to sustain this narrative…just as the media's love affair of Obama was filtered by the "look how far America has come since we're gonna elect a black man" narrative.

      Ronald Regan was no rocket scientist…but he didn't have a lot of trouble getting elected president. I suspect that Palin is the most "Reganesque" politician/candidate the Republicans have seen since Regan himself. Reason for some to fear her, bimbo or not.

      • IMHO you have it pretty much backasswards. First you have a set of facts or behaviours [ not always easy to quanitfy admittedlly] then comes the narrative. The narrative is always subjective and therefore open to interpretation, but it is usually constructed on a known set of facts or verifiable behaviours. Of course it's often the case the facts are massaged. It's why we need to keep an oen mind and read as many different opinions as possible.

        • Well…once the narrative is established, sometimes subjectively on "facts" that are questionable to begin with…it's awfully hard to change it, even in the face of reliable statistics, facts or observations. Articles and media reports that run contrary to the narrative (despite the facts) rarely see the light of day in our "mainstream" media. If the narrative is what "sells"…that is what media will stick to. This is especially so in all of the "we're-all-gonna-die" media reports and "Armageddon-de-jour" journalism we live with these days. Witness H1N1, Avian Flu, Y2K, Global Warming, Killer Bees…on and on. IMO we are increasingly seeing media "self-censor" itself as outlets jump on the bandwagon of the latest hot story.

          I wholeheartedly agree that we need to keep an open mind and get our information from as many different opinions as possible…but I also argue that we need to take a critical look at the established narrative (of the day) itself just as carefully.

      • Can you name a man or a woman whom have a PHD that has accomplished as much as Sarah Palin?

        Surely, there are many in numerous fields, but I guess you meant politics so…

        Angela Merkel, "The Iron Frau" became chancellor of Germany at age 51. Earlier, she had served in various ministerial positions before winning the leadership of the Christian Democrat Party and taking that party to electoral success. She has a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics (or is it Physical Chemistry). No kids though, but no docudrama either, which puts her ahead of Sarah in my book.

        I believe Woodrow Wilson held a Ph.D. and should Michael Ignatieff lead the Liberals to victory in the next federal election, Canada will have it's own Prime Minister-Ph.D. Oh, and despite his somewhat uninspiring presence in Parliament, his earlier career as academic, novelist, journalist and broadcaster was (to this observer) pretty impressive.

        But anyway, Sarah's problem isn't that she doesn't have Ph.D. (it really isn't necessary for any career), it's that she gives the very real impression of knowing very little about anything.

        • "and should Michael Ignatieff lead the Liberals to victory in the next federal election, Canada will have it's own Prime Minister-Ph.D. Oh, and despite his somewhat uninspiring presence in Parliament, his earlier career as academic, novelist, journalist and broadcaster was (to this observer) pretty impressive. "

          Ignatieff's uninspiring presence in Parliament is, IMHO, due to his over-schollarly outlook. I have read some of his none-fiction books and at the end of it , not the writer nor the reader get s a clear sense of how to deal with worldly hotspots in a practical manner. Because you see, universities are nice and safely wrapped within their theoretical cocoons, but once the real world opens up to them, so many of the "brainy" types fly no longer than the life of a butterfly.

    • Most PH.d. are smart enough to stay out of politics, so it's unlikely.

    • @Andy "Can you name a man or a woman whom have a PHD that has accomplished as much as Sarah Palin. a Govenor, on oil and gas commission committee member, VP candicate, mother of 5, best selling author, working on a 2nd book, working on a docudrama, campaigning, etc. and she is just 46 yrs old. so why the hit piece?? is it liberal hate, yes I think so."

      I can name another man or woman: Barack Obama – father of two, worked with numerous church and community based organizations, graduated Columbia University with a degree in POLITICAL SCIENCE with a minor in INTERNATIONAL relations, graduated Harvard Law School with a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, and was also the editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review, published author "Dreams from my Father" (BEFORE he entered federal politics), taught at the University of Chicago Law School, served as Senator for Illinois, and was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he held assignments on the Senate Committees for Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works and Veterans' Affairs. He also sponsored a Senate amendment to the State Children's Health Insurance Program providing one year of job protection for family members caring for soldiers with combat-related injuries.

      So, yes, there are lots of people who have similar, or indeed BETTER qualifications than Ms. Palin.

    • What total bull…Sarah Palin is a token politician who does not know her ass from a hole in the ground! Her heart & mind are as cold as the state she reigns from!

  10. “She is a hero among conservatives,” says Darrell West, director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. “She has an authenticity that people really like. Her very ordinariness is a major political asset…. What people like about her is that she is an authentic person.”

    It's diificult to get a handle on her popularity. On the one hand i can well believe some of her enemies have sought to smear her at every opportunity. On the other she appears breathtakngly ignorant. The question of authenticity alone is murky. There seems to lots of anecdotal evidence much of her authenticity is manufactured. There are genuine populists out there with good political instincts, such as klein ; who was also breathtakingly ignorant at times, yet there was never any sense he was not authentically who he was. Which is why i suspect Albertan's kept him around so long as they did. How to tell the phonies from the real thing. In the age of the net you'd think it would be easier than ever. But still it's tough to separate the spin and outright malice out of the mix.

  11. Apparently the author did all of his research by reading the Huffington Post. Why bother reading Palin's book, or reading the numerous op-eds she's published before the campaign, or afterwards, or even utilizing the gray matter that occupies some space between his ears.

    Yesterday, 0bama drew a crowd of barely 200 in Ohio to one of his numerous free campaign style trips throughout the country. When Palin was in Ohio a week or so ago, she drew over 4,000 to an event people had to pay to attend. When 0bama campaigned for Coakley in MA in January, he barely drew 2,000 people in downtown Boston. On Super Bowl Sunday Palin drew 8,000 plus to a rally for Rick Perry in Houston, and she followed that up with an appearance at a Get Motivated conference in downtown Houston, which caused a major traffic jam.

    Ask Martin of Georgia, Deeds of Virginina, Corzine of New Jersey, and Coakley of MA, how much an 0bama endorsement, and campaigning does for them – by the way, they all lost. Now, compare that to the list of politicians clamering for a Palin endorsement, and campaign appearance.

