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Sarah Palin's Alaska & "Country Dumb"

| 15 Comments

Just finished watching the TV show Sarah Palin's Alaska. Stunned at the political brilliance of the concept.

Ray Charles used to use a phrase "country dumb". Which actually meant a country boy (like Ray) smart enough to play to city prejudices when convenient, so they'd underestimate him and end up handing him ground-breaking contracts. He was. They did.

Sarah Palin is "country dumb"...

I still don't think she'd be a good idea as a GOP Presidential candidate. Beginning with the fact that you're taking your best salesperson and making them a manager. If they're a good manager, you're still screwed because you just lost your best salesperson. If they're mediocre or worse, you're screwed twice.

The Presidency is a sales role, but Ms. Palin's style is a problematic fit with the modern office. By its nature, it will take away many of the things that help her connect so well with people. And the GOP has no-one to replace her in the role she's playing at present. NJ Gov. Chris "The Fat Reagan" Christie could certainly grow into that, but right now? Bubkes.

There are other questions in my head, but to me, that's the key one. A President needs a movement and organization behind them to accomplish things. Palin could lead that over the next Presidential term, but can't create it and make it solid enough before the 2012 term begins.

All that aside, you'd have to be a complete, blithering idiot not to respect Palin's political skills. Which, admittedly, hasn't stopped a lot of "smart" people. Top speaker, bestselling author, significant player in key debates ("death panels," anyone?), who has backed a number of winning candidates around the country. Resigning the governorship looks like it has gone from "kiss of death" to "even split" at worst. Now this. It's yet another step beyond in her efforts at reaching right over the partisan media, to define herself to the population on her own terms. The format accentuates many of the things that make her popular, and make her very "relatable" to a lot of people.

Best Presidential candidate in the USA? I'd give that one to Gov. Mitch Daniels, given the times we're in. But I might have to give the nod to Sarah Palin as the best politician in the country.

No wonder so many on the Left are scared of her, and hate her.

15 Comments

Joe-

Know why they hate her? Because she is just like us - the citizens of the country the elite scum wish to rule. Well, we are tired of being ruled. We are tired of being belittled and told we do not know anything, nor what we like nor what we respect nor what is good for us. Tired. And extremely po'ed. Extremely. Molon labe.

The institutional GoP had better pay attention to the lessons of 11.21.10 but it appears they have not. Nor the Dhimmicrats Commie travelers.

2012 is the Tea Parties AGAIN!

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Be scared is you are an elitist. Very scared.

I aim to misbehave, as it were.

The Hobo

I think the Grizzly Bear is a very appropriate metaphor for Palin.

To early humans arriving in the Americas, the Grizzly probably looked like an easy food supply. Kind of bulky and fat, probably stupid, probably can't run too fast - just like those giant ground sloths that were so quickly eaten to extinction.

Subsequent experiments would have shown the Grizzly to be a hard target, and it remains to be seen if the left has the learning potential of Neolithic Man. So far, not so good.

I think the Grizzly Bear is a very appropriate metaphor for Palin

In that its continued existence depends on the protection of the big bad overreaching, tree-hugging, bloated, elite-controlled federal government?

here

Yes, Mark, the Grizzly has often been dependent on government for survival. That's why the California Grizzly is officially classified as "Like, F--king Extinct."

Sometimes I look at Sarah Palin as an "experiment." She is the most apolitical, real non-candidate we've had for a long while in this country. She has gone against all codes and instincts of the political elites, on both sides of the aisle, infuriating pundits, and many people from middle to the far left, alike. Only the very conservative seem to hold her in continuous high esteem. And, maybe that is because these are the people most fed-up with government as it stands today.

Palin is representing the last gasps of what people hold dear in the Constitution, which often times is more protective of their freedom than their safety.

Therefore, it will be interesting to see how her interplay with politics and the American people plays out. She is erratic and unpredictable. Sometimes, these are winning qualities over the mundate and business-as-usual types we are inundated with today.

She has gone against all codes and instincts of the political elites, on both sides of the aisle

Yes. Political instincts like "holding press conferences" or crafting political messages with actual grammar that last more than 150 characters (seriously, every politician who thinks "tweeting" is a primary source of political dialogue should be laughed out of candidacy right now.).

Then there's her inability to actually explain any of her positions, her past performance, or defining the finer points of her ideas. The closest she has come to actually being forced to explain her political slogans is on Bill O'Reilly, who has made her stutter and backtrack just by asking direct questions like "How will you pay for this?". (Note that since she's relegated herself to Hannity). If she can't handle a "friendly" opinion show, how will she handle the Republican primary?

The question, is she a good politician, it's a toughie for me though. She is an immensely talented social politician. She knows how to read a crowd, and how to stoke the emotional fires. And, yes, she knows how to use "country dumb" to a strong effect. This reality show plays on all of her strengths, and avoids all of her weaknesses.

But is that all a politician is? Is that all we expect from our leadership? Shouldn't we want them to substantiate and clarify our issues? To provide sound reasoning beyond 160 characters? To spend their time focusing on substance over style? To focus on debates over fluff TV specials? To challenge us instead of appealing to base formulas?

So is she a good politician? Ok sure, I'll admit it. For the times we live in, she is a strong political candidate. But I think we can also agree that the times we live in see political discourse as a novelty instead of a necessity (on both sides of the aisle).

