2012: Palin and Patton

If I hear one more person yammer on about Sarah Palin being positioned perfectly for a 2012 presidential bid, I'm going to scream. It's not going to happen for a couple of reasons.

First, there is no historical precedent. Being the losing VP didn't help John Edwards or Joe Lieberman. It didn't help Jack Kemp, or Bentsen, or Ferraro, or Mondale. You have to go back to 1920 and FDR before you can find a failed VP candidate who later became president. I think the reason why this is so was best articulated by General George Patton: "America loves a winner. America will not tolerate a loser." A losing VP is a double loser. They are a loser in the obvious sense but also because they didn't win top billing on the ticket in the first place.

Second, Palin is, quite simply, a loon (no disrespect intended to the same-named water fowl). The more people discovered about Palin, the higher her negatives became. The only people who really like her are folks of similar buffoonery and those who are ideologically blinded. The GOP managed to keep her reasonably well sequestered in the closing weeks offering public appearances in front of sympathetic crowds. If she does somehow manage to get the party nod in 2012, she will not be able to hide. People will learn all about her past statements that humans and dinosaurs were contemporaneous, her probable belief in witchcraft, and her separationist husband. These things might play well to segments of the evangelically afflicted base, but they won't stand in the general election. She'll be another Tancredo, maybe a Huckabee if she's lucky.

I certainly don't think we've seen the last of Palin, but she has some serious work to do to even elevate her up to the status of "not entirely worthless" in the eyes of the general public.

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Palin/Voldemort '12!

I sincerely hope she does make a run in 2012. That will more or less permanently relegate the GOP as currently constituted to the refuse tip of history, and that would not be a bad thing.

Yeah I can not for the life of me grasp why any republican would make that claim. It is so painfully obvious the damage she did to the campaign (yes she wasn't the main reason he lost but she was a reason).

It's far more likely to see someone from the last batch of candidates mixed with a couple new ones.

Palin would guarantee an 8 year term for Obama.

Maybe not perfectly positioned, but well positioned. Instantly more recognizable than any of the other republican candidates with a solid core of supporters behind her. She may well take over from Ted Stevens when he is expelled from the Senate next year. And only someone who was thinking rationally would see that her presence on the ticket doomed McCain.

However a great many republicans are not thinking rationally. The religious right seized on her nomination as if she were the second coming. I saw a great many people, online and in real life, who effectively ignored McCain - they were voting for Palin for president*. Last nights result included plenty of outs for Palin to blame defeat on and her standing in the eyes of the religious right has not been diminished one iota.

There is likely to be a internal power struggle within the republican party between the traditional conservative base and the rising (?) power of the religious right over the next couple of years.

* Yes I did see actually see a poster that said 'Palin for President'.

By NoAstronomer (not verified) on 05 Nov 2008 #permalink

I had a whole complex of reactions to last night's Obama victory. My third and fourth, or so, were "I wish I had Tina Fey's number so I could call her up and heartily congratulate her on being out of work."

The fourth was "it would be fun to send Palin a little hand-written thank you note attached to a cute little stuffed albatross." Because, really, in the end she turned out to be one of our better assets. Who knows, maybe she will be the GOP nominee in '12. In that case, well, I'll happily toast the GOP's final breaking. Personally, though, I don't think they're that stupid, or fate that kind.

If she does it is a guaranteed win again for Obama which I would like to see. Please quit calling her Caribou Barbie as that is an insult to a beautiful and intelligent animal. If you must call her something I think road kill barbie would be better

By Ex Patriot (not verified) on 09 Nov 2008 #permalink

While it is true Bible Spice helped sink the last hopes of McCain, who still set off Geiger counters everywhere due to the radioactive slime still on him from Karl Rove's attacks on him in 2000, she didn't point a gun at him and make him select her.

At least, I don't think she did, though she seems capable of such a thing.