When Hillary Clinton conceded the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama last June, she said her campaign was responsible for 18 million cracks in the ceiling—one for every vote she obtained in the primaries. Sarah Palin would later make reference to Clinton’s concession speech when she was selected by John McCain to be his nominee, seemingly viewing herself as Clinton’s successor. Since the November election, Governor Palin has often been mentioned as a contender for the GOP nomination in 2012 and her constant presence in the media has only served to fuel that speculation.
Palin’s recent encounter with comedian David Letterman has once again thrust her in the limelight. Letterman, who made a tasteless joke regarding Palin’s daughters, has since apologized. But the Alaska Governor, while accepting the apology, has chosen to make it a Constitutional freedom of speech issue in response. Not smart. The entire series of events has pushed Palin into an unfavorable position. After the Katie Couric interview last fall, where she seemed unprepared and not ready for primetime, one would have thought Palin would be more prudent in future encounters with media controversy.
No one doubts her celebrity status, nor her street-smart political skills. However, running for the presidency is serious business and in that regard, Palin has shown some serious inadequacies. Weakness in content and a serious lack of judgment are just two examples. Here is where she contrasts with Hillary Clinton. Clinton has obvious talent but, more than anything else, she has shown a capacity for growth and sound judgment. She has weathered the most difficult crises and never once lost her poise. Palin should take a page out of Hillary’s playbook. Right now, engaging in culture wars and pushing her celebrity stratus is quickly eliminating her from contention within the Republican party. Clearly, Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton.