The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Go Sarah go (on TV)
Tom Smith

This is what I've been saying.  Why on earth would you want to be VP when you could be a TV rock star making 10 million a year, or who knows, with her own line of make up, outdoor gear, snowmobile related products (for Todd), maybe much more.  As a public servant, she would get dissed by the tanning  bed media, and have real responsibilities.  I love Sarah, but I'm not sure she's cut out to be POTUS.  She has some virtues that Obama lacks (sympathy for the small businessperson for example) but I'm hopeful the GOP will be able to come with someone with more universal appeal.  Besides, she is a lock as a media star and a presidential run would be a long shot, unless Obama is a complete disaster.  

She obviously has a taste for the finer things in life, and why not.  With a book deal or three, her own show on Fox, etc etc, she can equip herself in style for every new season.  She could be the Oprah for the pickup truck set.

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Comments

I for one hope that not everyone is motivated by mere money. Her family seems comfortable, and even if she never becomes POTUS she can be a very useful politician. Also, not everyone is psychologically set up to be on TV as a career. She may be too level-headed.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie | Nov 10, 2008 7:22:16 PM

Weird thought here, but I think she'd make a damned fine President, so I hope she runs and wins. (And one of the reasons I think she'd make a damn fine President is that I think the idea of being the White Trash Oprah probably makes her want to take a shower. When did this become a nation of wankers?)

BTW, "universal appeal" got us John McCain, and might get us Romney in 2012. This has not and will not be a prescription for success.

Posted by: Mark Poling | Nov 10, 2008 7:24:38 PM

Or, she could spend the next three years proving her bona fides, then run for, and win, the Presidency.

Posted by: buford Gooch | Nov 10, 2008 7:34:50 PM

TV? Pah. Weekly Internet weblog? Better, and a modern twist on Reagan's radio commentaries when he was refining his conservative positions.

Posted by: Just John | Nov 10, 2008 7:39:50 PM

Alaskan Senator then a POTUS run. Romney's veep material. A Palin/Romney ticket might be feasible, yet it's all a long way off and a shockingly large enough number people have voted for an empty suit. Granted, Bush and 8 years of endless media bashing (even when not deserved) and bias can cause people to do strange things.

Posted by: Roger Godby | Nov 10, 2008 8:05:11 PM

Just John,
That's a great idea. Palin for President! There have been other politicians who have tried talk shows, I have always thought they burned out when they did that. If you think that you have to sell your soul to be in politics all you have to do is look at the trash that is television to know that it can be worse.

Posted by: annas | Nov 10, 2008 8:15:03 PM

For her, politics and celebrity are not mutually exclusive. So long as she chooses her projects carefully, she can keep her profile high, polish her credentials and establish herself as a serious thinker. Much like Reagan did. Appearing on "CSI" in not a good move, on Fox News Sunday is. She really needs to be on a panel with Peggy Noonan and hand her her head.

Also she needs a good ghostwriter to start putting out thoughtful, well informed essays under her name about once a month. Dean Barnett would have been perfect.

Posted by: Mendincope | Nov 10, 2008 8:28:00 PM

Just John: Brilliant idea. I like it.

She should finish out her term as Governor and then get ready for 2012. Forget the Senate. That has never been considered a steppingstone to the Presidency, until very recently. Being a Governor is much more relevant experience. (And don't even get me started on the 17th Amendment.)

Palin/Jindal 2012! I could live with Jindal/Palin, but Palin/Jindal is definitely my first choice. Romney might make a good Secretary of the Treasury.


Posted by: rickl | Nov 10, 2008 8:41:46 PM

She obviously has a taste for the finer things in life
Was there a story during the campaign about high-end hunting rifles, or are you hinting about something else? All I can think of is the wardrobe purchased on short notice for 2.8% of the cost of Obama's homage to Spinal Tap's Stonehenge. I know things are tough in San Diego post-bubble, but does Diet Dr Pepper count as one of the finer things in life these days?

Posted by: bgates | Nov 10, 2008 8:49:10 PM

"Why on earth would you want to be VP when you could be a..."

Ahem, if she didn't agree to be VP, she would remain unknown. So the premise is flawed from the start...

Now, what she does with her sudden popularity is entirely up to her, of course. If she decides to leverage it into better lifestyle than POTUS, well, it was long noted that smartest people don't run for Presidency (by Viscount Bryce, I believe).

Posted by: Candide | Nov 10, 2008 8:56:59 PM

Well, it seems like some people are missing who Sarah Palin is.

She's governor of Alaska, in a position, she reminds people, that the people of Alaska hired her for. If I "read" her correctly she is not particularly enthralled with much of what she ran into during this campaign ... nothing to make her become one of "them."

My thoughts are she wants to build that natural gas pipeline and give the US a boost energy wise, even if Obama and his groupies have other things on the agenda. I think she takes seriously the needs of Alaskans and the state she loves. I also think she will be part of the pulse of a redo of the Republican Party, which is why the RINOs are freaking.

In 2010 the Palins will have a better handle on their family needs; a couple of the older kids will be 'gone' so to speak, or moving into adulthood and the air will be clearer for them to see what they want to do.

Life changes, but Sarah Palin has not gone nack to Alaska with her tail bewteen her legs, to shut up, or be a good girl. Trivializing her with hip-for-a-minute celebrity fluff is for sure not on her agenda. For those who think so, you seriously have not been paying attention to this person.

Posted by: JLinNCtoo | Nov 10, 2008 9:26:06 PM

Tom Smith appears to be a tad bit out of touch with reality. But then, that qualifies him as a candidate for main stream journalism. His grasp of the world is every bit as sound as a Maureen Dowd, for example. I say, go for it, Tom!

Posted by: Al Fin | Nov 10, 2008 10:14:02 PM

Besides, she is a lock as a media star and a presidential run would be a long shot, unless Obama is a complete disaster.

Somewhere up in heaven, there is a jovial Ronald Reagan yukking it up about this piece of advice.

"Heh, yeah, they told me I was finished after Breakfast with Bonzo, and being the Westinghouse spokesperson. Boy, did I show them."

Tom, Sarah Palin is thinking long-term. So are we, her supporters. We can wait for years, like we did with Reagan. People who wish to see her become the white Oprah had better get satellite TV. They have Alaskan news channels.

Cheers,
Victoria

Posted by: Victoria | Nov 11, 2008 12:21:36 AM

Yup - using the TV, she can take on the Barry Goldwater role as it might be defined in the early 21st Century. Not so much becoming POTUS, but blazing the trail and introducing the POTUS conservatives really want and need.

Posted by: Mean Dean | Nov 11, 2008 2:57:26 AM

"unless Obama is a complete disaster."


I think that is a pretty good bet.

Posted by: Mark in Texas | Nov 11, 2008 4:12:32 AM

I find this post offensive. Mrs. Palin already is a public servant with real responsibilities. I think her choices up to now have made it very clear that she wants to help people and make a difference. If she were interested in her own comfort, she would not have joined the PTA and stuck with it. She would not have run for City Council, or run for Mayor, or run for Governor. Nor would she have accepted the invitation to become McCain's running mate; she knew what she was getting into, and she handled it with aplomb. If she were interested in an easier life she would have chosen an easier life. Instead, she chose public service, and she is clearly very good at it.

This is the reason so many of us are excited about Palin--she is the new face of government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

It's time for *fewer* smart, beautiful women to go into TV and more of them to go into whatever substantive field they choose to make a difference in. And it is surely high time for us to stop expecting smart, beautiful women to want to be "TV rock stars". You would never have said this about a man.

Posted by: Sarah Rolph | Nov 11, 2008 4:30:56 AM

Because we need something other than these debauched crypto-Marxists from New England to restore the three-level/three-branch approach to government.

Posted by: C. Smith | Nov 11, 2008 4:42:00 AM

You all are missing a very key point. If Palin goes to TV and becomes a huge hit, she would be the first and ONLY such person who would have a chance to promote a conservative cultural and economic agenda from within the belly of the beast. She could have a book club like Oprah that promotes conservative books. She could slag on the vile dreck that comes out of Hollywood. She could give a forum to the hidden conservatives in Hollywood to come out and be heard. She could mock the MSM mercilessly until they changed their ways (think of it: something like a Right-wing "Daily Show").

In short, she could potentially shift the cultural tone of the entertainment industry and open it up for the Right side of the aisle. If she did that, it would be worth ten times more than the Presidency.

Posted by: peterike | Nov 11, 2008 5:49:55 AM

What a condescending piece of tripe this was. Governor Palin will stay Governor and probably get re-elected by a wide margin. She will also be the biggest fundraiser for congressional and senate republicans thus piling up the IOU's for when she goes after the nomination in '12. Just because the author thinks that money and fame are all that matters doesn't mean everyone does. Some people have principles.

Posted by: allswell | Nov 11, 2008 8:13:59 AM

I hope she runs in 2012 and continues to make a joke out of the GOP. You betcha.

