Joel Pollak: Sarah Palin, Leader of the Opposition

Joel Pollak, former Republican nominee for the 9th Congressional district seat in Illinois in 2010, has written a great piece at Big Government about Governor Palin’s influence on the national political landscape:

Sarah Palin will have a strong impact on the 2012 race, whether she runs for president or not. She will continue to rally conservatives, and Democrats and journalists will continue to target her as a proxy for Republicans as a whole.

A new film, The Undefeated, will highlight Palin’s achievements as governor of Alaska–which are often overlooked in the media, where the focus has been on her departure from office.

It’s also important to acknowledge the role Palin has played over the past two years. She rallied the opposition to President Barack Obama during a time when opposition seemed impossible, when even conservatives wondered if Obama’s election marked “the end of a conservative era” and the beginning of a “revived liberalism.”

She did more than support candidates, provide new ideas, and comment on TV. She led a revival.

Sarah Palin served, unofficially, as the “Leader of the Opposition”–a powerful position in many parliamentary democracies, even enjoying constitutional status in some of them.

If the United States had an electoral system based on proportional representation, Palin would undoubtedly hold federal office today. Instead, she resigned her state position and began to play a more active national role. Our democracy is healthier as a result.


Leader of the Opposition is a tough job. It is–by its very nature–a polarizing position. Some opposition leaders eventually win the highest office. And some of the most effective opposition leaders–like South Africa’s Tony Leon, for whom I worked–are only truly appreciated once they have left politics.

It’s too early to know whether Palin will turn her unofficial opposition into an official campaign. But it is not too early for even her opponents to concede that she has done her job well.

Read the whole thing here.

H/T Stacy

(237 Posts)

Leave a Reply