TAG | Sarah Palin
In the comments below I asserted that Sarah Palin’s political future is in her own hands because she has a following that will stand with her come hell or high water. For example, Erick Erickson of RedState states his analysis that Sarah Palin is probably done with electoral politics. So RedState gets emails like this:
From: Ann Carmichael
Subject: I love Sarah Palin
Date: July 3, 2009 7:47:19 PM EDT
I will not click on your sh**ty website ever again. Go to Hell!
The interesting fact is that of course Erick Erickson is not, and has not, been an anti-Sarah Palin conservative. He was simply offering his assessment of the future based on the facts that he had on hand. The scuttering of Harriet Miers’ nomination though suggests there are limits to the power of evangelical identity politics at the heights of the conservative movement, but it may be a different issue altogether in the primary process. The modern conservative elite itself descends from insurgents who overthrew the East Coast Establishment.
One interesting point is that successful presidential candidates of the past who mobilized mass support through the “common touch,” such as Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison, were actually relatively accomplished or privileged. Harrison burnished a log-cabin image despite his Virginia planter origins, while Jackson was a successful and wealthy man who had climbed into the back-country Ascendancy.
Addendum: Of the four candidates last fall Sarah Palin quickly became by far the least popular. Her negatives were high. But she has a intense following. I think perhaps an analogy can be made to the Ron Paul movement, which simply lacked the numbers to make an electoral impact, but in some ways shifted the debate because of its focus and organization.
Now it’s Sarah Palin’s turn. That icon of right-wing identity politics, revered for her populist authenticity and lack of any taint of elite intellectualism, shows herself either to be involved in an as-yet-to-be-revealed scandal, or so nakedly ambitious that she lightly breaks her commitment to the people of Alaska. Can’t wait to see how her apologists will spin this bit of hypocrisy.