Not Sarah Palin -- not again

Since her 2008 appearance on the national scene, I’ve come to know and understand several things about former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin: Back then, many Americans admired her, both politically and personally; in some quarters, she remains extremely popular; and, even today, criticizing her among her loyal followers carries attendant risks. However, (full disclosure) I did vote for Palin in 2008.


In my defense, though, Gov. Palin was the vice-presidential nominee on a ticket facing Barack Obama and Joe Biden, so I really had no choice.


In 2008, Palin was reflexively, mercilessly and unfairly attacked by the same progressive media that now accuses conservatives of “misogyny” for merely disagreeing with or criticizing the policies of liberal female politicians.  While Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren skate, Palin remains a target of condescending, negative coverage.  For some reason, the national media fail to see the irony in that double standard.

But I have my own beef with the former governor.  It matters not that Palin and I are pretty much on the same page politically.  She got my vote, but Sarah Palin lost my sympathy and active support during the final stages of the 2008 campaign.

Because we did some work for a congressional candidate that year, my wife and I were given tickets to Gov. Palin’s chilly October 18, 2008 Central Pennsylvania rally.  Held in Lancaster’s minor-league ballpark, the rally featured the usual overly-long mix of musical acts and political cheerleading.

After others attempted to build anticipation among those gathered, finally, apparently to heighten the drama, Gov. Palin appeared, walking along an elevated track from the right field foul pole to a platform in the infield.

When I first spotted her, my heart sank.

Palin carried her infant Down-syndrome son, Trig, in one arm while waving to the crowd with her free hand.  

When she arrived on the speakers’ platform, Palin immediately handed the child to an aide who carried him back the path the candidate had just taken to exactly the same place from which she had emerged.

As I saw it, Gov. Palin opportunistically used her infant son as a political prop.  The fact that the child is handicapped only amplified my contempt for her act.  If there was an intended subliminal message embedded in her clearly-staged appearance, I missed it.

Granted, politics ain’t beanbag, and, as a political commodity, good taste is always in short supply, but simple decency and a modicum of common sense should rule out such shameless campaign cynicism.  Sadly, it seldom does.

Because I’m not obliged to watch them, I don’t begrudge Gov. Palin her ability to leverage her campaign notoriety and popularity into a series of well-paying TV “reality” shows.  I don’t mind that she attempts to influence the outcomes of elections, and I’m not opposed to Palin speaking out on any subject she chooses – after all, I do both all the time.

The National Enquirer may, but I really, really don’t care in how many fights Palin’s family engages at private and/or public gatherings or how many grudges they hold, with whom or why.  

But I do mind it when my ultra-generous “don’t-care” line is crossed.  My line stops short of standing idly by when an arguably-cynical, reality-show huckster whose family has aired their dirty laundry in public declares her interest in the nation’s highest office which has already been sullied for six years by another cynical huckster.

By now, Palin should have learned that she will never receive the same passes the left-leaning media invariably gives the Kennedy family – even from conservatives who are or might be more inclined to excuse her.  The American right takes out its own rubbish. The left reelects theirs.

Palin made a head fake toward a 2012 presidential candidacy before signing on for another TV show, and, lately, she has expressed interest in a 2016 run for America’s top office.  It must be show time again – or, rather, Showtime®.

Sarah Palin, lately a one-woman (occasionally a family) traveling show, is rapidly slipping into self-parody.  

Speak out, if you wish, Gov. Palin, promote or oppose candidates of your choice, but, otherwise, exit stage right and leave the 2016 GOP presidential nomination to serious candidates.

The writer may be reached by email at: