Is Sarah Palin Dan Quayle With Lipstick?


Even before the 2008 election was over there was speculation about whether Sarah Palin would be a strong contender for the 2012 Republican nomination. I predicted she wouldn’t get any further than Dan Quayle, but she couldn’t entirely be counted out. Palin has a strong group of supporters, she has done well in early polls (which have little predictive value this far out), and the Republican Party has moved so far to the right that it is hard to rule out anything from them.

Palin has been trying to improve her position as a national figure but has not been very impressive. Washington Whispers does not have a favorable view of Palin’s chances and, like my earlier post, compares her to Dan Quayle:

Worse than Dan Quayle before her, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s bright star has fast faded in the eyes of Washington Republican officials and analysts, calling into question her efforts to become a national party figure ready to run for the White House. “She’s just not ready for prime time,” said a party  strategist who has worked for former President Bush. “I mean, she’s starting to look like she’s having trouble being governor of Alaska.” At issue is her weak debut, hampered by the mishandling of her by Sen. John McCain’s campaign, and subsequent family issues such as the most recent tiff with Levi Johnston, the father of her first grandchild and ex-fiancé of her daughter Bristol.

Since running for vice president with McCain, Palin has made efforts to be a national figure, starting a political action committee and speaking at national events in Washington. But she has also blown other chances, backed out of speech commitments, and allowed herself to be caught in a fight between state and national aides who have different roles for her in mind. While some Republican officials say that there is time for her to recover, many are already looking to others to carry the GOP flag, such as Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich, in the 2010 and 2012 elections.


It also looks like John McCain has snubber her again. CNN reports that, while on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, McCain left out Palin when giving a list of governors he thought “were in position to lead the Republican Party.”

“We have, I’m happy to say, a lot of voices out there,” McCain told host Jay Leno before listing Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Utah Gov. John Huntsman, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

“There are a lot of governors out there who are young and dynamic,” said the Arizona senator.

The exclusion of Palin sounded intentional when he added, “I’ve left out somebody’s name and I’m going to hear about it.”


  1. 1
    beachmom says:

    Note, though, that it is Washington GOP insiders who aren’t impressed.  I can tell you that out here in Red State Land, she is very, very popular.  I wouldn’t count her out just yet.

  2. 2
    Eclectic Radical says:

    It may call my elitism into the foreground in a way with which I am not entirely comfortable, but I live ‘out here in Red State land.’ I am not terribly impressed with Red State land. Racism, religious chauvinism, and contempt for education and intelligence are the rule rather than the exception far too often.

    Yes, people out here like Palin. No candidate is going to be elected president, however, solely by the Bible Belt. Palin appeals tremendously to the GOP base, but doesn’t play so well with everyone else, and no candidate from either party is ever elected solely by their base. If it were true, President Barry Goldwater would have served two terms and been succeeded by President George McGovern.

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