Sarah Palin’s new focus

July 15, 2009

Admit it: we all wondered just what Sarah Palin would turn her time and talents to after she announced her resignation from the Alaska governor’s job, and now she’s given what looks like an answer. In an op-ed column in The Washington Post, Palin took a swipe at Washington insiders and the mainstream media for ignoring the economy, and then tipped her hand.

“Unfortunately, many in the national media would rather focus on the personality-driven political gossip of the day than on the gravity of these challenges,” she wrote. “So, at risk of disappointing the chattering class, let me make clear what is foremost on my mind and where my focus will be: I am deeply concerned about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy. It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage.”

In a brief story about this, we noted that Palin’s plans for spurring the U.S. economy include offshore drilling, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and exploring the possibility of nuclear power in every state.

We’re not the only ones who noticed Palin’s opening salvo. Daniel Weiss of the Center for American Progress Action Fund saw her column as “the first stop on Gov. Palin’s comeback tour.” In his opinion, Palin is definitely mulling a presidential run.

“She wants to make sure that she’s still seen as serious and relevant,” Weiss said. “Her policies, though, isolate her in the corner with big oil and big coal and Rush Limbaugh … It would not surprise me if she shows up in Iowa talking about ethanol or New Hampshire talking about nuclear power or in Louisiana talking about oil. That would appeal to primary or caucus-going voters on those states.”

Weiss told me he can’t wait for the Palin campaign, but others weren’t so enthusiastic. Sen. Barbara Boxer, the California Democrat who heads the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that will take up U.S. carbon-capping legislation in September, took time out from a hearing to pour cold water on Palin’s contention that tackling the causes of climate change would send the U.S. economy into a tailspin.

“Sarah Palin wrote this naysaying op-ed piece on why we shouldn’t move forward …” Boxer said. “So I would just tell the American people to take a look at history. Every single time we’ve gone forward to go after pollution, the naysayers have been wrong about the predictions, wrong about the gloom and doom and we have in fact led the world.”

Another Democrat, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, criticized Palin’s piece, which for a while was one of the most popular on the Washingtonpost.com site.

“Unfortunately, her promise to roll up her sleeves and tackle serious issues is followed by a column that focuses on everything but the single grave challenge that forms the basis of all of our actions: the crisis of global climate change,” Kerry wrote in remarks that showed up on the Huffington Post. “Yes, she manages to write about the climate change action in Congress without ever mentioning the reason we are doing this in the first place. It’s like complaining about the cost of repairing a roof without factoring in the leaks destroying your home.”

Kerry took specific aim at the impact of climate change in Alaska, where warming permafrost and rising sea levels have prompted some villagers to leave their long-time homes as the earth melts under their feet.

There was no immediate response to Palin’s column from the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute or the Republican National Committee.

But what do you think? Does this effort mean she’s running for president? Will she take a bigger role in the debate over climate change?

Photo credits: REUTERS/Tami Chappell (Palin in Duluth, George, December 1, 2008); REUTERS/NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center (Satellite image of Arctic ice, September 10, 2008)

31 comments

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What Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh say doesn’t have to make any sense. They are driven by ego and utter selfishness. They are hunting for support of ill-informed audiance to inflate their unsatiable ego.

Posted by TellasisPatel | Report as abusive

I find these musings about Sarah Palin’s intellect and future aspirations to be very interesting. If she has “little intelligence, political ability and knowledge of the facts”, why is she all over both liberal and conservative news outlets? She should be a non-issue, especially with people who would never vote for her should she decide to run for national office. For someone who has such “little skill”, she sure has caused quite a stir. In the words of William Shakespeare: “Me thinks thou dost protest too much!”

To its detriment, the liberal media is stubbornly blind to a conservative, non-partisan ground swell of angst steadily growing across this country against the policies of the current presidential administration. This grassroots movement is based on the simple constitutional fact that it’s the PEOPLE who rule in a democracy, not the Executive Branch and its current acquiescent mouthpiece, the media.

