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.