Forget Trump and DeSantis and the GOP field looks wide open
A bona fide celebrity ever since she was introduced to the nation in 2008, Sarah Palin speaks for the forgotten men and women in the heartland (even though she is, literally, from the far periphery). She may be light on the whole governing thing — she resigned her last political position, Alaska governor, mid-term — but as a political commodity she seems evergreen. Is she the one to lead the sad sacks roughed over by the globalists to a populist revolution?
In some ways a harbinger of Trumpist populism, the odd thing about Sarah Palin is that she comes not from this political era but the last one… even as she’s running for Congress for Alaska’s at-large district.
The late John McCain’s hail-Mary selection for Vice President on the 2008 Republican ticket, Sarah Palin looked at one point a smart pick. Forgotten now in what is written off as a doomed race, McCain-Palin actually briefly matched the Obama-Biden ticket in the opinion polls. She united both William Kristol, the godfather of neoconservatism, and Steve Bannon, who made a film about the wunderkind of Wasilla.
This was before that brutal autumn of 2008, remembered now for two things: Western financial ruination and disclosures that the governor of the Western Reserve possibly didn’t know the name of a single newspaper, nor who comprised the Triple Entente.
It ended badly.
Years on, Palin staggered through macabre family embarrassments, which may have bolstered her standing among downtrodden Americans whose lives have been marked by a similar severing of familial ties. Leading opinion polls for president in 2012 at one point, along with Dick Cheney, she passed on a run before jumping on the Trump train early in 2016. But, yet again, she disappeared from the frontlines of American life.
But that hack Fitzgerald got it wrong. In the 21st century there are many second acts in American life.
So now that President Joe Biden has told his old boss Barack Obama that he’s apparently running for president again, who’s to say that Sarah Palin shouldn’t be in Congress? I’m on record with enthusiasm for Dr. Oz, your next senator.
And after Congress, what could come next? Palin and Biden, after all, have history (she once accidentally called the future president “O’Biden” on national television). Might she get the opportunity to face off against him again on a debate stage in 2024? If the anti-pope of Mar-A-Lago and the regent of DeSantistan are somehow sidelined for the prize, literally all bets for control of the GOP are off.
Ultimately, it was Bill Kristol who saw what was special about Palin: prepossessing and imperfect, she’s the vox populi on horseback. She’s got a national profile and and we certainly won’t stop talking about her. It would be a bold bet, but not unheard of. The name of that Bannon film? “The Undefeated.”