I look forward to see what Sarah Palin might do in the future when she is no longer a “public servant”, but a private citizen and has some legal leverage to thwart the multitude of attacks that come her way. My common sense tells me that we haven’t seen anything yet!

Posted by shahoon | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin is so good for this country, i am somewhat concerned to write this note of the great appreciation to her. The wonderful way she speaks of her grandson and the honorable move of stepping down as Governor because she is lame duck, as she wouldn’t be seeking reelection. So many are used to political ploys, it is difficult to hear that someone really has ethic, not taking royalties and luxuries before leaving office.

And on the grandson, so many would say Mrs. Palin’s daughter had a choice, she did, there are so many choices to name her son!

Posted by mike smith | Report as abusive

It’s like a beauty contest where the contestants are expected to answer questions with “God, Family, Country”. This pathetically self-involved woman is just an actor mouthing words whe doesn’t understand and ideas far beyond her ken……

Posted by Al Redlhammer | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin’s op-ed story is a clever piece of propaganda designed to appeal to people who would rather take her charismatic words as truth, rather than research the actual facts. I highly doubt, given her demonstrated lack of ability to speak succinctly about anything, that she actually wrote the article. If one cannot clearly articulate their thoughts verbally, it is highly unlikely they can write them either.

She is, in my opinion, a person who can cause a lot of havoc because once she believes certain things to be true, whether they are or not, political forces sharing the same type of convoluted mindset unite behind her and – walla – they have the perfect negative propaganda mouthpiece.

Posted by Steel Magnolia | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin is a welcome brilliant breath of fresh air. One only need look at her while she is talking to see she is honestly telling her opinion. She has taken a serious step toward standing up for what she believes in. No one can say she is unpatriotic. Her actions speak louder than her words. Believe me, I am listening as are so very many of the formerly silent majority. We need a savior and Obama is not it. If not a savior, at least Sarah Palin is willing to speak out for those of us who have no real voice. She is our voice. Go Sarah. We are behind you all the way.

I was very pleased to read Sarah Palin’s pithy and articulate article, laying down the gauntlet. We are SO fortunate to have her speaking for the American people against the increasingly fascist Obamamonster. I’m so excited to support her in any possible way that I can.

Posted by Michael | Report as abusive

“To its detriment, the liberal media is stubbornly blind to a conservative, non-partisan ground swell of angst steadily growing across this country against the policies of the current presidential administration. This grassroots movement is based on the simple constitutional fact that it’s the PEOPLE who rule in a democracy, not the Executive Branch and its current acquiescent mouthpiece, the media.”

Um… were you awake during the previous administration? When the President (a Republican) extended the power of the Executive Branch more than any time in history since the Civil War? When liberal protesters were dismissed as anti-American? When the Executive Branch broke longstanding international treaties and the press responded by asking about his dog? When a scandal broke out every week and nobody did anything about it because, um, the terrorists might win?

The people rule the democracy by voting, my friend. And when they voted, there was a landslide, and the GOP lost. Big time. Sarah Palin lost. Big time. Feel free to initiate grassroots movements and cheerlead another mentally challenged leader, but stop the complaining and the world-against-us martyrdom that you constantly accused liberals of. Hypocrisy is unbecoming of you.

Posted by Palin in 2011 | Report as abusive

This is a big issue for the Christian Right. I think Sarah pandering to and courting Tony Perkins; Focus on the Family, etc. They are her “higher calling”.

Posted by Denise | Report as abusive

I saw a gallup poll that said that 7 out of 10 republicans would vote for palin in 2012 for president and only 13% of independents would vote for her and 10% of Dems would vote for her.

The best weapon that the Dems have at winning the 2012 election is Palin. They should encourage her to run again.

Posted by Nathan | Report as abusive

Well stated shahoon. The Obama media doth protest too much… The country is waking up and in 2010 will be the first warning shot… Got get ‘um, Sarah. P.S. Who listens to what Kerry says? Can we say “completely irrelevant”?