    • She wrote that book? It contains full sentences. She couldn't have. Drawing crowds don't mean nothin'. In comparison, how many were not there?

      • She wrote a best seller and is working on a second book. May be you should read her book and knock off the stupid remarks. They are old and worn out.

        Drawing crowds worked for the Liar In Chief during the election.

        • So whoever manages to draw the most people, regardless of policy and beliefs, wins?

    • And millions of people bought a pet rock..

      ..although, to be fair..

      ..they probably got a better deal.

    • The author wrote an article about why Palin is popular and why some people are shocked by her popularity. How is that not doing your research. The author is not offering his opinion on whether or not Sarah Palin is intelligent so I think he did an excellent job in researching the piece, and you are more than welcome to disagree with what the article is saying, that doesn't mean it wasn't well researched. You don't need to read her book to write about why she is popular and how some people think she is an idiot (again whether you agree or not isn't the point. It is a fact that some people think she is an idiot).

    • This unfortunately re-affirms the American obsession with celebrity, style/drama over substance. It's so much simpler, because you don't have to engage your critical thinking, do any research, be more than a superficial inconsequential citizen. It's so pathetic to see these tabloids, asking actors about the meaning of life, as if, because they're popular, they would have any more authoritative opinion, than any one else on the street. Sheesh! Their only actors! Most of the ones I've come into contact with, haven't seemed too stable. But they may have an authoritative opinion on the craft of acting. As far as Palin is concerned, she transparently lies in people's faces on international TV. But they don't care, because she is a STAR! Sometimes it's very discouraging being a human being, when it seems, that I'm surrounded by throngs of somnambulists.

    • I notice that you carefully avoid talking about her leadership qualities. Just because she knows how to work her popularity in the media doesn't mean she coukl deal with Iran or Afganistan.

    • Let's just get one thing straight….Palin did not write her own book. Like most, she had a ghost writer, in this case Lynn Vincent, a right wing born-again Christian wrote the book based on numerous interviews with the half-term governor. One only has to look at her resignation speech which she obviously did write as it was incomprehensible and laughable at best.

  12. I don't get this. The founder of TEAPARTY.org called $arah a WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING, and warned that people should beware. HOW did she become the mouthpiece fior this organization?

    • The guy you are talking about is the founder of nothing. He is a dem that is a wolf in sheep's clothing. The other party leaders came out and said they to not know him and he speaks for one person, himself. He is a fake.

      • Like your education, fool.

    • probably because they didn't have anybody else ..she isn't quite a christian type republican and she probably hasn't read any economics textbooks so her credentials as a fiscal conservative are a bit shakey

    • Unfortunately, Sarah Palin comes across as a "ditzy blonde" and a wanna-be clown to the general public. I simply do not understand why anyone could think she would be a responsible decision-making President of the United States!!! It really is a joke.

  13. Good piece.

    One part of the analysis that I think Petrou missed, however, was the effect of the vicious attacks from the Left on Palin on her family. It began on the day the nomination was announced, with comparisons to Eagleburger (subtle insinuation: she's mentally ill), and was soon followed by suggestions that she wasn't the mother of her child, that she drugged her disabled son, and that she was an idiot.

    This had a very big effect on a lot of people. Seeing a woman and her children being viciously attacked raises the ire of most social conservatives (and, I would have once said, most people of all political stripes…the Palin experience proved that to be incorrect). When it's from the Left and motivated by a desire to ruin her politically, well, the anger already simmering at much that is wrong in today's politics began to boil. Her popularity is partly a reaction to this. So are the teaparties. I don't think the media (granted, many in the media did not go down this disgusting path, but it tarred the profession just the same) appreciate how badly this affected their already faltering image for millions of Americans and Canadians.

    • CORRECTION: Eagleton, not Eagleburger.

    • Cut the crap, wingnut.

    • Gaunilon, something tells me most social conservatives aren't so bothered by attacks on a politician's family if that politician is to the left on the spectrum. And of course ALL attacks on ANY politician are "motivated by a desire to ruin (them) politically," so that's a moot point.

      Anyhow, I'm convinced she's a total phoney and won't run for Prez in the end because it'll get in the way of her ability to make money. Fair enough, I don't blame her for that.

      • "Gaunilon, something tells me most social conservatives aren't so bothered by attacks on a politician's family if that politician is to the left on the spectrum."

        When have you ever seen attacks from the right on a politician's kids? Come on. Do you see Obama's kids and parentage being dragged through the mud? Biden's? Get real.

        • Not technically an attack from the Right so much as a case of friendly fire, but Karl Rove's whisper campaign portraying McCain's adopted daughter Bridget as McCain's black daughter born out of wedlock was a pretty low blow during the 2000 primaries.

        • Exactly. And it's not like there haven't been opportunities to drag Biden's kids through the mud either…

    • So attacks on Hilary Clinton are okay in the eyes of social conservatives, but start attacking a woman with a small child, and it is unacceptable? I do think that if you endorse something like abstinence to the entire nation, and then your daughter gets pregnant, it is only natural to point out the flaws with the policy – but unacceptable to trash the daughter.
      I think it is unacceptable to endorse ANY negative or slanderous writing/ads/behaviour upon politicians or their families. What ever happened to endorsing your party's policies, as opposed to nasty attacks on the opposition?
      I am a (female) lefty, and while I don't like Ms. Palin's policies, ideologies or thought processes, I appreciate her as a mother, a female candidate and politician. I just don't agree with 99.9% of what she says.

    • She was attacked, because she makes a mockery of The office of President/Vice-President. She is a shameless pretender and her behavior is an insult to any critically-thinking person's intelligence. Anyone, who can see her as the leader of the most powerful nation on earth, is dangerously out of touch with reality. Also she blatantly manufactures the truth, and in her first speech of the campaign, she viciously attacked Barack Obama ( as well as all community workers ), with no grounds what-so-ever. acting out a performance written by one of G.W. Bushes speech writers. You definitely don't need to feel sorry for this insensitive, dishonest, conniving, fame-hungry individual. I feel sorry for her children, whom she uses as props to further her ambition. She's the one, who exposed her children to the national media. Take your bloody blinders off!

    • I don't get this. The founder of TEAPARTY.org called $arah a WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING, and warned that people should beware. HOW did she become the mouthpiece fior this organization?

