For Sarah Palin, it has been a long, strange trip. I have always been a fan of hers. She did a terrific job as a citizen activist in Alaska, and then as governor. I thought she acquitted herself well as a vice presidential candidate; among other things, she thrashed Joe Biden in their vice presidential debate. And that was when Biden was in full possession of his (admittedly meager) faculties.
But then she went show biz. When she resigned, needlessly, as governor, I wrote here that whatever shot she had to be a presidential contender was gone. Commenters blasted me for that (and I think Paul, too), but it was obviously right. Palin moved to the lower 48, got a contract with Fox News, and otherwise set out to make some money. She had a reality TV show for a while, which I saw a few episodes of and enjoyed. Meanwhile, her family has had its ups and downs.
Sarah is a talented person, but rap is a medium in which I would not have expected her to excel. But excel she does. This is a couple of days old, but still worth a listen on a Friday night. And it’s short:
Sarah Palin singing Sir Mix-A-Lot on the Masked Singer tonight somehow doesnt even make it into the top ten craziest things to happen in like the last hour.pic.twitter.com/jJotmpdNnN
— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JerryDunleavy) March 12, 2020
If you’re going to go Hollywood, I guess you might as well go all the way. And I don’t, actually, have a problem with doing something like this in a spirit of fun. But it is a long way from where I thought Palin might end up when I watched her deliver a great acceptance speech at the GOP convention in St. Paul in the Summer of 2008.
I was in the Xcel Center that night, covering the event for Power Line. I had an advance copy of the speech, and Sarah had a Teleprompter. For around the first half of the speech, she was following the script. Then I noticed that she began to deviate. It was the same speech, but the wording was a little different. I thought she was just loosening up a bit as she got comfortable, but the next day it came out that the Teleprompter had malfunctioned, and she delivered the second half of her speech from memory.
It was a remarkable performance. She never faltered; in the audience, or watching on television, you had no idea there was a problem. Nerves of steel. Under the same circumstances, Barack Obama was hopeless. From that night to Sir Mix-A-Lot, Palin has come a long way, for better or worse.
PAUL RESPONDS: I was never a fan of Sarah Palin, nor do I think she was a terrific governor of Alaska.
I was at the 2008 convention with John. The Sarah-mania that swept the building passed me by. (It swept up Jennifer Rubin, though. We argued about Palin on a Peter Robinson podcast.)
It doesn’t surprise me that Palin has “gone Hollywood” or that she has gone all the way. Her flaky side was always apparent.
As to whether I blasted John for predicting that Palin was through as a presidential contender, I don’t recall doing so.
To be sure, I don’t remember every prediction I ever made, and certainly not all of the many that turned out to be wrong. But here is what I wrote after Palin resigned as governor of Alaska, in a post called “The Road Ahead for Sarah Palin”:
Pollster Neil Newhouse. . .says: “It’s unquestionable that [Palin] has a future in the GOP, but it’s a bit more in doubt whether she has a future with the general electorate.” Newhouse adds that Palin “has a considerable rehabilitation job ahead of her to win the support of non-GOPers.”
Newhouse may be understating the problem.In the latest poll, only 40 percent of the public have a favorable view of Palin, while 53 percent have an unfavorable view. Moreover, the course she has set for herself [by resigning] will make it difficult to improve her standing outside of the base.
Having bailed on her job, she won’t be able to point to any new governing accomplishments. . . .
JOHN adds: I didn’t mean that Paul blasted me for predicting Sarah Palin’s political demise; rather, Paul thought the same and commenters blasted us both. Sorry if that was unclear.