Posted by Haitian dude | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin’s rise in the political system has been the best thing for the conservative movement.
The more the main stream media tries to push her down-the harder she fights.
She is a women for the people-not the media and government elite.
A soccor mom turned political.

Posted by Meg | Report as abusive

Big fan of Sarah Palin. I don’t agree with all of her policies. However, I think she would do a good job on the national scene. If I were her, I would try to connect with the urban voter. As far as global climate change goes, our current President is probably going to address that issue.

Posted by Hunter Gunnell | Report as abusive

This woman astounds me.
What is more astounding is that the media continues to give her coverage – this website included. The vast majority of Americans realizes that Mrs. Palin is not educated enough to make informed decisions… why doesn’t the media? Stop validating her antiquated ideals. The facts are this: Mrs. Palin quit her job as governor without finishing half of her term. She is under the impression that the conclusion of the scientific community at large is little more than a hoax. Is anyone going to take this seriously? Anyone who supports this madness is clearly as uneducated as she.
IMHO, Sarah Palin is a selfish egotist whose opportunistic qualities far surpass her abilities. Sarah Palin is as useful on the world stage as a banana is on a chess board.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

Men4sarahdotcom

Sarah Plalin is by far the biggest threat to the Monopoly of our Federal Election Commission and the two party system.

Libera;s and the media loved to paint this “bimbo” description of her and claimed that she was JUST a right winged knuckelhead, but many republicans were equally concerned that she would destroy their “club”.

America’s Radical Center believes that she has the postential to run as an Independent.

Posted by men 4 sarah | Report as abusive

Mrs. Palin obviously is unsatisfied with the speed at which we are trashing her state, her country, and her planet. She considers it her patriotic duty to see that the devastation accelerates. It was a sad day when this woman arrived on the national stage.

Posted by Leanne Peters | Report as abusive

The reason the media and thinking people alike are fascinated by Sarah Palin is a complete disbelief that anyone actually takes her seriously! Come on people, she makes no sense at all when she speaks and she stands for….now what exactly is it she stands for? LOL

I don’t get it.
We had 8 years of the Bush administration,and you see where that has gotten us. We finally have someone in office who is trying to correct the mistakes of the past 8 years, and we would want to go back to that again?

Listening to Sarah Palin speak on the campaign trail just was sickening, who believes or even likes that cutsey, homey, ignorant speaking? It certainly isn’t me.

Remember she could see Russia from her porch? Are you kidding me!

Good-bye Sarah, nobody wants you back in office.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

It is the image of Sarah Palin that seems to attract many people. She is very effective in saying the keywords that many of those who support her want to her. It is hard to understand who ineffective Palin is in delivering a coherent message.

Her op-ed was about the need for Americans to think locally about America’s oil and gas demands. The president just recently finished attending a conference on the worlds environment and energy problems. Yes, oil and gas are currently used to meet America’s energy demand. However, so is coal, hydro-electric, nuclear and wind just to name a few. However, Palin seems stuck in an 19 century solutions. She did mention coal in her op-ed, but what is revealing is Palin’s concerns seem more aimed at protecting the oil and gas industry than protecting American workers.

Posted by Anthony | Report as abusive

Kerry’s response to Palin’s piece is weak and uninformed. The Newtok village he references is under the duress of erosion and flooding. Kerry and his crowd forget to include that this village has suffered under this since the village settled permanently. The Yupik people of Newtok were previously a nomadic people, their traditional housing and practices made it feasable to move in responce to the abundace of wildlife and reaction to environment.
While modern improvements have vastly improved their comfort and standard of living, it also has prevented the village from responding to the enivronment in which it lives.
Newtok is wedged between two active rivers. In almost 70 years the permafrost has both receded and returned. The river has claimed 70 feet a year reguardless of global warming or cooling. The river consumes the land by both erosion and flooding and there is no reason to assume that this a recent occurance. In fact, there is evidence that the truer picture is one of a progressively changing coastline over decades and centuries and that it is the modernization of a Nomadic people that has resulted in an inabilty to respond.
The desire to retain the modern improvements in thier life and protect property is a reality for the villagers. But the arguement that Global Warming is the root cause is truly a convient scape goat and a hot button issue to help press a truly alarming situation to the forefront.

