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Can any Republican presidential candidate withstand being Palinized?

Can any Republican presidential candidate withstand being Palinized?

Not a fan of Ed Rollins, but you know that.  I guess this qualifies as Part 3 of the “Hey Ed Rollins, you deal with it” series.

More than not being a fan of Ed Rollins, I keep questioning why Michele Bachmann started her campaign by having Rollins attack Sarah Palin in very demeaning terms, and if it was not planned, why Bachmann did not fire Rollins on the spot.

That question becomes important because as Bachmann rises in the polls and spotlight, the process of Palinizing her by the left-blogosphere and mainstream media also is rising.  The disgusting Rolling Stone article about Bachmann is tame compared to what is to follow.

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog, linking to a cover article at The Weekly Standard about Bachmann, makes a point I have been asking here for years every time an establishment Republican or Republican know-it-all lashes out at Palin; can anyone withstand the Palin-treatment:

Reading Continetti’s article, I wonder if anyone can withstand the treatment that Michele will elicit from the media if she emerges as a serious player in the nomination process. If anyone can, Michele might. But can anyone?

The answer is maybe, but only if we are united in defending that person.

Republicans did not uniformly defend Palin when she falsely was accused of complicity in the Arizona shooting, and establishment types like David Frum piled on Palin.  We see that process of piling on almost daily among Republicans, and Rollins was just the latest and most high profile example.

Bachmann, by keeping Rollins on staff, has signaled that she is not ready for the type of unity needed to defend all Republican candidates against Palinization.  Ironically, Bachmann is the candidate who needs that unity the most.

Update:  If you think I am against Bachmann, you would be very wrong.  In fact, I have been a consistent supporter and defender of her almost since the beginnning of this blog, including these posts:

It is precisely because I think Bachmann has so much to offer that I am at a loss to understand her hiring of Rollins and weak response to his attack on Palin.


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I totally agree, but you have to admit, it’s easier to “Palinize” an outspoken conservative woman with an accent than it is some other people for all those unfair reasons. We have to defend all credible candidates on our side in case they become the nominee, but we should at least have hope that it will be more difficult for the media to do what they are doing to Palin and Bachmann to most other candidates. The question still stands if anyone could overcome that treatment; we more have to hope for the media’s unwillingness to go out of their way to Palinize whoever our candidate is than hope there are some un-Palinizable candidates.

Pasadena Phil | June 25, 2011 at 10:08 am

I know you have are highly resistant to the notion that the GOP is under the control of the same monied interests that drive the Democratic agenda but what other explanation is there? The GOP establishment is NOT leading a second party in the so-called “two-party” system.

So long as we ridicule people like me who see the playing field as an independent conservative rather than a partisan “Republicans-must-win-at-all-costs” partisan, you have no traction on this issue with Ed Rollins. You need those of us who have voted for our last Democrat-Republican.

If you are going to vote for whatever Republican these crooks manage to cram down our throats anyway, what exactly are you threatening them with? They have your vote already!

Republicans who agree that we have a one-party system and are serious about doing something about it have to rethink how declaring that you are going to vote for whatever Republican wins the nomination makes any sense.

Bachmann, Palin, Santorum and maybe DeMint and a couple of others are our best chance of breaking the back of the corrupt Bush/Rove/Enron globalist money. But they have absolutely no chance if they don’t make it clear that running independent is feasible in 2012.

That is why Trump is important. He did us a big favore when he created the winning footprint: he proved Obama is NOT the juggernaut the GOP elites are making him out to be and proved how lame the GOP candidates are.

Now it is up to conservatives to find a conservative candidate to fill that footprint. Palin, Bachmann or Santorum could start playing the “I’ve had it!” game.

Personally, I suspect that Bachmann cut a deal with the GOP leadership last November to get her to accept the VP slot next year in lieu of the chairmanship of the House Conference Committee. Rollins fits into that because the GOP doesn’t like her or trust her but this guarantees that she will not go rogue.

See the problem? Think like a conservative, not like a Republican. It clarifies the issues and if wrong, at least you are asking the right questions.

Juba Doobai! | June 25, 2011 at 10:20 am

“Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog, linking to a cover article at The Weekly Standard about Bachmann, makes a point I have been asking here for years every time an establishment Republican or Republican know-it-all lashes out at Palin; can anyone withstand the Palin-treatment:

Reading Continetti’s article, I wonder if anyone can withstand the treatment that Michele will elicit from the media if she emerges as a serious player in the nomination process. If anyone can, Michele might. But can anyone?”

Er, Sarah Palin has and in spite of the slime and muck, she emerges clean. The Undefeated comes out and that should get rid of most of the slime and muck in duck’s back fashion. When Palin begins to campaign and America sees the woman it saw and heard in 2008, the LSM and the GOP cowards will be history.

Michelle Bachmann? Last time she cried out to the public for money to help her fight the smears. This time, we are not sympathetic to her. You’re on your own, girl. Get the good ol’ boys in the GOP to help you.

Bachmann is a stalking horse for Romney… plenty of evidence for this: Rollins; her aides associating with Romney’s,; she’s got nowhere else to go in her state… And btw, she didn’t come to her “friend’s” defense after the Arizona shooting…

Pasadena Phil | June 25, 2011 at 11:08 am

BTW professor, I miss the “preview” function although it seems I make fewer typos without it. Also, with the instant posting upon submit, I’m pleasantly surprised that the threads have preserved their usual civility and generally high quality comments. I hope the Powerline boys are taking notice. IMHO, they gave up too fast on their experiment following their own “biggest internet disaster since the Great Depression” which they suffered a year or so ago.

Their “Forum” section was arguably the best discussion site in the entire blogosphere.

Is Michele Bachmann Sarah Palin’s Phil Crane?

“The Establishment failed to lure its first choice for a stalking horse, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, into the race. It has had to settle for three term Congressman Michele Bachmann and is busily engaged, through its media organs in pumping her up as the new Palin.”

“Have we ever seen anything like this before, that is: a supposed conservative stalwart trying to take out the main Conservative threat to the Establishment?”



Free Republic

“Victory Film Group and ARC Entertainment announced today that Governor Sarah Palin and her husband Todd will attend the premiere of The Undefeated at the historic Pella Opera House on Tuesday June 28 at 5pm Central Time in Pella, Iowa. Immediately after the showing, Victory Film Group and ARC Entertainment will host a traditional Iowa cookout to thank the Pella Opera House and the people of Pella.”

Victory Film Group

I tweeted my response to you Prof 🙂 did you get my email about bumper stickers?

VetHusbandFather | June 25, 2011 at 11:27 am

I agree with Juba Doobai (I seem to be saying that a lot lately). Palin continues to come out of the liberal slime factory nice and clean. Everything that could have been said about Palin has already been said, and all of the lies have been debunked. I suppose the media could continue to rehash the same old lies, but I don’t think that would work for anyone beyond their most liberal audiences. By now independent voters know exactly who Sarah Palin is and what she stands for, and that kind of rubbish won’t affect their opinons. Michelle Bachmann and some of the other ‘new’ faces in this race are still big unknowns to much of the country which makes them susceptible to media attacks.

Juba Doobai! | June 25, 2011 at 11:53 am

VHF, great minds….

Cowboy Curtis | June 25, 2011 at 11:56 am

Its not a matter of everyone defending Bachmann or whoever ends up as the nominee. The problem is the people who purport to be on our side who happily savage conservatives as a means of proving their “reasonable” bona fides with the MSM.

I don’t have a problem with criticizing people on our side, nor with republicans criticizing republicans. I certainly don’t want us to be a rightward version of the lockstep left. Palin is by no means perfect and there’s plenty of valid things about her to discuss. But the criticisms of Palin, particularly from the the conservative elite, have had preciously little to do with anything beyond her mere existence.

When the Frums, Rollins, and Noonans start their crap, they simply need to be shunned and ridiculed. Peggy Noonan is a useful idiot who thought Obama was kinda awesome…we should never miss an opportunity to point that out.

oldyannkee46 | June 25, 2011 at 12:27 pm

As long as there is unity behind the Republican winner of the primaries, Bachmann, Romney, or who ever, the smear campaign will not work, it will go the way of the race card.

    Pasadena Phil in reply to oldyannkee46. | June 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    See my comment above.

    I would add that, as we have seen in AK, WI, and NV, if a conservative defeats the establishment candidate in the primaries, the ROVE/RNC thugs go straight to work on behalf of the Democrat. That is why we need to address and resolve the GOP leadership problem in 2011 BEFORE we head into 2012. All indications are that the “fix” is in for one of the “Democrats” already. We simply cannot commit to automatically voting for the ultimate primary winner. We already know that the establishment GOP will only support their candidate, not ours. We NEED Trump involved.

LukeHandCool | June 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Can’t remember where, but I saw some lefty media rube taking issue with the fact Bachmann and her husband raised 26 foster children by questioning the length of time the children lived in the Bachmann household. Unflippingbelievable.

LukeHandCool (who thought, before his lefty media betters taught him otherwise, that “foster” and “adopted” were not synonymous. Hence, the need for two separate terms. And who, in his own defense, simply asks, “What do I know? I’m not a journo-list”).

IMO, the media is pushing Romney as the frontrunner because they won’t have to Palin-ize him. They already have $50million in ads touting RomneyCare as the blueprint for ObamaCare.

John Ziegler is offering a bet against Palin becoming President in 2012:

He wants a ‘prominent conservative commentator’ on the other side. I’m not prominent but will stake the bet (all or part) and take the reward (all or part) if Prof Jacobson will be the ‘prominent conservative. I’m willing to put the money on the table up front to either the Prof or Mr Ziegler subject to bona fides such as a videoconference.

Prof? Any other ‘prominent conservative commentator’.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to markadams99. | June 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    I don’t gamble, and I certainly don’t gamble with publicity hounds. How about this bet – in two years people will have to google his name to remember who John Ziegler was.

I think Occam’s Razor requires that we assume that the campaign manager’s statements were authorized or directed by the candidate. I didn’t find Bachmann’s assertion that she told Rollins to apologize privately either credible or adequate.

The other offensive aspect of Rollins’ comments was that he said that Bachmann was “just as attractive” as Palin. Whether you agree or disagree with that observation, it is revoltingly sexist. That is how we judge the female candidates?

LukeHandCool | June 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Professor Jacobson said, “I don’t gamble, and I certainly don’t gamble with publicity hounds.”

Don’t gamble? **sigh** I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I knew there’d be something about you I’d find one day that I didn’t like.

Consider it an investment … not a gamble. There’s almost no such thing as bad publicity these days.

1,000 LI readers @ $1 each … 100 @ $10 … 50 @ $20 … however it’s done.

Consider it an investment in gaining new readers. (And a fun project.) I think all of us publicize LI through word-of-mouth, but that only goes so far.

LukeHandCool (who asks that he not be asked to fork over more than $20 as he already gives generously to serious charities).

I’m torn on this one. I think they will definitely try it–but–if they do try to “Palinize” anyone else, they will do more harm to themselves by exposing their motives and agenda and (ironically) undo a lot of the harm they did to Palin. If she’s not the hick devil incarnate but “X” now is . . . well, doesn’t that undermine their entire “Palinization” of Sarah? And by extension, of their next target? The American people are not stupid and will catch on rather quickly when the full force of the Obamamedia sets its sights on another target with that level of ferocity and focus. Who knows, this may be just what we actually need for people to reassess not just Sarah, not just the new “target,” not just the Republican Party, but finally, the LSM and where this country is heading.

As to Bachmann, I’m not thrilled with her after the Rollins business and her non-handling of it. Not at all.

Subotai Bahadur | June 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Pasadena Phil | June 25, 2011 at 10:08 am

I agree and consider the case proved by two examples from the last election. Here in Colorado, the TEA Party sponsored candidate won the Republican nomination for governor. He kicked butt and took names both at the caucuses/nominating convention AND in the statewide primary that followed. Note that this was after his main opposition [retired Congressman] self-destructed [and in the interest of clarity, I supported that person until he collapsed, having known him personally since before he was a Congressman]. The Republican Party in Colorado was not pleased. They tried to oust him after nomination, but could find no legal way to do so. The meeting between the TEA Party and the State Central Committee in Greeley was ….not a love fest.

The Party Central Committee convinced another Republican former Congressman to change his registration to Constitution Party, and cut a deal with them. They named the turncoat Congressman as their governor candidate. In return, the Republican Party diverted all their governor donors to the Constitution Party. Which was several orders of magnitude over any funds they had EVER collected before. And by getting more than 10% of the governor’s ballot, it meant automatic ballot access in the future for the Constitution Party without petitioning.

The Colorado Republican Party supported another party’s candidate for governor; knowing that it would mean that their own party’s candidate would lose, AND that an ultra-liberal Democrat would be elected governor. And that is what happened. The former Congressman changed stripes back to Republican a couple of weeks after the election. He now sits at the right hand of the Central Committee. The Constitution Party has automatic ballot access statewide now, and the Democrats have the governorship. Everybody is happy except for the TEA Party and the conservative base. The Institutional Republican Party considers the TEA Party and its own base as more the enemy than they consider Obama and the Democrats.

Example 2: Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. TEA Party supported, she defeated Congressman Mike Castle in the primaries to become the Republican nominee for the US Senate. Once again, she played by the rules and won. Castle, incidentally, is ideologically to the Left of almost all Democrats in Congress. While she was literally giving her victory speech primary night; Senator John Cornyn whose job it was to get her elected, pre-empted her with a national announcement that she would only get the legally required minimum funding from the party, AND no media. The national party worked against her at every opportunity, and Karl Rove [who worked for Castle and who despite claims of independence is a voice of the Institutional Republicans] spent the next couple of weeks on every national news program, every day, bashing the Republican candidate and boosting the Democrat Chris Coons. Coons won, with the help of the Republican Party; and they are quite happy with that.

Add to that the Republican Party’s support for Scozzafava [in reality a Leftist Democrat] over a Conservative Republican, and their support for Lisa Murkowski over their own party’s candidate for Senator for Alaska.

The Institutional Republican Party would gladly win the presidency next year, so long as their candidate is a RINO. If it is a conservative, they would rather have Obama re-elected. If they get their RINO president, they would rather not get control of the Senate, so that they have an excuse not to upset their gravy train. They will work with the Democrats to achieve those ends.

I want Obama out … and imprisoned. But I will not support a RINO/DIABLO who will continue Obama’s policies, or someone who is a declared enemy of the TEA Party. Otherwise I would be collaborating with the enemy. Has Bachmann cut a deal like our turncoat Congressman here in Colorado? Quite likely. I know that I absolutely do not trust her as long as Rollins is there, and maybe afterwards. And if the Republican Party keeps playing the same games attacking TEA Party supported winners; there will be a 3rd party, and the smallest will probably be the Republicans.

    Pasadena Phil in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | June 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Add “Murky” Murkowski in AK to that list.

    And here in CA, Romney shoe horned his biggest fund raiser and contributor, Meg Whitman onto the top of the ticket (not that the alternative Republicans were any better and the Tea Party had nobody to get behind).

    And even though Tea Party favorite Chuck Devore was leading in the polls, Palin/McCain stepped in and crammed another big liberal contributor Carly Fiorina onto the ticket. Fiorina might have won but Whitman was a really big dead weight to have on the top of the ticket. Both Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer should have lost in a landslide but true to the Stupid Party, they made it close and then lost.

