I really couldn’t think of a better title for this post but here are my somewhat coherent reactions to the six most common reactions that her supporters had to her announcement.
1. She waited too long to announce that she’s not running for the presidency.
I think this criticism is the one that is most reasonable. But then again, if she had announced she wasn’t running in January, the criticism would have been that she didn’t take enough time to seriously think about her decision. In retrospect, there may have not really been a good time for her to make the announcement that the Governor made yesterday as a good amount of her coverage and her following had been contingent upon her running for the presidency. The timing issue was always going to be tough for her in the event she announced she wasn’t running.
2. She should have done a press conference
It’s kind of ironic that she chose the most low-profile way to bow out of the race given the media narratives that are out there about her desire for attention. In her interview with Greta Van Susteren, she seemed to be emphasizing her low-profile departure and trying to create a contrast with the announcements of Christopher Christie and Mike Huckabee. But as with the timing issue, there probably wasn’t a venue/forum that she could have used for an announcement not to run that would have sufficed.
3. She won’t be able to maintain her influence
I think the greater challenge that she’ll face going forward is that at least initially from my conversations with serious Palin supporters, it seems that there’ll be fewer people willing to defend her with the same degree of intensity. Let’s say Nicolle Wallace makes her comments about her book next week instead of yesterday. You know that most media representatives will just print Wallace’s assertions without questioning their validity. The question is whether the Governor will receive the same level of defense against patently untrue claims like Wallace’s. I hope so and certainly this blog will continue to do so but my concern at this point is that the incentive to say just about any crazy thing about the Governor may actually have been increased if her critics are under the belief that there won’t be as strong a pushback against them from her supporters.
Influence is basically dictated by the amount of support one is perceived to have and if she’s able to maintain most of her support, she’ll be able to provide effective commentary on Fox News and in her public speaking engagements.
4. She didn’t prepare anyone for her decision
If you think she’s a straight talker, then the signs have actually been there for quite some time, dating back to her radio interview with Sean Hannity last November. For this entire year, she hadn’t utilized her social media tools like Facebook and twitter anywhere near to the level that she had in 2010. She hadn’t done more than two radio interviews this entire year. At times, she didn’t respond at all to a big news story to which everyone else responded.
5. She didn’t provide a good explanation
At first I agreed with this assessment but then again, like with the timing and the delivery issue, no explanation would have sufficed. The woman on Greta Van Susteren’s show and on Mark Levin’s radio show last night seemed ready to move on and leaving it the way it is may be the way to go.
6. How can I trust her again if she expresses an interest in elected politics in the future?
I would hope most do give her the benefit of the doubt. It would probably be a mistake on her end to start talking about anything relating to the 2014 AK, AZ gubernatorial elections, the 2014 AK Senate election, or the 2016 presidential election, cabinet positions, or other possible elected offices until the 2012 election is finished. Perhaps former Fox News commentator and Ohio Governor Jon Kasich will serve as her role model for getting back into elected office. I hope she sees things through on Fox, despite the treatment she gets on the network, just so that she can show she can finish things even under less than ideal circumstances. Then I think she’ll have a lot of time to think about what elected office, if she still has such a desire, she’ll want to go after in the future.