Will she? Won’t she? Still reading the tea leaves…
Is Sarah Palin getting the kind of press that makes for viable presidential campaigns? Maybe not, and her critics appear to be increasingly of a conservative stripe.
The Mama of Mama Grizzlies proved to be a fierce campaigner on the 2010 midterm election trail, and she continues to command an army of devoted supporters, particularly among members of the Tea Party movement.
But winning the White House requires an ability to attract many, many independent voters. And two months after the Arizona shootings, and her use of the charged term “blood libel” against critics of her gun-toting rhetoric, Palin seems to be having trouble convincing influential conservatives to take her seriously as a seaworthy candidate.
“She’s becoming Al Sharpton, Alaska edition,” says the headline of a POLITICO article that identifies the Republican 2008 vice presidential nominee with a politics of grievance and group identity that betrays conservative principles. And who are these critics? Conservative columnist George Will… former Bush strategist Peter Wehner… Manhattan Institute analyst Heather Mac Donald…
Not exactly the Lamestream Media.
Then there’s Fox News jefe Roger Ailes. According to New York Magazine, Palin sought Ailes’ advice after the January shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords unleashed a deluge of criticism over her use of rifle cross-hairs to identify vulnerable Democratic congressional districts, including Giffords’, on a 2010 campaign map.
New York Magazine says Ailes told the former Alaska governor to lie low and not inject herself into the story. But Palin didn’t take that advice, and now has Ailes’ displeasure and slumping poll numbers, not only with the public but with political insiders as well.
But perhaps the worst press for Palin recently is not criticism or unflattering revelation but lack of notice. Newsweek magazine’s list of “150 Women Who Shake the World” has three entries under ‘P’: Goldman Sachs executive Dina Habib Powell, TV Judge Jeanine Pirro and actress Violante Placido. No Palin.
So will she? Won’t she? Palin herself says the question depends on whether American voters are ready for such an unconventional presidential candidate, and that’s something she is still pondering.
Reuters Photo Credits: Shannon Stapleton (Sarah Palin); Jason Reed (White House)
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