  14. All I can say is that if Americans want their future flushed down the toilet, so be it. What can you say about a nation filled with ignorant WASPs who can't be reasoned with and think Macleans is an American site?

    Yeah, let's elect a MILF as President whose only popular because she's eye-candy. Who cares if she needs thousands of handlers in order for her to come off as competent?

    You Americans are nothing but a punchline.

    • The toilet is flushing as we speak, Brian.

      Social Security is in imminent need of drawing on its financial reserves — they are on their way to the vault of… wait for it… T-Bills. How do you cope with red ink everywhere, and a Ponzi scheme about to bankrupt your country? Why, you fight tooth and nail to implement a brand new bloated entitlement program with even more unfunded liabilities, is how you cope.

    • Do you see who is sitting in the WH? A man that had one month as a US senator. The lying liberal MSM sold us a rotten bill of goods. We have Mr. Hollywood running the country and look at the shape of it. The man is a complete failure. The man has wasted 14 months on Obamacare. Everything he touches fails.

      Obama is a politican that voted present and accomplished nothing as a senator.

      Palin had a record of accomplishments in Alaska. Everything she campainged on she accomplished in 2 years as governor. She was so popular that everything she wanted was passed. All good stuff for Alaskans. Gov. Palin had an approval rating in the 80's in a state populated with independents. Then one day she was walking with Piper at the Governor's picnic and the phone rung. From that time on the liberals and the Lying MSM tried to bankrupt and destroy, Sarah Palin a mother of 5.

      • Please: your post is typical of the religious right – totally devoid of fact and based completely on lies, fiction and emotional tripe.

        Every Democrat POTUS since the Depression has tried, and failed,to enact Health Care in the US.

        As for Palin's record as Alaskan Governor, reality does not corroborate with your version of events. Palin has left behind a train wreck of an administration. She was being investigated for abuse of office charges and she left rather than having to face a rather long list of complaints. She is a nutter.

  15. Ohh America… how far can the mighty fall before cracking themselves upon the Earth?

  16. Palin may be better known this time around but the most important thing is that her popularity has NOT increased. She did exactly what she was told not to do, she quit to make money. There is not a doubt in an intelligent mind about that fact.

    She is ignorant in regards to world history and foreign relations. Her latest facebook post was NOT written by her. In fact, all you have to do is listen to her speak and you know she hasn't written any of them. She is not qualified for political office. Read of the exploits of Sarah before she was tapped for V.P., you'll see she was considered incompetent then and you can't pin any of this on Obama like you try to do with all the rest. The woman is a joke especially when there are other more competent women in politics. Consider a debate where you have to give examples of what you would do and have Sarah there. Let's here what she would do rather than all the idiotic platitudes and catch phrases that come out of her mouth. She can't speak of any because she knows nothing. God help us if this woman were ever elected, we'd be the laughingstock of the world.

    • But if we would have to listen to you all day we would simply go! Insane!

      • The same can be said of you and your fellow wingnuts.

    • Knock it off with the loony talking points. Palin has a certain style of writng and the facebooks belong to her.

      Incompetent??? What are you taking about? The woman accomplished everyone of her campaign promises in 2 years. Do you know how popular she was in Alaska before 8/26/08?

      I don't think an incompetent person would be that popular.

      I don't think an incfompetent person would be called the most popular governor in the US.

      Time or Newsweek write an article about the raising young GOP governor of Alaska.

      All of this before 8/26/08.

      The dumba## fool is sitting in the WH right now.

      • Considering all the garbage you've been spewing here, Why should anyone believe every ignorant thing you've been posting?

        Your username and the way you think are at odds with each other.

  17. If the US isn't already a de facto has-been by 2012 (unlikely), she'll be able to take the helm just in time to drive it into the ground.

  18. Palin and the Tea Party are exposing the Republicans for the conservative frauds they have become. That's why the RNC is afraid. That's why they are aiming to discredit her. That's why they are waking up to the discontent and palpable anger in the conservative base.

    Their fear is not Palin running on the RNC ticket, but the Tea Party obliterating what was once the RNC stronghold and championing it to victory. The RNC is afraid because it has lost its base and the Tea Party is picking it up in a hurry.

  19. Actually…after re-reading my above comment I think I'll officially coin a new term:

    "Armageddon-de-jour-nalism."

    • And after reading your posts, I have a new term for you:

      Fail!

  20. Thank you MacLean's for lending this blowhard even more credence, two weeks in a row you've posted lengthy articles about this shrill fascist. I'm moving on to the Walrus full time now. It was a nice run, I even subscrided to your magazine once. Thank you for the nice memories, but regrettably you've veered too far into propaganda territory for my taste..

    • What on earth are you talking about? This piece was hardly a ringing endorsement. The Walrus does some okay long-form journalism but for a weekly take on current events your not going to get better from it than from Macleans.

    • Don't forget not to write!

  21. This is the same garbage MacLean's got Luiza Ch. Savage to write when it declared Dubya "surprisingly liberal."

    If real issues are not controversial enough to drum up robust discussions (because, for journalists,, they're likely too boring with all the detail and the facts 'n stuff), trust MacLean's to manufacture them.

  22. each and every day when i wake up, i hear of another reason to wish for mccain/palin to be in the w.h. this morning it was the news that pres. zero has decided to not open the offshore drilling options until 2012. he keeps using our financial woes as excuses for whatever his socialist dream of the week he's pushing, and continues to make us spend billions of dollars a day on offshore oil. zero's still campaigning instead of leading, and now his liies hand promises have consequences. they're all going to bite him at the same time one of these days. he deserves it, but we're the ones who will have to pay for it.
    dennisintn

    • You've already been paying for the damage the Dubya administration inflicted on the world. But you're too stupid to even notice it.

  23. It's entertaining to see the terror that the lefties feel when they see their Socialist/Communist Utopia slipping away. Remember that the Socialists are the ones that kill their own…for the good of the state.

