Palin vs. Shatner

Shatner has been giving dramatic readings of some of Palin’s twitter tweats, so Palin was returning the favor.  Alas, Shatner has reached the stage in life when being mocked at by a beautiful woman is about all the former Romeo of Star Fleet can hope for.  It was a funny bit and demonstrates yet again that the old political campaign rule book has been tossed out the window by her.  And rest assured this is a campaign. Polls this week showed a single point separating her and Obama as to favorability, with Obama falling and Palin rising.  I think Palin is rewriting the old Klingon proverb of revenge is a dish best served cold.  I suspect she believes it is a dish best served laughing.

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  1. Well, I’m not sure if having an approval rating similar to President Obama’s says much at the moment.

    It is interesting to note that RealClearPolitics has hypothetical 2012 match ups and if there were an election happening today, Sarah Palin would not succeed against President Obama. Could things change? Sure.

    I think there is a difference in liking her as a national personality (which I don’t) and a difference in wanting her to hold elected office, particularly the presidency (which I don’t).

  2. Eric, the direction is all important in politics. Obama has fallen considerably this year, as Palin has risen quicly in the past 30 days. He has a long way to go until 2012. He could bounce back, or he could make Jimmy Carter look like a master political strategist. Also, don’t underestimate likability. That is a key asset in politics, as Obama is finding out now as he finds his diminishing like sand through his fingers.

  3. If Palin wants to run in 2012 (and we don’t know that she does), there are 2 big hurdles she needs to overcome. One is the trashing she received at the hands of the MSM during the campaign. The other is the perception that she simply doesn’t know enough or has thought deeply enough about the issues facing the country both domestically and globally to hold the office of president.

    Her appearances on the Tonight Show and Oprah are helping immensely with her “image problem.” She’s coming across as a warm, good-humored woman who is utterly unlike the Tina Fey caricature. Like Reagan, she is a “Happy Warrior.” Likability is very important in politics. So is toughness. A woman who was treated very brutally last year dusted herself off and came back with a smile and a quip.

    And if it’s hard policy you are looking for, her Hong Kong speech, her recent WaPo article on AGW, her Facebook criticisms of Copenhagen, healthcare reform and other matters are excellent starts.

    Let’s see what she does in 2010. I suspect those numbers will continue to shift in Palin’s favor.

  4. Ramesh Ponnuru made a good point about not getting *too* excited about the polls, in that they compare Palin’s likeability to Obama’s job approval, two very different metrics… I didn’t see the numbers, but Ramesh indicated that Obama’s likeability rating is considerably higher than Sarah’s.

    Frankly, I hope she *doesn’t* go for Pres in ’12… I’d rather see her attempt to make a more indirect impact, perhaps analogous to what Oprah has done (Sarah’s impact being for the better, of course). Focus on the culture, Sarah!

  5. I recommend Palin as Energy Czar, with Jindal as President and Ron Paul as Veep.

    Sadly I don’t think Palin can be an effective President because the has an entire branch of government opposed to her personally.

    Our five branches are: Executive, Legislative, Judiciary, K Street, and Media. It is the fifth branch (column?) which is personally opposed to Palin. This fifth branch is set up to represent a powerful check on the Executive, and a partial check on the Legislative. (It exercises no day-to-day check on the Judiciary, but it does represent a check on the Executive’s ability to populate the Judiciary with jurists of a conservative stripe.)

    With such a powerful branch of government against her, I’m not sure Palin would be able to do anything effectively unless there were another, and more long-lasting, Republican takeover of Congress as well. (Not, I think, very likely.)

    Honestly what’s needed is someone who’ll govern like Palin but speechify like Obama: A mix of movement conservatism and libertarianism and traditionalism in actual policy, but camouflaged in a smokescreen of just enough mealy-mouthed liberalism and apologizing for America and Christian-bashing to make the Mainstream Media think he/she is “one of them.”

    Not sure how likely that is.

  6. I’ll admit it up front. I like Sarah Palin.

    It is only partially because I think she has true moral and ethical values (as much as any politician around nowdays).

    Maybe it is more because I can’t stand all the liberal swipes at her for no good reason other than the fact that she is a conservative woman. The fact is if the mainstream press is for something it is probably wrong and if they attack someone it means that person has personal values and threatens liberal principles – and they are once again wrong.

    Sarah Palin is really endorsed for me by the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Katie Couric and other “liberati” who don’t have the intellectual credentials to carry Ms. Palin’s bags.

    Would she be a good president? I would say yes as she is a lot smarter that people think and even if she is not a member of Mensa it does not take a genius IQ to run a good team. Just the ability to pick good people. In fact, some of the presidents considered to be the smartest were not good at all for the country. Take Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton (who actually gave us this recession) and now Obama versus Ronald Reagan who was vastly underestimated.