Instead of the Lincoln-Douglass debates, I worry that 2012 will focus on the Palin-Obama Lifetime movie specials.

So is she a good politician? Ok sure, I'll admit it

I'm not sure why you would feel a need to admit that. Isn't the one measure of "a good politician" the ability to get elected to public office? So far, her track record is mediocre. At the state level, she's one for two, with the one victory followed by a resignation. At the national level, she's oh for one.

Of course, among the politicians of Wasilla, AK, she stands out as as one of the best, having been elected to that city's council and twice as mayor.

We have yet to see if her much-lauded political acumen can result in a significant election victory.

Yes, Mark, the Grizzly has often been dependent on government for survival. That's why the California Grizzly is officially classified as "Like, F--king Extinct."

Glen, the California Grizzly's extinction was prior to any government protection program, state or federal, so you can hardly fault the government for its demise, except perhaps for failing to act sooner. Grizzlies were on their way out and following the creation of federal protection programs their numbers have stabilized. Of course, that could be pure coincidence.

In other words, Palin has significantly more experience than Obama did?

Heh. My snark is more aimed at how easily Obama got a pass on the experience factor than for extolling Palin.

I have no use for Palin as a presidential candidate, I think she's a policy light weight. But I think can be a transformation political figure outside of holding office (and has been).

Mark, I think you are confusing political ability with governing experience (not that Palin has any of either to speak of).

Obama is clearly a better politician in that he has won more significant elections, including a head-to-head against Palin. I'm assuming when we talk about a person's "political skills," we are talking about his or her ability to persuade people to vote for him or her. I guess I am what Joe calls a blithering idiot for not respecting Palin's political skills just yet. Last time she ran for office, she lost. She did back a number of winning candidates in the most recent election. So did a lot of people. She also backed a lot of losers. Some of them lost badly and some quite embarrassingly (like to a write-in candidate, in her home state, no-less. Seriously, how much credit can you give Palin's political skills if her protege for governor lost to her nemesis on a write-in ballot in her home state!)

Results have got to count for something. So far, for all the attention, her results are poor.

We will see if her & her family's excursions into reality TV translate into enough votes to win an election. If so, then we can credit her with great political skills. If not, not.

Obama is clearly a better politician in that he has won more significant elections

Actually the above statement would be more factual if one said Obama has fixed and manupulated more elections than Palin.

In his run for the primary in the Illinois State Senate, his 4 democratic opponents magically were disqualified because of signature problems. So, he ran unopposed. His Republican opponent then had some problems suddenly crop up, giving Obama a measurable leg up in winning that election.

Then when Obama ran for the Congress, his popular, young R. opponent, favored to win (Ryan), had embarrassing divorce papers released and exposed by the Tribune, and had to bow out of the race, leaving it wide open for Obama to defeat, with ease, an out-of-state, last minute weak Republican, Alan Keyes.

Obama has also always had a mentor on the side pushing him upward and onward. Even as a state Senator, he was given legislation, worked on by other Senators, by the President of the Senate (Jones), to call his own, so that he could build a legislative resume, fast, for his Presidency run.

Consequently, I don't see a justified comparison to Palin, who has had to run on her own, oftentimes, against her own party, to achieve what she has achieved.

While I don't necessarily endorse Palin for the Presidency, I think people have vastly underestimated her intelligence,comprehension
of issues, and administrative skills, in lieu
of making fun of her grammar and any other trivia they can latch onto.

As I recall, Will Rogers, with his folksy way of speaking, spoke more wisdom than many Harvard graduates.

Obama is clearly a better politician in that he has won more significant elections

Actually the above statement would be more factual if one said Obama has fixed and manupulated more elections than Palin.

In his run for the primary in the Illinois State Senate, his 4 democratic opponents magically were disqualified because of signature problems. So, he ran unopposed. His Republican opponent then had some problems suddenly crop up, giving Obama a measurable leg up in winning that election.

Then when Obama ran for the Congress, his popular, young R. opponent, favored to win (Ryan), had embarrassing divorce papers released and exposed by the Tribune, and had to bow out of the race, leaving it wide open for Obama to defeat, with ease, an out-of-state, last minute weak Republican, Alan Keyes.

Obama has also always had a mentor on the side pushing him upward and onward. Even as a state Senator, he was given legislation, worked on by other Senators, by the President of the Senate (Jones), to call his own, so that he could build a legislative resume, fast, for his Presidency run.

Consequently, I don't see a justified comparison to Palin, who has had to run on her own, oftentimes, against her own party, to achieve what she has achieved.

While I don't necessarily endorse Palin for the Presidency, I think people have vastly underestimated her intelligence,comprehension
of issues, and administrative skills, in lieu
of making fun of her grammar and any other trivia they can latch onto.

As I recall, Will Rogers, with his folksy dialogues, imparted more wisdom than many Harvard graduates.

I agree that Palin doesn't have a record as a political world-beater, but that says nothing about a person. The correlation between electoral success and talent/intelligence/personality is something less than zero. Take for example the current president: Bill Clinton.

Damn it, there I go criticizing my betters again. How does one go about learning to respect authority? Maybe that stimulus money funded some kind of remedial program, like a camp or something?

The correlation between electoral success and talent/intelligence/personality is something less than zero

Hmmmm. Well, if that's true, what does it say about the American electorate?

Thank you for letting us 'Country Dummies' know what our betters think we should believe.

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