Thursday, February 3, 2011

UK: Time to admit Palin not presidential

The Telegraph

article printed in its entirety

Time to say it: Sarah Palin is not a serious presidential candidate
By Janet Daley

The editors of ConservativeHome USA have taken a deep breath and uttered the unsayable: the only real media star on the Republican stage is not a serious contender for the presidency. Publishing a compendium of comments from highly regarded commentators and Republican party figures, it makes a case for facing the truth that Sarah Palin cannot be regarded as presidential material, particularly at a time of such economic peril and global instability.

What it does not say (but does imply) is that the party would do real damage to its own reputation by nominating her. It would appear both desperate and unserious – a deadly electoral combination. I had a good deal of time for the Palin phenomenon when she was John McCain’s surprise choice of running mate: she seemed to represent the voice of an America which was too often treated with contempt by the political class and, after all, this was the vice-presidency we were talking about. The virulent attacks on her from the liberal establishment reminded me uncannily of that mix of misogyny and snobbery which had been thrown at Margaret Thatcher, and if only for that reason, I was inclined to defend her.

But enough is enough. She is not another Thatcher – nor is she another Reagan. She does not have the experience and substance of a Romney or the genuine warmth and charm of a Huckabee. Given her star quality and wide support, she could be a plausible king-maker and power broker for some more credible candidate. Some of my senior Republican friends are disappointed that Governor Chris Christie has decided not to run this time around, and fear that the party may not be able to find a big enough figure in time. But developing the profile of a relative unknown would be better than going with a super star who would burn out spectacularly under fire.

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