July 10, 2009 [LINK / comment]

The Palin factor in Virginia

I was surprised by all the news coverage and editorials in the News Leader about what the ramifications of Sarah Palin's resignation as Alaska governor might be for Virginia politics. If she did indeed quit her job in order to become a full-time campaigner for Republican candidates, that would certainly call into question her devotion to the general public interest. I hope that's not the main reason. The (AP) article suggests that Bob McDonnell is maintaining a cool, neutral attitude as far as getting help from Gov. Palin. It's a tough situation, because the Democrats are pulling out all the stops to get Creigh Deeds elected, and we can expect a virtual invasion of big-name political celebrities to get Virginians to pull the voting lever for the "D" candidate once again this November. McDonnell has worked hard to lay out a serious policy-based agenda, challenging Deeds to engage in a series of debates, but the campaign may devolve into a emotional, symbol-laden media hoopla before it's all over. If so, McDonnell would have little choice but to wage the battle on terms set by the Democrats, relying upon out-of-state Republican celebrities such as Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Bobby Jindal. If the Virginia gubernatorial campaign turns into another hyperpartisan Armageddon, it would be a terrible shame.

At augustafreepress.com, Chris Graham wrote about "The GOP's Palin Quandary," making a good point about the dilemma the Republicans face in trying to motivate their base while reaching out to the mainstream. He put himself in the imaginary role of Republican strategizer and pondered how to deal with the Sarah Palin phenomenon. For some reason, he referred to the governor (governess?) of Alaska in a very insulting manner, to which I took exception:

I was taken aback by the uncharacteristically nasty epithet toward Palin, and am puzzled why you are making people mad for no reason. Unless, that is, you are trying to get Republicans to rally behind her so that she WILL come to Virginia and campaign for Bob McDonnell, which would probably cost him more votes than it would gain. Quandary indeed!

On the other side of the political spectrum, SWAC Girl is busily denouncing critics of Palin who are engaged in the "politics of personal destruction," which is more ironic than words can express. I commented briefly on her self-congratulatory words about "everyday people" such as Sarah Palin, as opposed to "inside-the-beltway insiders":

"being civil about it" -- very funny.

Yeah, we don't want to get mixed up with those shady "insiders," do we? smile All this goes to show, obviously, that Sarah Palin is a highly polarizing figure in American politics, which is the exact opposite of what our country needs right now.

Fact check department

Steve Kijak took exception to my recent (faint) praise for Kurt Michael's past work in putting together Republican parade floats. Steve should know better than anyone; I stand corrected.