Palin Did it Her Way

Sarah Palin announced Wednesday that she will not be running for the office of the U.S. presidency in 2012. Her declaration brought to end the exhaustive media speculation that had centered around her political aspirations for nearly three years. Over the next couple of days we’ll most likely hear from a multitude of news analysts weighing in on her decision and several comedians joking about how the country has dodged a bullet. I’m already reading messages of celebration from some of my Facebook friends.  God bless ‘em.

Make no mistake about it, however… It was Palin, not her critics, who got the last laugh. I never believed for a second that she was ever seriously considering a run at the presidency. Her public appearances and provocative statements over the past three years have been about rebirth, reckoning, and living the American Dream.

By the end of the 2008 presidential campaign, Palin had become a national joke. While conservatives remained galvanized around her and continued to hail her for her proud promotion of their values, most of the country had concluded that she was a know-nothing airhead who had no business in national politics. The media scrutiny and defamatory criticism of her was like nothing I’d ever seen. Her and her family had inexplicably become fair game to vile personal attacks that often exceeded levels of complete lunacy. As the governor of Alaska, she was left knee-deep in frivolous, politically-motivated ethics complaints that came at a great professional and personal expense to her and her family. Having spent a good portion of the year exhaustively touring the country in a role that she had never asked for but felt obligated to accept, one wouldn’t have blamed her if she’d crawled under a rock in Wasilla and shunned the public spotlight for good.

But that’s not what happened.

Instead of fading into the background and conceding defeat, she used the news media’s remorseless obsession with her to revamp her relevance in our political discourse. She studied up on geopolitics, refined her narrative, and reentered the political stage as an effective voice of stinging opposition against the Obama administration. She became more comfortable in front of the camera, sharper in her public appearances, and began looking and sounding like a serious presidential candidate.

The media predictably wasn’t about to stand for it, and once again put their derangement on display for all to see. Palin drew out and exposed the worst in them, from the author who creepily rented the house next to hers to the commentators who insanely identified her as a likely inspiration to the Gabrielle Giffords shooter. She continued on as an object of disgust for talking heads and mean-spirited comedians like Bill Maher, Kathy Griffin, and David Letterman whose unhealthy fixations on her routinely crossed boundaries of decency.

But as negative as a lot of the exposure was, it helped garnish publicity that opened up new opportunities for Palin including lucrative careers as an author, public speaker, political commentator, and even a reality television star. Her voice of support for conservative congressional candidates helped the Republican party regain a strong majority in the House of Representatives. And perhaps most infuriating to liberals, she really seemed to be enjoying her life in the process. They hadn’t broken her after all.

As the Republican presidential primary race began to take shape, I got a kick out of Palin’s unconventional and often confusing tactics of hinting at entering as a candidate. The national bus tour was my favorite. I found it amusing when the national news media would voice frustration over the cryptic nature of the tour which they felt compelled to cover, yet couldn’t quite explain why. They would routinely demand interviews with Palin along the way, who seemed to take some delight in turning them down and draining their resources. As Andrew Breitbart so skillfully observed, she drove the media nuts by refusing to cooperate with her own demise. I suppose that if my family and I had been assailed by them the way the Palins have been, and I had money to burn, I’d enjoy messing with them as well.

A lot of Palin’s detractors might feel some sense of accomplishment today in her sagging approval ratings and exclusion from the 2012 race, but they shouldn’t. They gave her exactly what she wanted: The platform. Public approval only matters if you’re serving the public, not if you’re just speaking your mind, meeting supporters, providing for your family, and loving what you’re doing. We all should be so lucky.

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration, and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. His first novel, entitled "From a Dead Sleep", is now on sale! He lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
Author website: http://www.johndalybooks.com/
  • TOMMY FREEDOM

    IF SARAH & TODD HAVE TROUBLES, DO YOU THINK I
    COULD GET A DATE?

  • Thomas Palmer

    “Her and her family” is there no responsibility for using correct grammar….She and her family sounds about right to me.

    • John Daly

      Cut me some slack. I was a Business major. ;)

  • Terry Walbert

    John,

    Thanks for a great piece.

    What I liked about Sarah Palin at first was that she took on and defeated a corrupt Republican governor. It would be nice if President Obama would be willing to do the same with his own party.

    What I like about her now is that she is a genuinely accomplished, God-fearing woman who drives the feminist harpies crazy.

    I would like to see her as secretary of Energy in a Romney-Cain administration.

  • JohnInMA

    I’m not a Palin hater. But what contribution is she really making outside of being the fly-strip for all the looney hate on the left? And as a result she has lured out the worst of the progressive misogynists and exposed the true nature of the women’s movement, etc.

    My wife wonders why Palin doesn’t find a way to be a more substantial and lasting contributor. She could quickly make headlines and make change for the better on a nationwide scale if, for example, she created a real organization and movement that counters the existing, one-dimension women’s groups. I’m not a political person, but it seems the least represented group is her base – women with traditional family values who are still big contributors to society, without shunning men and in some cases while maintaining professional lives, too. Isn’t that a big part what makes Palin and others, like Michelle Bachmann, so attractive to a wide swath of Americans? Are people like them treated fairly in modern PC society?