    • John Stuart Mill:

      Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

      • The stupidity of some people is unbelievable, you've just shown yours

        • And your ignorant stupidity tops them all

    • Hey Pat – The socialists in Canada kill surprisingly few Canadians, but the Americans who are the most conservative are also the ones most in favour of the death penalty…so I guess you could say that under a Republican government you would kill more Americans than the socialist Canadians? George Bush Jr. put up some amazing numbers in Iraq too…

    • a good example of socialism is giving away over a trillion dollars to big banks and big corporations ..castro and hugo chavez would be proud of america for that

    • Sadly, there's no shortage of rightwing loonies out there scared about everything…especially anything that proposes they ought to have a social conscience…and care about the less fortunate.
      I dont see Canada as a ‘Communist/Socialist Utopia'…only a moron would say that it was. I see Canada as a just and good-hearted nation which has long had the kind of social health care system wherein everybody counts…so that personal wealth is NOT the determinant of whether one gets good health care. In the former US Healthcare system, unlike in most developed nations that do have socialised medicine, if one is poor, one is simply much more likely to die.
      IMHO, Canadians apparently come much closer to honouring that noble message on the Statue of Liberty (“…Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”) Does that sound like anything even close to what the Rightwing preaches!? Indeed, it's the Liberals who tend to care more; we tend to care about our fellow inhabitants on this planet…because that's the path with heart….and YOU think we're supposed to be ashamed of that!? Yeah, like I'm so embarassed! To my thinking, caring was pretty much the core message of Christianity, so it often baffles me how the political Right claim to be the keepers of the Christian Faith. Personally, I think Jesus looks down on their cold, black hearts with considerable dismay.
      To Lefties, being a Liberal is not a pejorative, and having a social conscience is a true no-brainer – it's how things should be with respect to one's fellow man. The rightwing/conservative adherents dont get it because they think the low income end of the population are all lazy bums; the indolent that they are forced to support. How ignorant, bloody selfish and utterly callous is that! Sure, welfare bums exist, and they can be found out and stopped, but they certainly dont represent the vast majority of the less-well-to-do who are honest, hard-working and respectable people.
      Most Canadians, happily, are NOT afraid to care…and therefore, we dont find the concept of socialism on par with devil worship, like so many do in the States. Better give your soul a slap, Pat…it's damn near dead from an overdose of toxic Rightwing thought!

  24. The Sarah Palin phenomenon reminds me of when McDonald's introduces a new burger. For weeks, months afterward, children and those with the intelligence of children can talk of nothing else. Lives are changed. Waistlines are extended. Small towns flock en masse to the sacred shrines. The burger dominates TV; everybody's got an opinion about it; you see it on T-shirts. But after a while everybody apart from the real morons realises that it's just the same dull synthetic beef patty on the same old bun. That's the Sarah Palin phenomenon: advertising, sugar masquerading as salt, and major weight gain in Hicksville.

    • Not really a Palin fan but doesn't this rant apply just as much to Obama.

      • You're thinking of arugula, a nutritious, leafy vegetable.

    • with those notes on her hand?

      the McCrib

  25. An embarassment to humanity. Totally dense, inarticulate, not a complete thought in the brain. The scary part is that she does not know that she does not know! What this says about that segment of American society! They're just spittin' mad a black (half) guy dared to get elected President! We want our country back!

    • I wouldn't mind her if she was just dense and inarticulate. She has an energetic, folksy presence. What scares me is , that she lies and connives and her "fans" don't even seem to notice. What a dearth of human intelligence and responsibility.

  26. …..a senior watching the tv quipped….god must love stupid people…cause he sure made a lot of them!

    • your right He does, even mean spirited people like yourself that just love to negatively people-bash. By the the way He loves even the most intelligent and all the ones in between too. Praise God for His goodness and graciousness. Have a fabulous God-given day!, Love y'all.

      • If God existed (which he doesn't, fool) he would be embarassed by someone like you.

    • everyone is entitled to their own opinion…

  27. "and an audience that included… former Calgary Mayor Ralph Klein."

    Um… didn't Ralph Klein do something ELSE in the meantime? LOL

  28. Why do you have a feature article on Palin? She is a right-wing nutso. We have our own right-wing nutsos. Stick with them.

    • we don't have any charismatic ones ..maybe ben mulroney should run

      • You are so right. Canada has it's share of complete crazy's! Problem is, they can be further infected by Palin. Frightening.

  29. Very disappointed with this article – just another article in the same vein – that she is stupid, an idiot, ignorant and on and on. But the writer never actually addresses any of her policies when she was governor and what was good, bad or ugly about them, however they affected the state, the US or other countries such as Canada. Why can't journalists actually do some work – I'm just surprised that the write did quote Tina Fey.

    The only problem with Palin is that she annoys the liberal left and that includes most of the MSM. And since the MSM gave us Obama because he was such a great orator (with his Teleprompter); willing to engage in collaborative partnerships (witness his 'success' with the health care bill); would make all of the US enemies' friends (through his world apology tour) and now are realizing their big mistake, the MSM needs to do something, anything to make us think they are still out front of the message. MSM = Losers.

    • "But the writer never actually addresses any of her policies when she was governor and what was good, bad or ugly about them."

      I couldn't agree more. All through the 2008 campaign, I was waiting for JUST ONE journalist to do a summary on actual legislation passed under Gov Palin. No such luck. I finally had to start going through old Alaskan newspapers on-line.

    • So tell us Maureen, which of her policies did you think were particularly good for Alaska? What legislation did she champion that you agree with?

      • Alaska Oil Pipeline, anyway do you own research instead of reading the pap from the MSM

      • Derek dear – I'm not a critic of Palin so it is not incumbent on me to justify your criticism – do you own bloody homework!

  30. I see Canadas leftys are here in force.Americas leftys as well,perhaps even Europes.Palin it seems would send the gov red tapers into unemployment lines.Impose strict ethics laws like she did in her state and force them to deal in public not backrooms.No wonder I bet the bulk of commentators here are gov union employees.They attack her like she is Bush the 2nd,even though in her AKn debate she put distance between herself and him.Saying she did not support his gov expansion and some expensive programs.Palin is about shaking up the old guard in gov.She fires and busts up their monopolys.Civil servants in America beware, if she takes power your gravy days are over.Your days of earning double the private sector wages and benifits will end as well.

    • You mean strict ethics like trying to get her enemies on the state police force fired without cause? Or ethics like setting up a secret email account on yahoo to avoid State record-keeping laws?

  31. She may not be the brightest, most well-read, most articulate person in the room, but she knows what the US Constitution says and she knows that government should never be trusted to solve problems just because it's the government. She also has a pretty good sense of what the USA should be about. Those traits alone resonate with a very large number of voters, though perhaps not enough to bring her the Presidency. But those traits worked remarkably well for Governors Reagan and Bush (although their respective opponents' weaknesses probably also helped far more).

