After dodging the ever-present Presidential question at last night's National Tea Party convention Q+A session, Sarah Palin sat down with Fox News Sunday this morning and announced that she'd "be willing to" take on President Obama in 2012.
"I would be willing to if I believe that it's right for the country," she said, less than 24 hours after delivering the keynote speech at the National Tea Party convention, where she described the Tea Party as "a beautiful movement" and "the future of politics." Though Palin was careful to repeatedly note that she felt the Tea Party needed no official leader, it was fairly clear that, at the same time, she was reveling in her role as a prominent figure at the convention, throwing out Tea Party talking points and reminding the Tea Partiers how special and important she felt they were to the future of the country.
It's not entirely surprising that Palin is positioning herself as a Presidential candidate, nor is it surprising that she played up Scott Brown's Massachusetts victory last night during her Tea Party speech as the type of Republican victory that will lead the party back to dominance in Washington. In noting that the Tea Party didn't need a leader, Palin was able to remove herself from that title, which might have turned off many anti-Tea Party independents, while still retaining her Tea Party support. Palin wants to present herself as a new kind of candidate, freed from party politics; she's back to the same old "hockey mom" rhetoric, and wants the Tea Partiers to feel that they're the grass roots movement that's truly going to change America. She's essentially using the Obama playbook to attack the Obama administration, though she's dropped the "hopey/changey stuff" in favor of incendiary statements, personal attacks, and a reliance on skirting actual policy in favor of bumper-sticker slogans and burn book quotes.
The most infuriating aspect of Palin's persona is her ridiculously transparent hypocrisy: she criticizes Obama for using a teleprompter, yet is caught with notes scrawled on her hand. She asks her Tea Party fans to step away from "the small squabbles," yet takes shots at Obama's supporters by mocking his "change and hope" platform. She says "The government that governs least, governs best," and claims that we all need to get back to the Constitution, and yet she wants the government to control people's right to marry and a woman's right to choose. She also thinks we need "divine intervention" in government, thereby sidestepping the whole concept of "separation of Church and State."
She attacks President Obama for being a "Professor of Law" (education! how elitist!) as opposed to the war-hungry Commander-in-Chief she thinks we need, and attacks his foreign policy, noting that she thinks things would be SO much better for America if we declared war on Iran. She criticizes Obama's lack of experience and inability to handle his job...after she resigns before even bothering to complete her own term in office. She thinks the Tea Party movement is "beautiful," and criticizes its opponents for thinking it is too ideologically extreme, even as the proof of such insanity is clearly out there.
She says everything her fans want her to say, but in reality, she says nothing at all. She offers no clear alternatives (I'm sorry, but "war on Iran" isn't going to cut it), she stumbled last night when asked to describe the "Palin Plan," which essentially came down to "We Win, They Lose," and for all her talk about how much better than Obama she is, she has absolutely nothing to show for it. And yet, she's made it relatively clear that she intends to be a player in the 2012 election. Don't think she'll get very far? Perhaps you've forgotten about this guy.