This past weekend, we were treated to Robert Reich, a very leftist Democrat, saying nice things about Sarah Palin on ABC's "This Week," calling her a legitimate candidate for the Presidency. Other Democrats, such as Donna Brazile, parroted this statement on the same show and other Democrats have echoed this party line. The New York Times has a Sunday Magazine cover story on Sarah Palin. The Los Angeles Times now has an article speculating on Sarah Palin's chances.
For the Democrats, it's now All Palin, All the Time. What is going on? Why are Democrats so interested in Sarah Palin?
I believe the answer is based, in significant part, on Obama's low polls and his need for a "Hail Mary" (or a "Hail Sarah") Pass, a gamble that could get him reelected. Robert Reich is not lying when he says Palin is a serious candidate, and he knows she could win against Obama. But, in my opinion, he and the other Democrats believe that Obama would have the much more trouble winning against a classic conventional male experienced candidate such as former Gov. Romney, Gov. Pawlenty of Minnesota, Gov. Perry of Texas or Sen. DeMint of South Carolina. A dull (or not so dull) man in a suit who doesn't try to remake America overnight would look awfully good to a lot of voters today in comparison to Barack Obama, the Accidental Tourist to India who created a lot of government jobs -- printing dollars and bonds (with prospectuses in Chinese) and made their family doctor seriously consider retiring.
Sarah Palin, on the other hand is a very unconventional person who shows up on "Dancing With the Stars" to cheer her daughter and then appears on her own show to stand in a stream with a bear. George Will was not impressed with Palin on "This Week." Barbara Bush was downright nasty on a book tour, saying Palin should stay home in Alaska. But being unconventional -- and disliked by long time Establishment Republicans and even long time conservatives does not guarantee a loss in 2012 in Twenty-First Century America. Far from it. Sarah Palin could beat Barack Obama, but she would be the opponent the Democrats would find easiest to attack, giving the former Messiah of Lake Michigan a fighting chance to win.
The Christian Science Monitor states that Palin could beat Romney for the Republican nomination, but: "In a new Quinnipiac poll of GOP 2012 front-runners, Palin would lose a head-to-head matchup with Obama, if it were held today. She would win 40 percent of the vote, and Obama would get 48 percent, according to Quinnipiac survey respondents."
Being eight points behind isn't much to make up and very early polls are insignificant. Scott Brown made up 30 points in Massachusetts in a much shorter time. And if the Republican-Tea Party office holders don't stop the funding of ObamaCare, the disappointment that would follow would hurt support/enthusiasm for the "Momma Grizzly" of the Tea Party. But, once again, the Democrats aren't sitting near their opponents' goal line. It's more like sitting near their own goal line with a third down and thirty yards to go. Their former Worst Nightmare, Sarah Palin, is a wild card, an unpredictable opponent who could turn out either very formidable or an easy opponent to beat. She certainly has been their favorite candidate -- and family -- to mock, especially with the assistance of the news and entertainment media -- and the aforementioned George Will and Barbara Bush. If the liberal conventional wisdom proves wrong and people vote Palin into office, well...Obama looks like a loser anyway.
The Democrats, so fond of the Sixties, may also be recalling the words of a Bob Dylan song from that era in formulating their strategy for their weak presidential candidate:
"When you ain't got nothing, you've got nothing to lose."