    And, as for experience. She had more executive experience than the other three candidates combined. That doesn't mean she deserved the vice-presidency. But it is a fair rebuttal to many of the nonsensical criticisms of her past.

    And the more the USA sees itself circling the drain under Obama, the more voters will look longingly elsewhere.

    Michael is right. All of the US political universe would be completely foolish to ignore Sarah Palin.

    • She knows the Constitution alright…

      I mean, she couldn't describe what role the Vice-President filled while running for that position, but it's not like that position is described in the Constitution.

      Oh wait…

      • Awwww . . . don't be mean to poor Sarah or GOD WILL GETCHA ! You betcha !

  32. Is there any consideration that more than 90% of the "media" are liberals? That when analyzed, more than 90% of political contributions by the "media" are to Democrats? So, let us start out with the truth. The media is biased. I do not believe the bull crap that they are impartial. All through the campaign, the media crapped all over Sarah Palin and liberal haters made up crap that the media took as gospel and repeated. Now, lets look at the reporting on Obama….. something trickling down legs, love notes to Obama, gushing love thoughts, it was almost as if the liberal media had an orgasm and were so covered in it that nothing negative could swim through.
    Fast forward to today.
    We now see Obama as a complete liar, a socialist with an acknowledged marxist college life, who embraces black nationalism and a re-distribution of wealth accomplished by destroying the structure of capitalism in the US.
    We see millions of Americans loving Sarah Palin, thousands paying to listen to her talk while Obama has to call out the unions to get hundreds to listen to him. We see Sarah Palin expressing the thoughts of over 55% of all Americans, while Obama speaks the language of the public service unions and the liberal dolts.
    Horray for the media still being in the toilet for Obama. The fact that most people are tuning the media out as they circle kiss each others asses in the hope it will stroke their narcissistic personalities just isn't getting into their brains because their heads are up their butts and they only remove them to catch a breath.
    I hope the Democrats are slaughtered in the fall elections and Obama is nuetered and left to have 2 years of ridicule as the dumbest president in the history of the US. Think of it, he is a pretend professor. What a choice to lead a country… a professor… would you want a professor you knew leading a country? They all have their heads up their butts.
    What a difference a year makes.

    • "destroying the structure of capitalism in the U.S.' Obama hasn't done that. You must look at the past in order to understand where the U.S. is now – in the soup – and unfettered unregulated capitalism has plenty to do with that. The U.S. is all to likely to splinter if things beomce more polarized than they already are. A middle road would be desirable, but it seems less and less likely to be the way Americans will chose.

      • Indeed one must look at the past in order to understand where the world is now. I would say that just as many problems are caused by theoretical possibilities as they are caused by pratical possibilities. What I mean by that is, if you take the last economic turn-down into consideration, much of the mayhem comes out of theoretical assumptions gone awry. Counter to those theoretical assumptions operates the practical, because since humans are living creatures in essence, the practival will remain. I have a feeling that too much of the dry theoretical stuff has been praised into high heaven for far too long, and Palin will be a breath of fresh practical air. Let her stirr up some dust storms, we could all benefit from her practical view point.

        • How about you know what the hell you're talking about first before you post. You don't make any sense whatsoever.

  33. Are you watching the liberal media lately? Noticed all the overt and covert thought propaganda being foisted on you? i.e. cartoons ridiculing Sarah Palin and conservatives…. The Good Wife taking a shot at Sarah Palin's book…. Law and Order doing several episodes crapping on the Tea Party people and conservatives…. watch all these liberal dolt shows with liberal dolt writers crap all over anything on the right and promoting 14 yr olds screwing, getting breast implants, little boy lovers, having a token gay guy on every show… hey, women…. did you ever wonder how a gay guy would know better how you should look than a woman? hmmmm does that mean women think they are stupid and they need a half man to tell them how to decorate, dress, put on make up, walk, talk and think? what the heck does that say about a woman's brain?
    anyway, back to the liberal crap you and yes, your kids are being subjected to every day… your kids in school are undergoing constant propaganda by the liberal, socialist teacher's union… but I guess you like that don't you.

    • There's so much epic stupid in your post, it's embarassing.

  34. The evidence of the exit polls contradict the contention that Palin sunk John McCain's chances. Of the 60% for whom the VP nominee was a factor over 58% voted for McCain/Palin. Also Rasmussen polls showed that over 90% of GOP voters had a favourable view of Palin as VP nominee while only 67% have a favourable view of McCain. McCain was the author of his own misfortune.

    Obama and his circle must be cursing the day when they set their thugs on crippling Palin's administration with frivolous FOI requests and trying to bankrupt her with bogus 'ethics' complaints. She has now been caterpulted into the role of national leader of the opposition and has largely ground Obama's agenda to a halt.

  35. Unstopable, indeed. Like a train wreck coming down the moutain.

    This gonna be a fun ride :-D

  36. 1) Why does everything about Palin get so far up so many noses? What's with the perpetual current of character assassination?

    2) Judging by her education major, she has approximately the same "smarts" and education as most of the media people who like to talk about her, including those who think she is "stupid".

    3) After a year of the current circus, it's clear that a nation is better off with a leader who knows his limitations and knows how to select competent advisors and subordinates – and then delegate appropriately – than a leader who always thinks he is the smartest and most comprehensively-informed person in the room – when in fact he is not.

    • She's being sold by far right cultists as a strong, wise leader in a folksy package when she's really the exact opposite. If you can't figure it out, then it's clear you've drunken the Kool-Aid.

  37. Palin is a liar, a tax dodger, uneducated, and ill-prepared to be anything in the political arena. Apparently, this was written with the idea that she is an authentic, educated person who is ready for the world stage. Nothing could be farther from the truth. She is not loved and admired by most Americans; she has her dedicated followers much like a cult leader.

    More than 70% of Americans would not vote for her as president. However, the people behind Palin, and using her for their own agenda, are not who we want leading our country – the religious right/Fundamentalists/Dominionists who want to America changed into a theocracy rather than a democracy. For that reason alone, Palin is dangerous to our freedoms.

    • Here. Here.

