There is a lot I could say about John Ziegler’s article in The Daily Caller demanding that Sarah Palin not run for President, and insisting that Palin has become beholden to an inner circle of yes-men and yes-women.
I’ll make just two points.
First, Ziegler’s main argument is that Palin cannot win because she has been so unfairly damaged by mainstream media attacks and distortions. That argument conflates two different concepts.
I agree that Palin has been unfairly but extensively damaged, but that does not mean she should not run. Pre-selecting our candidates based upon what the mainstream media does is a huge mistake, because whoever the nominee is, that person will be savaged by the mainstream media and entertainment industry beyond comprehension. Palin simply has been the test case. Perceived electability now says little about actual electability once the nominee becomes the focus of the pro-Obama media.
Let anyone who wants to run run, and let the voters sort it out in the primaries. If Palin is unelectable in a general election, that will be an argument against nominating her; just as it is an argument against certain other candidates.
The primaries will bring out the best or the worst in the candidates, and candidates either will overcome voter concerns about electability, or the candidates will not succeed. Let the voters decide, not the editors of The Daily Caller or National Review or even tiny inconsequential Legal Insurrection.
Second, Ziegler is a complete narcissist. His article is all about him, his feelings, and his imagined facts. There is little substance, in fact almost no substance, to many of the negative conclusions he reaches. Here is a good example, in one of the sure-to-be quoted passages from the article:
There’s also the fact that Sarah’s entire operation is increasingly managed like a CIA field office; that she’s adopted a bunker mentality; that she’s trusting the wrong people, some of whom I know are simply exploiting her.
Yet what actual evidence does Ziegler cite; what quotes from people are included; what substance is there in the article other than the fact that Ziegler himself is offended that his opinions that Palin should not run may not be resonating with Palin (in fact, that’s not even clear).
The prime example Ziegler cites is that when he told Paln directly that she could not defeat Obama, the people in the room were silent:
Before I left, I felt I had to give the governor at least one piece of advice. After all, I know how politicians work. They surround themselves with yes-people. No one dares speak up. I figured I’d never get another opportunity like this again, so, with the very best of intentions, I told her: “You have to know, you can’t beat Obama in 2012. The media won’t let you. They won’t let him lose and the narrative about you is too negative to correct in three-and-a-half years.”
She said nothing. No-one else spoke, either. I looked around at my crew, and the same thing was written on everyone’s face: “What the hell are you doing, Ziegler?” It was the first of several times where it would be obvious to me that Sarah Palin does not like hearing bad news.
From that silence Ziegler weaves a Stalin-like theory of a cloistered candidate under the control of evil minders.
Maybe there is a good reason Palin does not keep Ziegler in her inner circle; his article is all about him, trying to portray himself as some heroic figure willing to stand up both for and against Palin.
Sorry, Ziegler, but there have been many of us standing up against the biased media attacks on Palin at risk of damage to our careers, and while you certainly do deserve credit for what you have done, it’s not all about you.
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The Ziegler article in many ways demonstrates what is wrong with the Republican Party today. It is too reactive to the mainstream media, seeks to impose its vision on the Republican electorate, and when all else fails, resorts to smear and innuendo against someone who has endured more than any other potential candidate under consideration.
I trust the voters. It’s too bad some very vocal Republicans do not.