    • John Daly

      She’s certainly contributed to getting Republicans elected in this country, but my point with the article is that it doesn’t really matter what she has contributed in the last three years. She’s a private citizen who can do whatever she wants without having to explain herself to the media. And THAT drives the media nuts, which is something I like.

  • Shirl

    I will always back Sarah. She has the right message for America and is the most patriotic of all. Just like she said, a person doesn’t need a title to affect change and believe me, yall ain’t seen nothin yet. Just wait until the general election starts up. She will be the one to guide us on who are the most viable tea party candidates to help turn our country around.

  • RecknHavic

    What isn’t understood by most (Daly included) is that the attacks on Palin were viewed as an attack on those of us who share her beliefs. When Palin was ridiculed, we saw it as our values bein made fun of. When the MSM targeted her children, we could see that they would be willing to attack our children.

    Things like family and faith are relevant to conservatives and we constantly see those things come under attack; whether in pop culture, news and/or politics. Palin’s the torch barer for the beliefs we hold and its those ideals, not her celebrity status (as Goldberg often hints at), that makes her so popular w/ Tea Party types like me.

    • John Daly

      I don’t understand that? I was one of those people!

      • RecknHavic

        I liked your piece John and it wasn’t my intent to lump you in w/ the Palin detractors. I’ve not read much of your writings so I plead ignorance to knowing your political/social/faith leanings. Now I know better.

        Peace.

        • John Daly

          No problem. I wasn’t offended. I just thought the assumption was a bit baseless. I like Palin, and I’ve felt defensive of her in the past for the reasons you’ve stated. More generally, I have a passion for calling out the injustices that I see in the media and in our culture.

  • TOMMY FREEDOM

    I LOVE GOV PALIN, OUR GREAT REPUBLIC WAS CHEATED OUT OF A GREAT CANDIDATE AND PATRIOT.
    OBAMA PUT HER THRU HIS MEDIA MEAT GRINDER. I BELIEVE SHES HAD ENOUGH. SHE WAS TRASHED REGARDING AZ, NO ONE SAID A WORD TO DEFEND HER
    IT WAS A NATIONAL DISGRACE BY THE NATIONAL MENACE. HIS CRONIES BURNED HER BIBLE CHURCH A
    MILLION DOLLARS DAMAGE. WHY RUN A FAIR RACE WHEN YOU CAN DESTROY THEM. I MET HER AT A RALLY, SHE IS GREAT, I WILL SEE HER AGAIN FRIDAY NITE. SHE WILL BE OUR KINGMAKER, MISSOURI TEA PARTIES LOVE THIS GREAT PATRIOT.

  • JL

    What you libs hate about her is she can draw more attention at a rally than all other GOP candidates combined..and no need to declare or run for anything…amazing…I know how that must still sting….LOL!

  • CCNV

    John,

    I agree with you. I think it’s hilarious how she taunted the media and the liberals! They are so obsessed with her that they can’t function without a daily “Sarah Palin” jab. If they weren’t so intimidated by her, she’d be old news by now. Is she ‘President’ material? I don’t think so. Does she command an audience? Well, apparently. The Libs can’t seem to get enough of her.

    • John Daly

      I don’t think they’ve been intimidated by her since the 2008 campaign, but she certainly drove them crazy, which was entertaining.

  • robin in fl

    did anyone actually ever take SP as a real choice for nomination?? I mean REALLY????
    I guess if one wanted Obama to win a second term they would have.she may be a “nice” woman..I have no idea if she is or isn’t,BUT a president???? ummmmmmm.I don’t think so.

    She is the main reason I did not vote for McCain last election,( though I did NOT vote Obama either!)

    I don’t dislike SP,I think she is great at what she does and is doing,but I would not have voted for her.

    • Lonesome George

      Thanks a lot Robin. By not voting for McCain you helped elect one of worst presidents in history; and a racist to boot. Believe me I held my nose voting for McCain but it wasn’t because of Palin.

      • robin in fl

        sorry..:(..i did a write in and since i felt it was my right to vote anyway i saw fit.i did what felt right to me…thats the American way.and when I saw the results, my one vote would mot have changed it and at least I voted..i just saw mcains age and his vp pick and just couldn’t do it.I knew Obama would not be good,hell i even changed my party after he was elected.but the great thing about the USa is we can still actually vote the way we want :)

        btw,,i don’t see any libs posting here so not sure who JL is speaking to?????

        • Lonesome George

          Ok Robin, I’ll cut you some slack. But I agree with Burt Prelutsky about voting for anyone other than the Demo nominee. I think in the long run it was better to elect our current buffoon to show how absolutely insane the left is. Can you imagine how McCain & Palin would have been treated for the last 2 1/2 yrs. Also, it gives me a headache thinking of a Gore presidency in 2000 or Kerry in 2004. Geez

    • John Daly

      I wouldn’t have voted for Palin in a GOP primary, but I like her.

  • Cyd

    In no way did this odious woman get the last laugh. She is the laughing stock.

    • MikeG

      Definition of ODIOUS: arousing or deserving hatred or repugnance: hateful

      Cyd, you’re the odious one, not the Hon. Sarah Palin.

  • Nancye

    She just wanted to tease the public and get attention. Go back to Alaska Sarah and shut up.

    • Lonesome George

      I think she does a fine job of stating conservative points.