Monday, July 27, 2009

Palin-tology

Dick Nixon was a liar.

That's not news, I know, but Tricky Dick lied to us long before he circled the wagons and covered up his involvement in the Watergate scandal in 1972-73.

No, Nixon lied to us when he stood before the media after losing in the 1962 California gubernatorial election.

"You won't have Richard Nixon to kick around anymore!" Nixon scolded the press after what he thought was unfair treatment during the '62 campaign in California.

It was a promise he didn't keep.

No, we had plenty more opportunities to kick Dick around, thanks to his rising like a Phoenix to win the 1968 presidential election, and again four years later.

Sarah Palin is making like Nixon.

Palin, the now former Alaskan governor, wagged her finger at the press as she vacated the state mansion.

"So how about in honor of the American soldier, you quit making up things. And don't underestimate the wisdom of the people. And one other thing for the media -- our new governor has a very nice family, too, so leave his kids alone," she said as she handed off power to Sean Parnell, the lieutenant governor.

Palin clearly feels she was treated unfairly during the 2008 presidential election, when she was portrayed as someone who made Dan Quayle look like a Rhodes Scholar.



But her decision to quit as Alaska's governor two years before her term expires has only added to the vitriol.

"She abandoned her state in the middle of a term. They didn't ask for her to run. She volunteered to run and assumed that job. I think she has hurt herself. You've seen those numbers turn," Republican strategist Alex Castellanos said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union With John King."

Fifty-three percent of Americans view Palin negatively, and 40 percent see her positively, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.

So do the folks in this country view Palin negatively because of the media, or because of, well, herself?

There's no question that the media can, and does, amplify a candidate's weaknesses.

But in Palin's case, the press didn't have far to go on the volume dial; she had turned it up quite a bit herself.

Palin's supporters were almost laughable in their assertion that she was representative of the "every woman." The Republican Party was laughable in its assertion that nominating Palin for vice president would somehow attract female voters disenfranchised by Hillary Clinton's loss to Barack Obama.

The GOP looked at the female vote and thought that it would blindly follow any woman, regardless of views, ideology, or brains.

It was disgusting.

But that's not Palin's fault, of course. I've long said it: when you place a square peg in a round hole, you don't blame the peg.

But Palin's scolding of the media, I believe, will only work against her. They laughed and mocked Nixon after he wagged his finger at the media in 1962; they'll do the same with Palin in 2009, and beyond.

And, frankly, deservedly so.

No comments:

Post a Comment

As you will...