      Why some of these nutsy-cuckoo Americans want to take away that separation of Church and State from the U.S. Constitution is baffling. They want Jesusland when I'm sure Jesus Himself would not approve of these so-called "religious" people using His good name as an election platform.

    • "More than 70% of Americans would not vote for her as president." Then why is everyone so worried about her and why does just the mention of her name start such a venomous discussion. If what you say is true an article like this one should barely get read let alone elicit 2 pages (and counting) of discussion.

      • No one's worried about her. Just repulsed. Just like you.

    • Hey my friend, the crowd you have in the Whitehouse right now are doing EXACTLY what you say Palin would do to the US if ever elected President! They are just doing it in a different way. It's called Socialism! I wish you guy's luck!

  38. Dude, you are 19 months late. We have heard it all. How many articles did you cut and paste from to wrote old news? John Heilemann and Mark Halperin are two liberal Obama loving creeps. Do you know what sources stand for? Make believe! Made up to sell books. 95% of the book was bullsh##. Palin put McCain ahead and had a 55% aprroval rating after the convention. So the liberal lying MSM went into full attack mode. Every word that came out of her mouth was dissected, twisted and turned by the lying liberal media. The lying liberal media threw every lie they could find out there and repeated it over and over for their loving Obama. Obama had no foreign policy experience and it is showing right now. His experience during the election was giving a speech before adoring german fans. The man wouldn't even visit the wounded troops during the trip to Germany. Palin had contact with leaders of other countries because of the location of Alaska and being the governor. Gov. Palin was not running against Obama. McCain was on the top of the ticket but the liberal lying MSM thought it was Obama against Palin.

    • Everything you say is a bald faced lie. Like Bush and Cheney's reason for going to war with Iraq.

      Get on the small bus and ride on back to Stupidville where you live, loser.

  39. McCain Campaign chief said that Palin stopped the ticket from losing by 15 points and that no other candidate could have done that. Dude, give me a break about not knowing what to read. She basely said who the hell are you to ask me what I read and then the liberal MSM attacked her over and over for that. You don't have a clue why the McCain/Palin ticket lost. 1. The market crashed. 2. McCain suspended his campaing and when to Washington to help but the old dude voted for the unpopular Tarp Package. After that the poll numbers tanked for good. Palin held her own against Biden in the VP debate. We are still debating Obamacare because of Gov. Palin and her death panels. Gov. Palin stopped Cap and Trade or as it is called Cap and Tax. She took down Gorefakeflakes and "Greener than thou" girly man Arnold. When ever she writes an op-ed it is the most viewed. You can't even get her Facebook right, she has 1.5 million members. Twitter is suppose to be fun, the funnier the better.

    • Only a Palin supporter would spout ignorant nonsense like you do. Grow up, child!

  40. Sarah Palin supporters still haven't shown me any reason to believe she can "save" the U.S. I still think all her supporters secretly want her as President because she will lead their nation to destruction even faster. It's amazing how so many of her supporters want nothing more than the U.S. to remain a laughingstock. It's also amazing how so many people have been brainwashed without them knowing.

    • "In the field of sociology, another conservative member, Barbara Cargill, won passage of an amendment requiring the teaching of “the importance of personal responsibility for life choices” in a section on teenage suicide, dating violence, sexuality, drug use and eating disorders. "

      “The topic of sociology tends to blame society for everything,” Ms. Cargill said.

      Well, seems like simple readin' to me!

      • Your ignorance must be bliss to you. It would burn any other person with an average I.Q.

  41. If Palin run she will get the nomination.

    It will be Palin vs Obama and anything else would be uncivilized. Palin sending that LIC back to Chicagothugland would be Priceless!

    One more thing stop quoting that fake liberal poll from the hating Palin Washington Post/ABC. That poll was a joke compared to all the polls that poll republicans.

    The republicans luv Palin and will walk over hot coals to vote for her in the primaries.

    After the midterm elections the Rino republicans won't have to worry about Palin anymore because the party will be the Palin Republican Party.

    See you in November.

    • It's obvious you eat a bowl of stupid for breakfast each day. You don't know what the hell you're talking about.

  42. You'll never understand why we support her if you "do the research" using only liberal media sites. They lie, manipulate the truth, lack substance, and include negative rhetoric. I can tell because you're following the same the same trend in this article.

    Let's not forget that her tweeter and facebook posts (By the way, she is closing in on 1.5 million followers, a heck a lot more than the "tens of thousands" you report. It's not rocket science to at least include accurate numbers here) that you so easily dismiss kneecapped the health care bill ( you know the bill that is intended to make the biggest changes to health care in 4 decades. Yeah, that one) and delayed it about 4 months last year. It continues to be delayed in case you haven't heard.

    I, unlike you and the rest of the liberals on here, read your article because I want to hear the other side. Sadly, you meet the expectations I had from a liberal magazine. I wasn't even disappointed. Thanks.

    • Right. Like Fox News and right wing talk radio only report the facts, fair and balanced, as Jon Stewart exposes on an almost regular basis. But hey, keep believing what you think is the truth as your country continues to go down the toilet with your ignorant way of doing things.

  43. As governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin made $125,000.00 a year. (she turned down a $25,000.00 raise) After the dems had unleashed their wee cretins in AK to file frivolous ethics charges one after another. In six months she had accumulated legal bills of $600,000.00, (Alaska unlike almost all other states, does not provide state paid council for the governor, who must bear all ethics charges legal expenses) she and her husband had taken a second mortgage on their home and were near bankrupt. When a legal defense fund was established for her, the usual suspect ankle biters filed an ethics charge on that and shut it down. There has been a total of 21 frivolous ethics charges filed against her, and all have now been dismissed and proven false.

  44. I would lay 10:1 odds the dems now deeply regret having driven her from office, as in just a few short months she has not only gotten very rich, but with $100,000.00 speaking fees and so many requests she cannot fill them all, getting ever richer by the day.

    Unleashed from the restraints of the governorship cage, she has now become a most irritating burr under Obama's saddle and a itch the democrats can't scratch no matter how hard they try. With a single Facebook note (she now has near 1.5 million supporters on her page http://www.facebook.com/sarahpalin ) she derailed Obama's grandiose government healthcare takeover, and he remains fighting to revive it. But it now matters not if he gets the monstrosity passed or not, for it will destroy the democrat party and insure Obama will be a reviled one term president.

    Yep, Sarah Palin, the political williwaw from the northland, is just a stupid, ignorant, know nothing snowbilly. /S

    • First, the Democrats didn't drive her out of office. She quit on her own. Second, the whole death panel comment was something she pulled out of her orifice because there was absolutly nothing about it in the health care bill.

      Third, Sarah Palin is a stupid, ignorant, know nothing snowbilly. And your continued support of her shows that grate minds think alike.

  45. Obama is living proof some affirmative action community organizers get educated far beyond their intelligence level.

    • Yeah a Harvard grad and professor is much more dumber than someone who dropped out of several colleges.

      You wingnuts never cease to project your brand of reality onto the rest of us.

  46. "She is ignorant in regards to world history and foreign relations"

    Unlike Mr. Dopey-er Hopey-Changey!

    • Are you trying to be ironic?

  47. Let me see: as a 2008 VP candidate, who did the following: 1) asked a paralyzed man in a wheelchair to "stand-up". 2) claim that TV was around in 1929 while also claiming Franklin Roosevelt was President in 1929 (he wasn't) and 3) say that "j-o-b-s" is a three letter word, then repeated the three-letter word as "j-o-b-s" … The answer:

    JOE BIDEN

    Ah yes, had Palin done these things….Oh boy! But liberals always get a free pass…

    • Yes they never mention that do they? Dan Quayle was right about single motherhood too but one never heard the end of that one.

  48. I always find it amusing when snooty liberals look down their noses at Governor Palin's alleged lack of 'intelligence'. The snootier GOP mandarins are even worse. Yet when I try to listen to them, (people like Powell, Frum, Will, Nonnan, etc), my eyes glaze over. I am hearing words that are not attached to any reality–a type of dissicated 'intellectualism' that is empty and bankrupt. In spite of her sometimes awkward phrase construction, I will always listen intently to Palin, because her words reflected a native intelligence joined to intensly lived experience. This is I think, why people say of Sarah Palin that she is the "real thing", whereas, Obama is a media protected phooney.

  49. I will always say that Sarah Palin was a plus for McCain. He had absolutely no chance without her. He at least had some hope with her. He was probably never going to win in the environment of '08, anyway. If you had an R by your name, you were considered toxic. '12 will be a whole other story. Palin will use the the same tactics Obama used to win the white house. She will win the Repub nom with the base, and then win over the Independents in the general. Romney and Pawlenty are phony populists. The Tea Party people will see right through them. Just as they see Pelosi's new found respect for them as completely phony. They know Sarah is for real. She will get their support in the primaries. As for her not being knowledgeable on the issues, the people who say that are usually the critics who don't agree with her positions, or don't like her personally. She's more than shown that she has a grasp of the issues, and her solutions for solving the country's problems. She's got my vote, and I used to be a registered Democrat. Common sense is common sense, no matter what party you are member of.

  50. To the Republicans posting here:

    Tell me why the Republicans deserves another chance after Dubya? Your party failed miserably with him as their leader. What makes you think she's going to fare any better?

    It's amazing how ignorant the Republicans posting here are. They only care about their selfish selves. Disgusting and revolting if you ask me.

  51. The article and most of the comments reflect a real misunderstanding – either through lack of knowledge or intentional – of what is going on in American politics. While there has been a long, gradual, uneven shift to the Progressive left over the past 100+ years, Obama's lurch to the radical left has finally awakened the sleeping giant – the 60% of the American voting public that is center-right. This is the base from which the Tea Parties and Sarah Palin are drawing their support and is the base that has been putting the more conservative candidates into office in New Jersey, Virginia, and, most recently, Massachusetts. It is just getting warmed up. Sarah Palin is being grossly underestimated in both the article's author and by the same commenters who don't understand what is going on. (1of3)

  52. She is not being underestimated by her base or by the American Left. The historic intensity of the left's hysterically rabid reaction to her, from the point that she electrified the United States with her speech at the Republican Convention, is the most accurate gauge of how terrified the left is of her and what she represents. This is similar to the reaction to Ronald Reagan 30+ years ago, although orders of magnitude more intense now. Not how the opposition would react if there was no concern about an individual or movement. Most of the negative reaction to Sarah Palin during the campaign was a result of the most intensive media smear campaign to be launched against an American politician in our history. She contributed to it to some extent but mostly it was completely out of her control. (2of3)

  53. Sarah Palin rely does not know if she will be running for President in 2012 yet. She will continue moving along the path that she is on – impacting American politics in a way that the Founders and politicians like Ronald Reagan would have admired and encouraged. If she feels that the best way for her to impact the direction of the country is to run for President, she'll do it. And she will win. If not, she won't, and she'll continue to move in the direction that she knows is the right one for her and her country.

    Not exactly your typical politician but that is Sarah Palin. (3of3)

  54. In reading a posting on Dave Horowitz site, he made a perceptive comment on the '08 McCain campaign…that actually it was the McCain campaign that dragged down the Palin campaign. As to Palin's #'s falling off, that occurs with any election to some degree.

  55. Sarah Palin is reassuring to the majority of people in America that aren’t well educated or interested in the world beyond their town or neighborhood. She is like Dubya, a comfortable neighbor who shoots off about whatever is bothering them at the moment, but really doesn’t grasp the complexities behind the situation that is bothering you at that moment. They see “someone like me” when she talks, but they don’t have the intellectual rigor to examine what she does say and see it for the same platitudes we get from the professional politicians. NEWS FLASH FOR PALIN fans, all answers aren’t easy and quick!!! See, Iraq war for more details about “quick victory” and “create democracy in Middle East”, if you can stomach some details.
    The true failure of the American political system is the ignorance and apathy of the American voter. Until incumbents are defeated 80% of the time, we will never get any better. It was George Bernard Shaw who said that “Democracy is a device which ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve”.

    • Sorry we're not as smart as you eh? Notice how nobody talks about Iraq anymore, hey maybe that war's been won already. The surge worked. Again, sorry I don't match your peerless intellect, sorry I don't subscribe to your failed liberal slant.

