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Elizabeth Sherman
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Elizabeth Sherman

Assistant professor of American Politics at American University; founder and former director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Palin Will Prevail as a Leader

Sarah Palin's resignation as governor of Alaska indicates that she will devote her time and energy to connecting with a substantial portion of the Republican electorate, those who are passionate about the issues and ideas that she personifies. Palin believes she can be more effective in bringing about significant political and policy change on the national stage than she can while bogged down in the trenches of Alaskan politics, where she seemed to be undone by a thousand political cuts.

The fact is that Palin brings vitality and passion to the anti-Obama political forces and serves as a committed spokeswoman, energetic fundraiser and ideal representative of the conservative social perspective. No one is more effective delivering the pro-life message than Palin, whose anguished decision to carry to term a special needs child resonates with millions who see her as the champion for children who need social resources and support systems. With her son fighting in Iraq during the presidential campaign, Palin succeeded in personalizing foreign policy with her focus on support for the troops. On detainee treatment, Guantanamo, warrantless wiretapping and the like, she adheres to the policy content and political tone of the Bush administration. In short, she is a captain, if not a general, the battle of political ideas and policy for the next generation.

We can expect her to be part of the disdain and mockery of Democratic political positions popular with conservative media, think tanks, sponsors and leaders as they continue to rally support against Obama on foreign and domestic policy. True, it's unlikely that Republicans will chose her as their standard-bearer in 2012. She frightens too many people with her antagonistic, and many would say simplistic, worldview. But, she has a significant role to play in rebuilding a dispirited Republican party and we can expect her to continue as an extremely potent popularizer of conservative ideas and alternatives ("Drill, baby, drill!").

Palin has already proved she is someone who can energize and mobilize the Republican base to renewed levels of activism and organizing. For a considerable segment of the electorate, Palin has proven her mettle as the ideal spokeswoman for those who believe that the country has taken a turn for the worse, that it remains ensnared by wrongheaded elites and media, and that ordinary citizens along with conservative organizations and political leaders need to retake the Congress and presidency to set matters right. Sarah Palin has decided to seize the day, do what she does best, and let the future take care of itself.

By Elizabeth Sherman

 |  July 7, 2009; 1:40 PM ET
Category:  Politics Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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whats ignorant is obama running our gov. like a dam casino, or the mob.-- do i smell another stimulus plan coming? obama doesnt have a clue whats going on--obama is by far the most ignorant pres we ever had.. this country will need her reagan style politics for sure, and her stands on corruption.. when i see college grads workin at mcdonalds, its freakin BAD..

Posted by: darin_holmes | July 8, 2009 6:19 PM
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It's no coincidence Palin is popular with people who disdain government and consider the US Constitution a lesser law than the Bible. Their indifference to her lack of knowledge isn't a function of ignorance but rather of ideology. Their ideas on issues are reductions of old conservative views not subject to change by mediated education. That's like Palin because of her ignorance not despite it.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 7, 2009 11:00 PM
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A "spokeswoman"???

Successful political parties don't create spokespeople, they produce leaders. Leaders create new policies. They don't waste time on dead issues like legal abortion or conceive of verbal support for our troops as making them unique. If that's all Palin has to offer, she's DOA.

Posted by: jhbyer | July 7, 2009 10:38 PM
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"On detainee treatment, Guantanamo, warrantless wiretapping and the like, she adheres to the policy content and political tone of the Bush administration"

So this conservative Christian who strives to be christ like supports torture and illegal spying on U.S. citizns?

"No one is more effective delivering the pro-life message than Palin"

True, but isn't it interesting that she has no problem using Trigg politically when it refelcts positivley on her anti-abortion policy platform however with abstinence only, Bristol is hands off even though, like Trigg, it is the perfect nexus between her personal and policy narrative. She is a hypocrite and and non-sensical rambling simpleton.

I agree with Bevjims above, she is a simptom of the shallowness of this country. She is a quitter, plain and simple.

Posted by: Chops2 | July 7, 2009 8:43 PM
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---Sarah Palin has decided to seize the day, do what she does best, and let the future take care of itself.---

Well, the future has arrived and its not pretty. Just a few hours ago Palin said the following when asked about the numerous ethics complaints against her:

"I think on a national level your department of law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we've been charged with and automatically throw them out," she said.

Now, I don't know anyone who thinks the White House has a department of law. But even if she was confused by the name, there is no department inside the White House or outside the White House that looks at ethics complaints against the president that can "automatically throw them out". This is what sunk her before and it seems not much has changed.

But I agree she is a force. Many people just "like" her and will overlook such ineptitude because they would like to be at a party with her. Palin is just a symptom of what has happened to Americans, how shallow we have become, how single issue we have become, and how personality trumps ability. The celebrity status of politicians is relatively new. We need to figure out why and work to educate people on the issues and their importance so people can overlook the good looks or wink/smile of a dimwitted politician. The mere fact that Palin is at all considered presidential material by anything over 0.001% of Americans should scare the bejeezus out of us all. The fact that its closer to 20% should keep us awake at night.

Posted by: bevjims1 | July 7, 2009 2:58 PM
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"With her son fighting in Iraq during the presidential campaign, Palin succeeded in personalizing foreign policy with her focus on support for the troops."

Unfortunately for Palin there is much more to foreign policy than this and "You can see Russia from Alaska." Before Palin can be taken seriously with Foreign policy she needs to understand that the world is sick and tired of the US saying "Do it our way." In case you forget, doing it the Republican way has turned former allies against the policies of the US. She will also need to understand the complex relationships of other ethnic and religious groups. All I have ever heard her express is that her version of Christianity is the "REAL" one, and only her version of democracy is right.

Palin also needs to realize that if she is to be taken seriously around the world (which is what a President or Vice-President must do) she will need to speak in grammatically correct sentences. As a journalistic major I would expect that she knows how, but the "folksy talk" is great for the Republican base, so it continues.

The last thing that Palin would need to do, if she wants to be taken seriously as a national candidate, is to stop classifying so many as not being "real Americans". She will need the support of Americans across the country if she ever intends to run for the Presidency, or even the Vice-Presidency again. Saying that those who don't support her views are not real Americans will only split the country further, and right now America doesn't need that.

I will add that I am not an American, but perhaps you need an outsider's view. Right now there is no Canadian I know that takes Palin seriously.

Posted by: alysheba_3 | July 7, 2009 2:36 PM
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