A recent article portrayed Sarah Palin in a far more positive light than is usual, giving her credit for being the so-called “star” in the Republican party, bringing in both money and, of course, attention.
As a vice presidential hopeful two years ago, Sarah Palin drew passion and loyalty from the Republican base even before there was a Tea Party movement.
Palin is the party’s biggest star. She draws audiences who pay $50 and $100 to see her speak. And her facile monikers like “mama grizzlies” and “pink elephants” go viral within hours.
“She has morphed from this very controversial vice presidential candidate who most people thought hurt McCain into this phenom,” said Larry Sabato, a political science professor at the University of Virginia. “She’s everywhere, doing everything. All the media interviews. The $100,000 speeches.”
Perhaps most interesting, though, is the article’s direct addressing of Palin in terms of moving women onto an equal playing field.
In the past several weeks, she also has taken to boosting conservative women to office — a role many observers say the Republican Party desperately needs.
“It’s certainly been the weakness in the Republican Party, they haven’t done that well among women,” said Gary Jacobson, a political-science professor at the University of California, San Diego. “It’s a niche that hasn’t been filled by anyone else.”
Speaking at a lunch last week, Palin touted Carly Fiorina for California’s U.S. Senate seat, Nikki Haley for South Carolina governor and Colorado U.S. Senate hopeful Jane Norton.
Norton says she is proud to be mentioned in a speech but doesn’t expect an official endorsement from Palin.
“I think Sarah Palin plays an indispensable role in the 2010 elections because she challenges the good ol’ boys,” Norton said. “Just like me.”
All right, I’m no hypocrite. I’m on pretty solid public record in terms of my disdain for Sarah Palin as a so-called feminist, as a mother, and as a human being. That being said, though, I have to give credit where it is due—Palin is unquestionably giving women, particularly conservative women, an opportunity in politics that was not previously available to them.
She’s crass, she’s easy to make fun of, and she is rife with contradiction, but she has somehow given women with conservative views a voice they never seemed able to find prior to her arrival on the national scene. Palin’s strange rise to super-stardom has had a permanent impact on the Republican party.
Though Palin’s future may not include presidential politics, political scientists say her star status will be a boon to Republicans for years to come.
“She’s avant-garde. She’s a feminist. She cuts a dashing figure. There aren’t that many leading Republicans that do that,” Sabato said.
“Think Mitch McConnell or John Boehner. When you see them coming on, you know it’s nap time. Whether you love her or you hate her, you don’t go to sleep when Sarah Palin comes on.”
And perhaps that’s the positive I can find to the enigma that is Sarah Palin. Whatever else she may be, she is interesting. Whether you’re laughing at the stupid things she says, jumping on the Palin moosewagon, or enjoying the eye candy she’s provided to magazine covers, the woman gets attention. Like, big-time attention.
Is it the type of attention I would want? Hell, no … but it has given both motivation and support to an increasing number of women who very well might not have chosen to put themselves out there politically if Palin hadn’t, in her own way, broken down many of the metaphorical path’s weeds and branches.
There. I just wrote a complimentary piece about Sarah Palin. And now it is your turn … what are some positives about this woman that
I many people love to hate?