There’s gonna be a lot of flying cranial shrapnel in the days and weeks ahead. You might want to invest in one of these babies to shield yourself as necessary:
Inexplicably, folks like Bill O’Reilly, Dick Morris, Laura Ingraham, and even the normally sane Byron York refuse to accept what is obvious to most of the sentient world (including the occasionally sentient Chris Matthews):
Sarah Palin is running for president.
The fact that she isn’t doing the “Suck-Up Tour of Iowa” just yet means nothing. Pardon my French, but I think Sarah Palin would rather “kick derriere” than kiss it, perhaps in this pair of boots, you think?
Thankfully, some of the punditry understands what is going on. Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller is publishing a book next month titled The Quotable Rogue, and his column today suggests that his efforts to understand Palin in her own words are continuing to pay off. In a column titled “When It Comes to Palin, Ignore the Experts” he nails it:
A lot of political insiders and campaign experts I talk to are convinced Palin is just in this for the attention — that she won’t run because running and losing would destroy her “brand.” They point to the fact that her team isn’t engaged in the organizational logistics a traditional presidential campaign must have in place to win in, say, Iowa, as evidence she isn’t running.
To be sure, there is something to be said for listening to the wise political experts and sages who have studied the game of politics. But their conventional wisdom falls flat when it comes to Palin. Reading these tea leaves might be a worthwhile predictor were we talking about a traditional politician like, say, Mitt Romney. But Palin is anything but a conventional politician. The fact that she’s not building a traditional campaign organization implies nothing.
Should she run, Palin will be unconventional — like a guerrilla insurgent fighting against the Redcoats. The experts can point to the number of soldiers against her, the training and weapons they have at their disposal, their nice uniforms, etc. — but the problem is they all march in a line. They are fighting an old-style fight. Palin believes the world has changed — that the old rules no longer matter. She may be right or wrong, but either way, the fact that she’s not checking off the traditional boxes shouldn’t be cited as evidence that she isn’t running.
Sarah vs. the Redcoats … I love it. Anyone wanna take bets on who wins that one?
Tony Lee at Human Events likewise understands Palin. Today, he writes:
The bus tour is likely to show Palin in the element in which she feels most comfortable — retail politics. It will also again display how Palin can dominate a media cycle and is most likely to remind the media and other potential GOP candidates of the huge crowds that Palin can command and draw.
Palin has also reiterated the insinuation that the last hurdle between her and a run for the presidency was how the process would impact her family.
But could her family have already decided in the affirmative regarding a presidential run?
With the historically themed bus tour it may not be too crazy to wonder if Palin will [finally] explain that her family said “hell yeah” [back in 2009] and gave her the green light to run for the presidency in an announcement on the fourth of July.
Hell, even Obama-lovin’, cringe-inducing Chris Matthews gets it , the reality of a Palin presidential candidacy.
“How can she lose against these stiffs? She is really good . . . she’s fantastic on a stage. When she walks out on that stage there’s something kinetic happening. She looks great, look at her, she’s alive, she’s smiling, she’s doing stuff, she’s moving around. You can’t take your eyes off of what she’s doing.”
Hillbuzz calls Palin’s “soft presidential launch” brilliant:
“[It] will allow her to test fundraising, messaging and audience response to her candidacy without the expense or paperwork of forming an exploratory committee or subjecting her prematurely to onerous McCain-Feingold (irony alert) campaign financing and reporting laws “to educate and energize Americans about our nation’s founding principles, in order to promote the Fundamental Restoration of America.”
Hmmm … an unconventional soft-launch campaign that promotes the American virtures of self-reliance and frugality, including driving her own RV and holding on to her private-sector day job?
Yes, that’s the ticket, says Melissa, a Hillbuzz commenter:
While I too enjoy seeing Liberal heads explode, I would like to comment on another reason I love this tour and hope that Governor Palin becomes President Palin: It shows fiscal responsibility and sanity, and a willingness to think outside the box. Running for President of the United States is insanely expensive, from the exploratory committee on to the campaigns. If this is indeed a soft launch/exploration of her candidacy it is a brilliant cost cutting maneuver. And brilliant cost cutting maneuvers are just the sort of thing that the federal government desperately needs.