  56. I am resident of a country of the European Union. I was raised in North America. I have travelled many countries of the world and studied the political histories of most. From my vantage point, I can only say that I am ashamed of the citizens of the USA of their inability to understand what they are doing to themselves by adhering to the idiotic nonsense of a 'bush girl' who knows how to use a moose rifle in Alaska! Isn't this all kind of a joke? Where are their life values, their picture of the future? Aren't we in the the year 2010? Palin should go back to Alaska and mush with her dogs and shoot from a helicopter (at state expense) — She is a destroyer, not a contributer to anything worthwhile to civilized progress.

  57. What a load of biased crap. First of all, why do liberal writers never refer to liberal commentators (i.e. Haynes Johnson) as such. Snake oil climate science? What's wrong with that line, ever heard of ClimateGate? Fabrication seems to be at the root of the global warming hysteria.

    There's a fringe in the Tea Party? But never any fringe on the left? 9-11 "Truthers", anti-globalization rioters, no, the lefties never report that.

    Here's more news, Richard Nixon was destroyed by the Eastern establisment. It's pretty rich for Petrou's interviewee to include Nixon as someone who was palatable to the left.

    Thank goodness Mark Steyn has a page to counteract the left wing rubbish in Macleans. (see also the hatchet job on Geert Wilders).

  58. Brian many of us are revolted by the left wing. Question, suddenly people like you aren't mentioning Iraq. Obama is staying the course laid out by General Petraeus. Obama's been a disaster so far, Jimmy Carter the Second.

    Sorry Brian, left wing fascists haven't outlawed conservatives yet, although people like you would like to. We'll continue to think what we want and vote accordingly.

  59. Last comment, egghead Jimmy Carter was one of the most highly educated presidents ever, but his foreign policy was disastrous. Meanwhile Ronald Reagan was mocked and belittled at first but he tore down the Berlin Wall and won the Cold War. Facts are facts, despite the revisionist lies from the liberals. I'd rather take my chances with Palin than any "educated" so-called progressive.

    • He also left his country heavily in debt and do you feel comfortable with the flippant remarks Palin makes about starting a war in Iran?

  60. Proud ignorance has acquired a measure of currency among a large segment of the American people, the sort who turn out to Palin rallies. Maybe they sense that their country is already in such a state of collapse after 8-years of Frat Boy neglect that she can't make it any worse.

  61. Really you got to be kidding me. She very thing that the world see as wrong with the USA. Naive, Close minded to the rest of the world.
    Just smile and beleive in god and country. It's all good.
    Bet they are wondering why very one hate them!

  62. The article was full of the smarmy, elitist, bloviating that turns ordinary people off. "Look at what's crawled out from under the rocks in the tea party movement"? Yes, and also look at what crawled out from under the rocks during the "let's annoint Obama craze", even before his election, and the crazies that he lined up for advisors subsequently. The absolute lack of balance in the left wing media is what leads to people like Sarah Palin becoming so popular. Right wing commentators are vastly outnumbered by left wingers, but more people listen to them. Michael Petrou should look in the mirror if he wants to know why.

  63. My response to that is my comment below. And while I am a Canadian, I travel frequently in the US, have in the past travelled corner to corner frquently, and will tell you that you need to get out of Ohio more. I have relatives in FLA, GA, TN, AZ, MT, WA, CA, and OR. They are all over the map career wise but Palin connects with them.

    Statecraft is not something that is learned in Harvard, it is learned in actually doing it. As a govenor, (while I do not believe she was then ready to step in if McCain had died in the presidency), Palin had vastly more real world experience than Obama. His utter fumbling of almost every international file suggests that he was behind Palin, who was ruthlessly judged by her offhand remark about Russia. In arms negotiations, Obama caved in to Russia. Palin would have known that you don't do that to a Bear.

  64. Give Sara a break, she's a strong woman, at least theres nothing wishy washy about her.

  65. Oh let’s face it, America isn’t the brightest country these days. Smarmy liberal writers wrote these same pieces when Bush ran in 2000, not so much to inform the public, but to assauge their own egos. American voters are dumb, just stick to talking points and try to be “relatable” and BINGO! you’ve got the job. Obama won independents because of Bush backlash, and when the country feels nice and comfy again, they’ll vote for a Sarah or a Dubya, people who don’t know what’s going on, just like them. Sarah can’t win with a country that has an understanding that its in crisis, but like Bush, she has a chance of squandering someone else’s hard work like Bush did. I just hope I’m out of the military by then, possibly out of the country.

  66. As a Canadian, I find it too funny that Ralph Klein is mentioned as the "former Mayor of Calgary". He was, but he went on to be Premier of the Province winning several big majority goverments. A little like Describing George Bush as former governor of Texas. lol

  67. Sarah Palin only needs the red nose and clown shoes…she needs to take her circus act and go back to Alaska, burrow into the tundra and hibernate for 40 or 50 years. Electing her into office is political suicide for the American People. The one thing America does not need is SARAH PALIN in office…not even in animal rendering supervision. (If that were a political office.) I cannot stand to see what our country has to choose from to represent it's people. Where is our pride and patriotism? I LOVE my country, and I know it needs representation…but not from actors and clowns. America needs real Patriots to represent this country and get rid of all who oppose or intend to inflict harm. Sarah Palin is WRONG for America!

  68. Steve Schmidt told McCain choosing Palin could hurt him. But a safer candidate, he said, wouldn't help. It would be better to go for the win and lose big than to tiptoe to a narrow defeat. “High risk, high reward,” another one of McCain's advisers cautioned. “You shouldn't have told me that,” McCain replied. “I've been a risk taker all my life.
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  69. Wether we like her or not, we must admint that she know how to make people talk about her… and in politics that's half of the way to go… Scrabble Cheat

  70. I realized lately that I have learned a lot of information from Sarah. Although most of what she's saying is really idealistic for me.

  71. I always admired with Sarah Palin. I strongly believe that "Sarah Palin is back as a political force in America."

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  73. Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin is somebody that most Americans can identify with. I am a libertarian personally, and would not vote for her because I do not think that she is the sharpest person out there, but I certainly find her extremely likable. Heck, I shouldn't say that I wouldn't vote for her so quick since she is what most politicians on both sides of the aisle are not. Honest.

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  74. People will always listen to good advocacy. What she's doing is a good thing and let's be happy about it.

  75. Let's face it Sarah Palin just wasn't up to the mark – she wasn't vice-presidential material.

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