Posted by Julie | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin is just George W. Bush II in lipstick: ethically dishonest, factually challenged, and intellectually unqualified for any office, much less that of President.

Republicans have sadly become more and more anti-intellectual over the years (that means anti-smart people, for you Republicans reading this) and Palin is another prime example of style over actual substance, as was GW Bush before her. I just hope Americans can see through her better than we did with Bush, who turned out to be one of the worst presidents in our nation’s history. Unfortunately, I believe Palin might even be worse.

Posted by Tony Pinto | Report as abusive

Will she run for president? Looks like she’s trying to set herself up for something. Sure she’ll have to take on a bigger role in the debate about the global warming issue if she runs for prez. The only reason I hold a republican card anymore is my hopes Ron Paul will run again. Other than that it’s a Libertarian vote for me.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

In selecting Gov.Sarah Palin for his VP candidate and thus bringing her on the national stage, Sen. John McCain has shown profound lack of good judgement and has done more harm to our country dwarfing his other achievements.

Posted by TellasisPatel | Report as abusive

The only reason this woman gets any time in the public eye is due to pure entertainment value.
The same reason anyone would watch a vacuous Jessica Simpson or Paris Hilton on a reality show.

I must confess I do enjoy her ineffectual ramblings…. hillarious!

Posted by T | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin is logically unsound. Not only are conventional fossil fuels polluting the environment,it’s a known fact that in less than 100 years, supply will be depleted. Developing alernative fuels require time and investments. And these contribute towards creating jobs and the GDP.

She says “(cap-and-trade energy plan) is an enormous threat to our economy. It would undermine our recovery over the short term and would inflict permanent damage.”

I think she is a big enough threat to the economy as it is. At a point in history where global warming is a growing concern, consumers are becoming more aware and buying from “green” and environmentally responsible companies. Business enterprises cannot afford to ignore consumers’ “green” sentiment. Doing so will really inflict permanent damage on the economy.

Posted by Celine | Report as abusive

I’m so torn. Do I really want Palin to go away or is her entertainment value too high? It would be nice to suddenly realize one day that I hadn’t heard anything about her in weeks.

On the other hand, I do get a little tingle when I bring up the news in my browser and see another article about her adventures. What outrageous thing, I ask myself, will she say or do this time? I had this crazy idea of seeing her waxing blithely during an interview while in the background an endangered Aleutian goose she just shot is being field dressed? (Like anything like that would happen.)

All things considered, I believe it would be in the best interest of the country, not to mention the Democratic party, if Palin stayed visible.

Posted by Robert | Report as abusive

Though she might be considering a presidential position, her resignation demonstrated that she could not handle that of a governor. She signed on for that one, yet did not fulfill her commitment. That to me is more worrisome than any Post editorial.

Posted by AP | Report as abusive

Thios woman is a god damn idiot, drill in the Arctic Wildlife refuge, nice, nuclear in every state, i cant beleive americans listen to this and would in all honesty vote for this fool to be a president, my god, she would destroy america and the rest of the world what a absolute fool, no green energy at all, and all she wnats is to destroy, kind of like my dog !

Posted by barry | Report as abusive

This LADY represents the real people of this country, not the lunatic fringe. The multitude and vicious attacks on her only prove the left is definitely scared of her……..You go girl!

Posted by Watcher | Report as abusive

For those of you whom do not understand why Sarah resigned… Try getting sued by the presidents mafia 15 times.

Posted by D'Ann | Report as abusive

Sarah Palin is doing this just to gain publicity. She is not qualified enough for any of this..