Friday, October 17, 2008

Palin Away

Concurring with Ezra Klein and Kevin Drum, I'm reasonably confident that Sarah Palin will cease to be a player in national politics after the McCain/Palin ticket goes down in ignoble defeat. Sure, the base loves her. But, as Klein notes, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) inspires the same sort of love while still managing to be coherent (indeed, quite articulate) on matters of national policy. Republicans are not utterly insane -- they know that Palin has become synonymous with all that the American center (much less the left) finds detestable in the current GOP. There is simply no way any reasonable Republican will decide to double down on the biggest failed bet of the 2008 cycle.

I'll just add that in the first set of 2012 Presidential GOP primary polls, we'll inevitably see Gov. Palin's name high on the list. This is solely a function of name recognition -- remember how well Joe Lieberman was doing early in the 2004 cycle? Let the primary season swing into full bloom, with some genuine solid Republican candidates running against her, and she'll be taken down right quick.


The Gaucho Politico said...

It really is hard to say what she will be doing in 4 years. I happen to think she might not make it to a second term as gov of alaska after her antics on the national stage.

It would take an awful lot of work for palin to come back as a top tier national candidate and i dont see her as willing to put in 4 years of work to run in 2012. She might be one of the least popular individuals in politics right behind bush and cheney.

PG said...

If Jindal continues to succeed in fixing stuff in Louisiana, I think he'll be the Republican frontrunner for 2012. Republicans will finally get to run a person of color and can get back the Buckley-Parker-Frum-Brooks wing of the party that likes its leaders to have experience, competence and intelligence. Jindal is stupidly populist on a couple of narrow issues, but he represents one of the few credible threats coming from the new generation of Republicans. I have a dream of a Jindal-Warner race in 2016 -- the idea of Americans getting to pick between two smart Southerners almost makes me cry.

However, I don't think Jindal can inspire quite the same base love as Palin. He inspires love from the base that votes entirely on pro-life issues, but despite his hard-won ability to campaign as a bubba, he's never going to make happy the part of the base that wants a candidate they'd have a beer with. His Catholicism also might come up as a reason for some of the Republican base to distrust him, if fretting about his looking like a foreigner, growing up Hindu and having a legal first name that most Americans don't know how to pronounce is considered a little too racist to admit.

Also, a Rhodes Scholar, double-Ivy grad is going to come off as ludicrously as Mitt Romney and Giuliani did in complaining about the elite, yet that seems to be required these days.