Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Sarah Palin, hot president?
Sarah Palin's visit to the East Coast had the usual dose of high drama. Back in March, she wouldn't commit to appear as the headline speaker at the GOP fundraising dinner, but changed her mind:
She hadn't been expected to attend until last week, when her advisers approached organizers saying she would be near Washington and would like to come.
Following some pressure from Fred Malek, Sarah Palin was re-invited:
After being invited — for a second time — to speak to the annual joint fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Palin was told abruptly Saturday night that she would not be allowed to address the thousands of Republicans there after all.
Sarah Palin's camp didn't react kindly to this:
Stapleton said she told the NRSC staffer: “Why, at a time when we’re trying to build the party, would you pull a move like that on somebody who earlier in the day just attracted 20,000 people?”
They say the governor was happy to appear and fire up party loyalists, but that, yet again, GOP operatives and officials in Washington would just as soon try to marginalize her.
The Alaska governor may now skip the dinner altogether, and her allies are miffed at what they see as a slight from the congressional wing of the Republican Party.
But Sarah Palin ended up attending the dinner after all.
Ending weeks of she-said, they-said drama, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin turned in a cameo appearance at the gala fundraising dinner for her party's House and Senate candidates in Washington Monday night.
On Monday, just hours before the dinner kicked off, Palin reversed herself and said she would attend, even though she would not have a speaking role.
Her dithering appears to be having a negative effect:
Palin beginning to irritate some Senate GOPers
Sarah Palin has begun to get on the nerves of Republican senators who say the former GOP vice presidential nominee is taking her own White House aspirations entirely too seriously.
Several GOP senators offered searing criticism of the Alaska governor when asked in recent interviews whether she could pose a credible challenge to President Obama in 2012.
Her high-profile foray to the East Coast has not been without its stumbles — and a scheduling spat with the Senate and House Republican fundraising committees threatens to raise more questions about her viability as a national party leader.
“She’s had some struggles, saying yes and no to the invitation."
Republicans are frustrated that Palin has wavered over whether to accept an invitation to appear as the headline guest at Monday’s fundraising bash for National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).
She reportedly worried that she could overexpose herself on the national political stage. But several GOP senators said she has much graver problems to worry about than attending a private dinner to raise money for Republican candidates for Congress.
“She lost support among the independents and moderate Republicans, and a lot of them give money,” the lawmaker added.
Palin’s team was offended that Republicans rescinded the offer to speak at the mega-event and threatened not to send the governor to the dinner, even though she was scheduled to be in Washington on Monday.
Palin has shown herself to be a magnet for political drama since McCain tapped her as his running mate in August. This penchant for melodrama has left a bad taste among some members of the stately GOP Senate conference.
One GOP senator questioned whether Palin has enough gravitas for voters to trust her in tough economic times.
Playing hard to get, then offering herself at the last minute wasn't a very clever strategy. Sarah Palin may draw the crowds but all the drama surrounding her, together with other bits and pieces, seem to be turning the governor into an embarassement for the GOP.
Which brings me to the bits and pieces, which are not necessarily political, but reflect badly on someone with aspirations to the highest office in the land.
Sarah Palin's tabloid family have been active lately. Bristol Palin made appearances on behalf of Candie's, an organization torn between promoting overt sexiness and sexual abstinence. She gave interviews to Matt Lauer (with her "out cold" baby Tripp) and Chris Cuomo. People magazine also reported on her difficulties as a teen mother, her graduation, etc.
Levi Johnston, the other teen facing difficulties as a parent, also kept a high profile, with TV appearances with his mother and his sister and an in-depth article on GQ magazine.
Willow appeared on stage while her mother addressed a crowd about autism in the shortest of shorts and the tightest of t-shirts. Nothing wrong with being young and dressing like that for a day at the beach or some private event, but it was the wrong choice for the occasion.
These family issues can't help Sarah Palin's image as a serious politician.
Sarah Palin herself doesn't contribute to such an image.
Her choice of clothing and general appearance leave a lot to be desired...
Mini skirts, inappropriate shoes, inappropriate pedicure, hair extensions... these are more Victoria Beckham than governor of state with designs on the White House.
Sarah Palin's hair on May 15, then on June 6
Let's make a little list of things weighing against her:
1. Constantly bashing the "feds", Sarah Palin's "affectionate" term for federal government.
2. Lecturing on the economy, criticizing the president's recovery plan with all the knowledge of a "D" student.
3. Lying to the GOP, using Alaska as an excuse not to accept their invitations, then changing her mind and getting offended when they don't bend over backwards to accommodate her whims.
4. Tabloid family.
5. A serious style problem, totally at odds with the office of state governor. Sarah Palin could get away with it in the Last Frontier, but Washington is different kettle of fish.
Can you imagine Sarah Palin in the White House, conducting serious business in her Franco Sarto shoes and mini skirts? Can you imagine Sarah Palin travelling to other countries, meeting heads of state dressed like that?
Would she turn up for world summits or would she keep everybody guessing until the last possible minute? How would the rest of the world regard her "D" views on the economy? How would her "We win, they lose" approach to foreign policy go down in a very unstable world?
Just imagine how many shoes would be hurled at her... designer shoes, with sharp heels!
Apart from her very narrow base, I can't see anybody else taking Sarah Palin seriously.
She's an embarassement to the state of Alaska and now she wants to embarass the whole of the United States as well.
Hot president? Pigs might fly...
Interesting article on Washington Post