Victim Sarah

I usually don't begin with a disclaimer but here is one for this post: if you love Sarah Palin you may not like this post. On Monday Ann and I watched Sarah Palin on Oprah. I wasn't expecting to hear a lot of deep policy issues but was interested in what last years GOP Veep candidate had to say.. yeah.. I probably watched for the same reasons that many watch reality shows.. reality TV can be pretty entertaining.

As I have reflected and listened to others this week it seems that the needle has not moved much for folks.. those who liked her before still like her.. those who didn't don't.. not too many are on the fence about her. I probably could have been friends with her in my younger years.. I think that she holds a black and white perspective similar to the one that I once embraced.. and is probably a part of that same Charismatic Fundmentalist culture that I once was a part of.

In retrospect I think that there is one message that emerges in the interviews and in many of the comments that she has made this year: she believes that she is a victim. Sarah Palin:
  • complains that she was given bad direction from the McCain staff last year;
  • is offended that the main stream liberal press is unfair to her;
  • voiced disappointment that she was not allowed to give a concession speech;
  • blamed others as she resigned the governorship of Alaska.
I think that her message resonates with many folks who feel that they are victims of the system. Many who are buying her book may enjoy the whole getting back at "the man" part of it?  Of course I am generalizing a bit.. Sarah Palin's message is more than payback.. but there does seem to be a revenge aspect to her message.

You may disagree with me. What do you think Sarah Palin's main message is? Is there something specific that she has said that attracts you to her? Or is it something more general like the Tea Party movement? Do you think that folks are attracted to her anti-establishment message or to something more positive?


  1. Bob,

    I know this is going to shock you (not). But, I completely agree with you. I think the main appeal of Sarah Palin is the "anti-establishment" message.

  2. Maybe "anti-establishment" is a better word than victim Brian.. or maybe it is a combination of both words. I think that people who are very pro Sarah Palin do embraces an anti-establishment conservative-ish ideology.

  3. I didn't listen to the entire interview. There aren't too many people that I would watch on Oprah's show, so Palin isn't an exception.

    I think Palin rapidly experienced an overinflated ego and her importance to the majority of Americans, which she confused with her popularity with the far right fundamentalists. Take any inexperienced person (Palin is really a small town girl), cast him or her unexpectedly and unprepared into the national limelight, parade him or her past adoring crowds and they will react just as Palin did.

    Her expectation of giving a concession speech was her ego in overdrive. Before election night arrived she saw herself as more important to the people than McCain was or would ever be. I think she saw herself as a serious contender for 2012.

    I think less people see her as a presidential contender now than immediately after the election and she is responsible for the decrease. I would never vote for her but had she let professionals train and handle her after she returned to Alaska instead of doing it herself, she would have improved her standing with the socially conservative base of the GOP and perhaps beyond that base.

    I think she is no longer interested in running for national office. There is a big difference between glad-handing on the campaign trail and governing in DC. I think she is good at and enjoys the first role. The second role takes a lot of work and receives a lot of criticism. She can't handle either.

    I think she saw that the heat in the kitchen was much more than she wanted to deal with or perhaps could deal with. As she realized that she didn't really want to work and suffer for the Oval office, she started not attending the political events that the Party and her followers expected her to attend. Ultimately, she didn't just back down on a run for the presidency she backed out of governing completely and resigned her governorship.

    She's going to make enough for a comfortable life from the sales and promotion of "her" book. She's gone back to glad-handing, loves it and she's good at it.

    Her popularity will diminish after the book promotion plays out. She'll do guest spots on the conservative talk shows after that and may even have a talk show of her own but I wouldn't expect it to last long.

    As for being a victim, she's more a victim of the limelight than the liberal media.

  4. Bob, I think "victim" is the perfect word. I was amazed as I listened to her on "O" and she was defensive to almost every single thing asked.

  5. You know keep in mind what comes out in an interview is based on the questions asked.

    I'm actually reading the book and it doesn't come out that way at all.

    Well, goes against status quo establishment leadership yes, playing a victim? No.

    I wish that Oprah left the Levi Johnston questions alone. I could tell she didn't want to answer, and she doesn't discuss him in the book so it shouldn't have been fair game. I thought she for the most part was pretty graceful.

    I've also watched other interviews where she does take responsibility for the Couric interview. She didn't answer the question well, but it is also pretty clear if you read about the campaign (from a variety of different sources) she wasn't handled well.

    She had to spend a year with anonymous staffers saying crap about her, and now she gets to tell her side of the story. From what I've read so far she's mostly complementary toward the McCain campaign staff... so the media's labeling this as a "tell all" isn't very accurate.


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