This May Not Be Palin’s Year
Nate Silver reassesses Sarah Palin’s chances of winning the Republican nomination, and it doesn’t look as good as it did a year go. For one thing, everyone – even on her own side -seems to be a target, and she attacks the First Lady on a seemingly noncontroversial issue.
…characterizing George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush as “blue bloods” — has perhaps been somewhat lackluster. This is not necessarily an easy thing to deal with, mind you: people whom you considered to be allies starting to attack you.
But one thing that I suspect hurts Ms. Palin is that she herself initiates a lot of conflicts, and may lack discrimination in selecting her targets. Ms. Palin, for instance, recently picked a fight with Michelle Obama over her anti-obesity campaign. This seems an ill-considered choice: the president’s wife is quite popular, and so, I’m sure, are her efforts to combat childhood obesity.
During the past year, and especially since the November election, her choices have not endeared her to folks.
On balance, these factors look somewhat less favorable to Ms. Palin than they did a year ago. In particular, it should be alarming to her how quickly some figures in the Republican establishment have turned against her. It is probably not a coincidence that these attacks began to escalate shortly after this November’s elections, in which Republicans were perceived as having sacrificed several Senate seats, like in Delaware and Nevada, because of having nominated unelectable candidates.
Meanwhile — after an interim period in which she seemed to be playing the role of the happy warrior, endorsing and raising money for Republican candidates — Ms. Palin recently seems to have become less selective about the arguments that she is engaging in. Her choice to attack Ms. Obama’s anti-obesity initiatives, for instance, suggests that she is either not listening to advice or that her advisers are not highly competent. Instead, she should be erring on the side of turning the other cheek: one thing that has generally been true is that presidential candidates who project a sunnier, more optimistic disposition tend to outlast those that come across as angrier. This may be especially important for Ms. Palin, who is always a lightning-rod for criticism; she doesn’t need to instigate any conflicts that she isn’t already engaged in.Click here for reuse options!
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