So, this Memorial Day weekend I’m gonna be raising a cost-effective lemonade toast to the troops and to patriotic rogues everywhere.
God Bless ya!
Update by Doug: (h/t John) Conservativecurmudgeon at Redstate has an excellent piece that mirrors many of the points Nicole made above by comparing JFK’s unconventional (at the time) route to the White House to what Governor Palin is doing 50+ years later: Changing the rules of the game which are rigged to perpetuate a fossilized status quo which benefits nobody but the existing power structure.
Oh, I know, I know: This opens me up to the hackneyed Lloyd Bentsen trope about knowing John Kennedy, and you, Sarah Palin, are no John Kennedy… To which, one hopes, she would answer, “You’re right. I never cheated on my spouse, got involved with the Mob, and my Daddy never bought me a Pulitzer Prize.”
But, the analogy is this:
JFK created a whole new set or rules, a whole new road-map to the Presidential nomination of his party in 1960. And, we may be witnessing the same thing, fifty years later, from Sarah Palin.
Wouldn’t it be fascinating, though, to see Sarah Palin completely revolutionize the way a candidate connects with the public, and change forever the 2-year long process of finding a nominee. I don’t know what she’s got up her sleeve, but, I will say this:
It could be damned fun to watch, especially if she leaves the national, old-geezer media gasping for air in her wake… Just like Elanor Roosevelt was left by JFK back in 1960.
Read the entire piece here. It’s good.
Update II by Nicole: Rush Responds to Vinny from Queens
CALLER: She has been so damaged as a candidate, okay? I’m not questioning her conservative values, and I do rally around her, okay? But I find myself in political circles with neophytes who are just dipping their toe in the political waters saying, “Oh, no, I can’t vote for Palin! She’s this, that, and the other thing,” and I spent the whole night defending her and I realize to myself, “Is this what we’re gonna have to do 18 months from now?
RUSH: why are you gonna sit there and accept that? Because if the media next decides to destroy Romney, and if they succeed then you’re gonna throw him overboard — and then if the media decides to destroy Pawlenty and they succeed they’ll throw him on everybody. At some point are these people worth defending or not? I mean, the media’s thrown me overboard. The media’s done everything they could to destroy me. If I were running for political office, they probably woulda succeeded. But my audience has not abandoned me like I hear people who have previously supported Palin abandoning her. You’re letting the media win with that outlook. That’s what I don’t get. And Vinny, I talked to you enough on this program and you’re a bare knuckles guy, but here you’re just acquiescing, which makes me think that there’s something else about Palin that you don’t like and you really don’t mind the fact the media’s destroyed her ’cause it’s made it easier for you to let her go.
RUSH: I am still thinking about the phone call we had with Vinny from Queens. I’m sorry, folks. I can’t get past this. This is not aimed at Vinny, ’cause it’s not just Vinny from whom I’ve heard this. I just can’t get past this: “Rush, the media has destroyed her. There’s no hope. She’s damaged goods, and average, ordinary people who are not even paying attention yet still think she’s an absolute goof. We don’t have a prayer. We gotta move on.” It just grates on me to acknowledge that kind of defeat. You may think it’s just acknowledging reality, but it’s defeat. ‘Cause I was always under the impression here that one of our objectives is to not let the media do this to us.
At some point, folks, the smear of Palin has to peak. The smear of anybody has to peak. And the more people see her in relation to what they’ve heard from the media, the odds are more and more people are gonna realize they’ve been lied to. It’s like when people meet me in person. Some of them are genuinely shocked. They’re expecting me to be whatever they’ve heard the media portray me as. So at some point people are gonna realize the media has been lying about her. And I’m not making the case for it, because I don’t know whether she’s running. I’m not endorsing anybody right now. Vinny’s not the first guy to say it, but when I hear people say, “The media’s destroyed her, Rush, we gotta move on,” it just bothers me. I thought that’s what we’re trying to prevent here along with many other things.
Read the whole transcript here.