Emergence of Palinomics hints at populist 2012 run

November 11, 2010

With U.S. midterm elections over, it’s now the start of the U.S. presidential campaign for 2012. That may explain why Sarah Palin is suddenly opining on monetary policy and the dollar. The emergence of Palinomics suggests a run by the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee could feature critiques of banks and the Federal Reserve, as well as of President Barack Obama.

In a speech and a pair of Facebook postings this week, Palin unexpectedly warned her followers about the inflationary dangers of the Fed’s “pump-priming addiction” — a reference to the latest round of bond-buying by the U.S. central bank, known as quantitative easing. That’s hardly a novel critique. Many conservatives, and even some Fed officials, share Palin’s unease.
It’s the politics and timing rather than the substance that is raising eyebrows. Avid Palin-watchers see her move into economic commentary as further evidence of a run for the White House. Indeed, the campaign team for putative Republican frontrunner and former banker Mitt Romney is assuming she will be in the race. And her upcoming, much-hyped reality television show, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” will no doubt play like an extended campaign commercial.

If Palin does run, her views leave her — not for the first time — well positioned to exploit the zeitgeist. Voters right now seem dubious of Big Anything, be it Government, Business or Money. In her 2009 book, “Going Rogue,” Palin offered a rehash of 1980s Reaganomics — low taxes, less government spending, strong dollar. That’s in sync with her recent Fed-bashing. But she also attacked “corporatism” in which government and business conspire against entrepreneurs and consumers. This view fuels Palin’s critique of Obama’s financial reform plan, which she portrays as a creation of Wall Street designed to perpetuate bank bailouts.

Palinomics seems to be rooted in “free-market populism,” a version of conservative thinking that is pro-market rather than pro-business. Palin is a big fan of one of its champions, the University of Chicago’s Luigi Zingales. So it’s easy to imagine her campaigning against corporate tax breaks, say, or in favor of limiting the size of banks. That might not attract much campaign cash from Manhattan bankers or Washington lobbyists, but it could be a compelling formula in the new Tea Party-infused Republican party.


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thanks to mccain the relatively unknown was thrown into presidential politics.
she was not only unknown but just a hockey mom who was in her own opionion not up to speed on national politics but willing to learn.

she should form her own party where she would be a magnet for the foolish amongst us who feel that this job does not require experience.

Posted by thoma | Report as abusive

Interest maybe, but understanding NO WAY!

Posted by jmjjmj1 | Report as abusive

When I go to the polls, I always ask myself, “What will be best to bring on the Apocalypse?” Now I know: Palin 2012. Can’t wait to vote for her.

Posted by MpressiveNglish | Report as abusive

The lady that thought Africa was a country is now a wanna-be central banker. Sarah as President would be a disaster. As a life-long Republican, I would like to see her go away and not split the party. The best chance Obama has for reelection is to have Sarah as the Republican candidate.

Posted by JGB44 | Report as abusive

Is there a “Being the US President for Dummies Book”?

Posted by NormalTom | Report as abusive

If Sarah Palin is not a terrorist, I dont know who is?

Posted by Shukla | Report as abusive

blah blah blah. palin is clueless.

Posted by roshambo | Report as abusive

Blah, blah, blah…

Palin is an undereducated, failed leader whose somehow become the Tea Party poster girl/stump queen.

She was once popular because she handed the Alaskan population a larger chunk of the oil pie from the oil companies, as in socialist handout.

If this is the futre of American leadership, we are doomed.

Posted by NobleKin | Report as abusive

NOOOOOO! Republican and I will not vote Palin.

Posted by code111 | Report as abusive

I pinch myself but i cant seem to wake up..

Posted by JoeMulick | Report as abusive

Well, this is great news for Tina Fey.

Posted by Bob9999 | Report as abusive

where did she get her education in economics, macro, or micro? Ecconimics for dummies?

Posted by dumkoepfe | Report as abusive

OH.. the teaser for this article was priceless. Please explain how Palin’s interest in the economy is “new found”. Or is Reuters just living up to its reputation?