Posted by: Nate | Nov 11, 2008 8:48:48 AM

This seems to be the meme from the left now: tempt Palin away from politics, because she's too much of a threat to the Democrats. That's the way I see it, anyway.

Posted by: RebeccaH | Nov 11, 2008 9:13:00 AM

I don't think having her own show is what she wants or needs. But it is certainly true that she will be a huge ratings draw every time she goes on TV for the foreseeable future.

If I were advising her, here's what I'd say:

1. Continue the post-mortem interviews for another week or two. She's been doing them really well and it is important for her to show she can get back in the saddle after getting bucked off. Buyer's remorse is a real thing, and this is the time when many moderates and independents are probably having second thoughts about Obama. She is well positioned to make a favorable impression on them.

2. After a week or two, leave them wanting more. Cut back the interviews to almost nothing. Get on with the business of governing Alaska. Suck up to the Reps and Dems in the Alaska Legislature if necessary, but get that pipeline started! Resist the temptation to run for Stevens' Senate seat. She should put her friend and ally Parnell there instead.

3. Maintain a national profile in the governors' association meetings, foreign trade trips, think-tank symposia, etc. She should also campaign for Chambliss and then for the Congressional elections in 2010, collecting favors and publicity. These are the only contexts in which she should be interviewed for the next year or so.

4. Start a PAC as well as a non-profit educational foundation and staff them with well-known, thoughtful conservatives. Collect buckets of money, build a database and on-line presence to rival Obama's, and support GOP candidates in 2010 (see #3.) I like the idea someone brought up of a weekly blog. This can be Reagan's Westinghouse lectures for the 21st Century.

5. When she knows her subject, she gives GREAT interviews and is a lights-out debater. When she's over her head, it shows in her rapid-fire, jumbled delivery. She needs to hit the books. Visit the foreign countries. Spend a lot of time talking to the people she's brought in for the PAC and foundation. Write many opinion pieces and perhaps a book. Learn the issues inside and out. She is plenty smart enough to do this well; she just needs to git 'er done.

6. Related to #5, I would suggest she spend some time with public speaking coaches. Even Churchill employed experts in speech and rhetoric. Her prepared speeches are absolutely dynamite, but she needs practice in thinking on her feet in the interview setting. This is a skill that can be learned, and again, I feel she is more than talented enough to do this well.

7. This is an important one. She needs to mend her fences with the women of America. She had to be aggressive as the VP candidate; it is traditional and nobody ever slammed the men who preceded her in that role for it. It put off a lot of women, though. So did her good looks, and her effortless ability to "have it all" in terms of family, career, and fame. I think that six months or a year down the road, she should start to go on the daytime shows for a whole lotta girl talk. Do a wild-game cooking special with Rachel Ray. Trade jokes with Regis & Kelly. Shed a tear or two with Oprah as they talk about the attacks on her family. With familiarity will come respect, trust, and for many, a real love for this magnificent lady. If she had convinced only 15% more women voters to turn away from Obama and Biden, she'd be Vice President-Elect Palin today.

Conservatives, whether you though Palin was ready to be President or not, there is no doubt that she will be critical to the success of our movement for the next thirty years. Let's help her build her war chest and get her ready for 2012 or 2016.

Posted by: John Skookum | Nov 11, 2008 9:20:17 AM

Quite the opposite, Rebecca: Palin is a godsend to the Democrats. She brought out the worst in the GOP - the ignorance, hatred and intolerance - while making the intellectual libertarian side of the party look silly when they were left with no choice but to support her. She has done an excellent job of highlighting the fact that the GOP is broken.

Posted by: Nate | Nov 11, 2008 10:13:57 AM

Nate, you're whistling past the graveyard. Four years is a long time in politics. I don't believe for a minute that such a magnetic personality as Sarah Palin is irreparably damaged.

You know damn well that countless millions of white Obama voters chose him (at least in part) out of a feeling that the time had come for a black man to be given a chance. In four years or eight years, the same voters could easily decide it's a woman's turn.

Do I think a less aggressive, more experienced, more well-informed, more female-friendly Sarah Palin could be that woman? You betcha I do, especially if she continues to soft-pedal the religious-right stuff for the next two years of her term as she has in the past.

Posted by: John Skookum | Nov 11, 2008 12:11:02 PM

Maybe she could appoint herself to the Senate when Uncle Ted gets thrown in the slammer.

Posted by: Petey | Nov 11, 2008 12:40:15 PM