Written by Russ from Winterset
Obviously, Sarah Palin has a plan. If she were the sort of person who could be swayed by some moron on a blog, my opinion of her would go down a notch. I just wanted to get my thoughts out there now so that I can look back in a year or two and either say “I ‘effing nailed it”, or “WOW, I didn’t see THAT coming”.
I’m not sure if I agree with all the “game over, man! GAME OVER!” rhetoric. It’s one thing to say that “Sarah Palin can never regain credibility after resigning”, but – and please don’t take this as criticism towards my gracious bloghost Ace – a blogger who jealously guards his anonymity isn’t exactly the right person to tell me about how Sarah Palin should just suck it up and take all the unhinged criticism from cretins like Andrew Sullivan as “part of the job”.
The extremely vitriolic nature of the criticism directed towards the Palin family is a valid issue. The costs to the taxpayers of Alaska because of all these manufactured ethics complaints is a valid issue. A governor resigning to avoid “phoning it in” while they campaign for higher office is an honorable act.
Here’s a quick list of what I think Sarah Palin needs to do if she wants to return to politics in the near future. Now, if her resignation is based on saying “eff this crap” and wanting to spend time with her family and earn money as a conservative motivational speaker like Newt, this list is going to be moot.
1. Sarah Palin needs to stay positive for the time being. She should remain gracious during the transition process, and she should continue to stress the fact that she believes the Lt. Governor is qualified to lead Alaska into the future. Any grumbling about how the left drove her from the office will be spun into showing her to be “Nixon with breasts”. Let others be critical of the press, the RINOs and the Democrats for the time being. It’s important that she be seen as above the fray until the dust settles. Let bareknuckle brawlers like Ziegler carry her water until the time is right.
2. Sarah Palin needs to work tirelessly on the campaigns of others. If her first act after leaving office is to announce her ’12 run for President, her resignation will rightly be seen as a selfish act; however, if she sticks to the “I’m a point guard making all the right passes to help my team win the game” theme put out in her resignation speech, she will increase her influence within the base of the GOP. Plus, work on behalf of conservative candidates in State & legislative races in ’10 will allow her to call in those favors during the ’12 campaign.
3. Sarah Palin needs to stay as far away from TV punditry as possible. If she immediately accepts a gig on a Huckabee-style talk show, she will be rightly seen as “cashing in” on her fame. That’s a bridge that stays burnt among conservative activists, and a move to a Fox News show would take DECADES to overcome if she is truly interested in running for ANOTHER elected office.
4. Sarah Palin needs to keep her distance from the more deranged critics of Obama. The LAST thing she needs right now is a link to Birth Certificate Trutherism, NAFTA Superhighway insanity, or “FEMA Detention Camps for Conservatives” proponents. She should cede that ground to its rightful owner…..RON PAUL, THE ONLY TRUE CONSERVATIVE IN AMERICA.
5. Sarah Palin needs to immediately call a press conference where she praises the wisdom and wit of Bacon-blogger extraordinaire “Russ from Winterset” , a semi-frequent guest poster at the Ace of Spades HQ. It will give her a head start on pandering towards Iowa leading up to the ’12 Republican caucus. (WHAT? Like I was going to be completely selfless in compiling this list? You don’t know me very well, do you?). Seriously though, a bit of behind the scenes blog outreach might be a wise move at this point. Cultivate the support of the blogosphere without becoming mired in its myriad pissing matches and entanglements, and you can begin to reach out to potential activists who could help you move public opinion in the future. Just don’t emulate the left’s soulless model, where all the activists are paid mouthpieces with accounts at the SorosCorp company store. Inspire loyalty, don’t buy it.
6. Sarah Palin needs to build a team of advisors behind the scenes and begin laying out consistent positions on issues. I think it would be a mistake to wade into the intellectual fray without first making a plan, but she should definitely start building the infrastructure now. This could be a positive image for her. She could be the politician who refused to kill time in elected office while boning up for a Presidential run. People like to feel that they are getting full value and undivided attention from the politicians they elect, whether its a governor or a local zoning board member. This action could help solidify her support from “Tea Party” attendees and others who feel that our current system is broken.
7. Sarah Palin needs to flaunt her sexuality without being seen as flaunting her sexuality. Nothing infuriates America’s Foremost OB/GYN Andrew Sullivan more than a vagino-American who believes in Christianity and the sanctity of life, so we can dispense with the idea that she can avoid ALL criticism on this issue. What she can do is keep things classy and elegant. She doesn’t need to remind us that she’s hot. We’ve got eyes and functioning brain cells. We already get it.
8. Sarah Palin needs to start building a grassroots movement in early caucus/primary states. The initial purpose of this movement should conform to what I already covered in Point #2 and focus on electing others to office in ’10. She should hire small groups of professionals who oversee local volunteers instead of flooding the zone with national experts. And FOR GOD’S SAKE, NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER even CONSIDER hiring any of McCain’s former campaingn staffers to help her in this new venture. I have a vivid memory of Tom Selleck appearing on Letterman in ’92 and being asked about Ross Perot’s presidential campaign. His answer, “it was the right cause, with the wrong leader” stuck with me, and I’d like to see Team Palin avoid the mistakes other grassroots movements have made in the past.
9. Sarah Palin needs to reach out to ’08 candidates like Huckabee and Romney in private. I thought the worst part of the Iowa Caucus was the stupid battle between “Mormons and Evangelicals” centered around these two candidates, and Sarah Palin needs to become allies with both of them. Maybe we’ll never see Huck & Mitt holding hands and playing nice with each other, but I think its possible that both of them can throw their support behind the same candidate. Team Sarah should also solicit the rest of the ’08 GOP field to join her, with two obvious exceptions. Duncan Hunter, Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, Tom Tancredo and Tommy Thompson all have strengths they can bring to the table, and she’d be a fool not to solict their assistance.
This is the best I could come up with on short notice, but it will work as a starting point. Now we need to wait and see what Team Palin does next, because as they say: the ball is in her court.
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