Posted by jonavark | Report as abusive

Let’s see- it’s 5 hours after the story posted here and I’m the first post? Sounds like Palinomics doesn’t amount to much more than wasting a boatload of the GOP’s time and money for a failed bid in 2012!

But man, I cannot wait to see the trainwreck that will come when she can’t hide behind McCain and has to do real debating. That to me will be priceless.

Posted by mynamehear2 | Report as abusive

I regret reading this.

Posted by Fishes | Report as abusive

Wall Street might be popular and well loved in NYC and Washington D.C., but in much of the rest of the U.S., and especially in the about 98% of the population that makes less than $250k, after what has happened since the crash in 2008, they are most definitely NOT! Perhaps Palin is living proof that the % of the American voters who are “pro (free) market” is a good bit higher than the % who are “pro business” or most especially “pro BIG business.”

The 98% of us (largely) feel like: (1) we got screwed by BIG business — Wall Street and Big Banks especially; (2) our kids and their kids are going to be even more screwed by all this; (3) a few people, in NYC mainly, have gotten obscenely rich off stealing from us 98%; (4) BOTH political parties seem to be wholly owned subsidiaries of BIG Business; (5) the Obama administration seems to also be a wholly owned subsidiary of Goldman Sachs in particular; (6) NO ONE (with very rare exception) in Washington D.C. has had the guts to tell the truth about all this, and then stand up to it!
(being wholly owned by BIG Corporate donors, they have neither the courage; nor the inclination)

Hopefully Rand Paul will shake up the Senate in a HUGE way by using his power to single handedly stop some of this insanity!

It would be FASCINATING to see Rand, and President Palin turn on Wall Street and the Big Banks — and look them straight in the eye and say, “I don’t care if you don’t like it! We are in charge — not YOU!!”

I suspect a major fraction of the 98% of us would love to seem them, or somebody, anybody, stick it to Big Corporations in that way!

If Plain promises to do that, she just might get elected to be President …

We ARE in a pissed off mood, and if the next 2 years don’t get to more jobs, and relief from the foreclosure crisis now being driven by unemployment, in one hell of a hurry, there IS going to be political hell to pay in 2012. You think we were pissed off in this cycle — just wait till 2012 if things don’t get one hell of a lot better!

Obama will go down in flames, along with politicians of both parties that are too “corpratist” …

Posted by MadAsHell2 | Report as abusive

Great article, James. I would love to see President Palin appoint Luigi Zingales as Treasury Secretary in 2013. He has brilliant ideas for fixing our economic mess and controlling the oligarchs on Wall Street.

Posted by AZDUCKMAN | Report as abusive

I absolutely hope she runs – it will guarantee another term for Obama and be the most humiliating defeat since that guy that ran against Reagan’s 2nd term.

Posted by CDN_finance | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin would show an “interest” in anything if she thought there would be some “mileage” in it.

Thank you John McCain for unleashing this nitwit on America …

Posted by The_Traveler | Report as abusive

Palin who?

Posted by Marla | Report as abusive

Her move into economic commentary is the byproduct of it being the topic for quite some time. She is always behind the curve as far as issues are concerned. Ron Paul would be a much better choice to run in 2012.

Posted by Sacorp | Report as abusive

12:16 pm EST “thanks to mccain the relatively unknown was thrown into presidential politics.
she was not only unknown but just a hockey mom who was in her own opionion not up to speed on national politics but willing to learn.

she should form her own party where she would be a magnet for the foolish amongst us who feel that this job does not require experience.”

Posted by thoma | Report as abusive

Just like Obama and those who voted for him.

Posted by MBart | Report as abusive

madasHell is as as his name says and I can think of a few things that rhyme with azduckman. Tea Party is very naive and full of hot air.
Seriously, if you are running a football team and your star players have misbehaved and played very badly, you dont cut off their legs. You have to teach them to play better next time. If that means supporting and guiding them to play better and maybe introduce some rules to prevent things like that happening again then that is the mature way. Thats what Obama has done.
The US just cant have their top players, their banks, disabled.

Posted by shivers1 | Report as abusive