    As to the question of whether she can be elected? Right now I would say no based on the fact that she would be running against other candidates, the mainstream press and Hollywood. On the other hand, I will never underestimate the ability of this current President and Congress to screw up and push the American voters over the edge between now and 2012.

  7. RC: When push comes to shove, the media will always side with the pols with D’s after their names, as John McCain discovered in ’08. The trouble with a conservative candidate hiding behind a “smokescreen” of mealy-mouthed liberalism is this: how can us ordinary folks know if it’s a smokescreen and not simply a squishy pol discarding conservativism for the liberal conventional wisdom? When conservatives became libs, the media say they’ve “grown in office.”

    Besides, your suggested approach signifies that there is fundamentally something wrong with being a conservative, and a conservative pol needs to dissemble and misrepresent in order to get elected. (In fact, that is truer for liberals than it is for conservatives. Both Obama and Clinton had to present themselves as moderates during their campaigns. One of the reasons Obama’s poll numbers are dropping is because independents in particular are realizing he isn’t a moderate.)

    What we need is someone who can stand up for conservative principles and eloquently explain why they are sound. Reagan did that – I don’t think anybody who voted for him was under the impression that he was secretly liberal in many ways. Palin has been far from eloquent in the past, but then, this is a woman who was abruptly dropped on the national stage a little over a year ago and then mismanaged by the McCain campaign. I think she’s been doing a wonderful job of finding her own voice lately.

    As far as the mainstream press – well, they’re having their own problems these days, aren’t they? After the election last year, I would have agreed that the damage done to Palin was fatal on the national level. I am coming to believe though, that their role in selling Obama might very well have been their last hurrah. Fox is far ahead of its’ competitors. Daily papers, including the NY Times, are experiencing serious financial problems. Maureen Dowd sneered at Palin, but it’s Dowd who might exit the national stage long before Palin does. The MSM doesn’t have the power it had even a year ago. And Hollywood? If voters really listened to Tinsel Town moguls and actors, we would have become a one-party country 40 years ago. Gay marriage would have passed in 31 states rather than being voted down in 31. I think even the celebrity-striken among us realize that movie stars live in a lala land bubble, and their pronouncements and decrees have nothing to do with the real world.

  8. Polls this week showed a single point separating her and Obama as to favorability, with Obama falling and Palin rising.

    This is incorrect. Palin’s favorability rating is 46%, compared to 55% for President Obama.

    As Chris notes above, the ‘almost tied’ meme comes from comparing Palin’s favorability rating to Obama’s job approval rating (which is lower than his favorability rating).

  9. As far as the mainstream press – well, they’re having their own problems these days, aren’t they?

    I think the worst case scenario for them (that their economic position resembles that of vaudeville houses ca. 1930) has a passable chance of coming to pass. From 1948 to the present, you have had three national newsmagazines of consequence: Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report. U.S. News has adopted a monthly format and emphasizes subject matter that has been derisively referred to in other contexts as SMERSH* and Newsweek has reconstituted itself as an opinion magazine (thereby making explicit what a complacent crew had been writing for and editing the publication, not to mention clarifying (by way of contrast) the talents the sort of journalists who have been producing opinion magazines for decades). The word is that Newsweek‘s ad revenue (like that of many other publications) is in a free fall. Another report has it that the New York Times has laid off 30% of its staff. Editor & Publisher is ceasing publication after 125 years. Our ol’ buddy Rod Dreher is departing the newspaper business for a position on the staff of the Templeton Foundation. I am going to miss newspapers and magazines (even though their product was often mediocre) and it is difficult to see what sort of trades their staff can enter with their extant skill sets. There cannot be that many jobs in PR and advertising.

    *Science, medicine, education, religion, and all that sh**

  10. I imagine Obama finds his personal approval rating fairly cold comfort today when Rasmussen has him at 46% job approval

    True. But if favorability ratings tend to be higher than job approval ratings, that suggests that were Palin president right now her job approval numbers would be even lower.

  11. Would depend upon what she did over the time since she took office BA. Any president finds it tough to remain popular during rough economic times. The problem for Obama is that virtually all of his policies have a negative impact on a robust recovery, certainly one that will make much of a dent in unemployment figures.

  12. This was really funny, and everyone involved was surprisingly gracious to Palin considering all the flak she’s been getting of late. As I’ve said before, I’m not quite ready to bet on her (or vote for her) for president, but she certainly has a future as a public “face” of the conservative movement, provided she just decides to be herself and let the chips fall where they may.

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