Ben Smith writes about Sarah Palin’s possible strategy should she run for president:
The prospect of Sarah Palin running for president is, increasingly, dismissed by a political class that sees her facing weak poll numbers — especially in key early states — and doing nothing to correct them or to build the infrastructure for a run.
But I’m told Palin’s camp is, at least, holding preliminary talks about how a campaign would look if she decides to run. One early decision, a source says: It would be based in Scottsdale, Arizona, where Bristol Palin recently bought a house in nearby Maricopa.
One lesson of Palin’s sometimes-difficult time in the spotlight has been that Alaska is an extremely difficult base for national politics. From a distant political culture to a daunting time difference, Palin hasn’t been terribly well served by the fact that her state is little-known to reporters in the lower 48, and that email inquiries arrive at 3:00 a.m. needing answers by 5:00 a.m.
And Arizona carries its own significance: Basing a campaign there would be a provocative rejection of any lingering political cost from those who connect her harsh rhetoric and Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting — a traditional refusal to retreat. It’s also the core of the politically contested, fast-growing new West.
And it would also hark back, perhaps not to McCain, more a Washington figure than an Arizona one, but to what now stands as the iconic campaign for many base Republican voters: Goldwater ’64.
Sarah Palin basing her campaign based upon Goldwater ’64 is funny on more than one level. First, who other than Sarah Palin would want to build a campaign based upon one which lost in a landslide? Democrats tend to be far less politically savvy than Republicans in many areas, but I have never seen a Democrat suggest running a campaign based upon McGovern ’72.
The implicit view that Sarah Palin is like Barry Goldwater is equally ridiculous. Barry Goldwater opposed the religious right which Palin panders to, and would have been one of the first to stand up to insist that Republicans should have nothing to do with the Tea Party movement. Of course such views from the far right have dominated the GOP for years, well before the Tea Party movement name existed. This is why Goldwater considered himself a liberal in his later years when he saw signs as to which direction the party was going.
Among his many views which differ considerably from those of Sarah Palin and the current right wing, Goldwater supported a woman’s right to an abortion. He supported gay rights, including the right of gays to openly serve in the military. I bet he even understood the First Amendment and wouldn’t go along with Sarah Palin’s frequently repeated belief that the First Amendment was written to protect politicians such as Palin from scrutiny by the press. I also doubt Goldwater would have gone along with Sarah Palin in her attempts to practice censorship in Wasilla (here and here).