    There is no reason why next year’s elections should be close. But the establishment GOP is not serious about winning. If they win, it will be with their own Democrat. If they lose, because it was close they will blame it on Tea Party conservatives. If a conservative wins, they will fight like hell to make sure he/she loses.

    There is no other alternative for non-Democrats than to vote an independent candidate next year if the GOP insists on maintaining their tight little clique. All candidates are suspect. Only something bold like Trump threatening to run as an independent will change anything.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | June 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Subotai Bahadur, excellent recounting. That’s why I will not vote for any RINO/DIABLO. They prefer Democrats to us; well, let them have the Democrats.

    A Mindful Webworker in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | June 25, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    “The Institutional Republican Party would gladly win the presidency next year, so long as their candidate is a RINO. If it is a conservative, they would rather have Obama re-elected. If they get their RINO president, they would rather not get control of the Senate, so that they have an excuse not to upset their gravy train. They will work with the Democrats to achieve those ends.”

    Owwww. Sad to say, that’s the best summary of the unfortunate reality I’ve read. I think that should be shouted from the rooftops until it sinks in.

Good comments from Pasadena Phil, Juba Doobai! and many others. Kudos, gang.

It’s extremely telling that what Dhimocrats fear most is the GOP running a woman or person of color, or both, on the national ticket. It’s their worst, possible nightmare! They MUST “Palinize” those candidates away or else their own party’s “narrative” falls to pieces. Can’t have that happen! Sound the trumpets for journo-lists to resume battle stations.

As others have hinted, if beltway “Rhinocrats” still control the GOP after the primary season – and by the manner in which congress is blundering around they seem to now – I will assuredly not “hold my nose” and vote for the next McCain in 2012 even if that means another four years of the Cambridge idiot. Sorry. From what I read I’m not alone, but the “Rhinocrats” in their supreme confidence are totally unaware of reality, ethics and statesmanship, and instead are too involved with their cousins across the aisle in feathering their nests. They’ve got to go.

That is the time we will need a third party.

@ Subotai Bahadur. Agreed. We now have a new keyboarding test script for intermediate school classrooms: “Now is the time for all good men to contribute to the demise of the Institutionalized Republican Party”.

Yes, if you mean can any Republican Presidential candidate of either gender withstand “palinization”. answer: Governor Rick Perry.
Get Katie to comment on Kay Bailey Hutchison’s stupid campaign against Governor Perry in the last governorship election. Rick Perry has NEVER lost an election. Read his book “Fed UP”. The stupidest thing Hutchison’s campaign came up with was “Rick Perry is too good looking, must be gay”. As every Texan knows Rick Perry is and has been completely devoted to his wife, Anita. The media did a palinization on Rick Perry already in last governor’s election. If Hutchison (who by the way, had the full backing of the Bush family) could not find any dirt on Rick Perry and had to make stuff up, then the lamestream media will have to make up dirt too.
Governor Perry is absolutely fearless and has stood up again in this article:
“…Gov. Rick Perry announced he had added legislation that would make it illegal for TSA agents to engage in “intrusive touching” at airports security checkpoints without probable cause to the list of items for the legislature to consider during the special session.
The measure had previously failed to muster enough support in the Texas Senate to come up for a vote because the Justice Department wrote a scathing memo against the bill, which threatened legal action against the state, and the measure became enmeshed in Senate.
Before the Senate took up the bill initially, the Justice Department sent a letter to state advising that passage of the bill would result in immediate legal action by the federal government and that it could result in airline flights to and from Texas being delayed or cancelled… ”

Rick Perry is not afraid of Obama or Eric Holder, much less the lamestream media.

Katie Thompson | June 25, 2011 at 6:01 pm

@beloved2 Amen to that! The lefties try everything they can to smear Perry, but he just keeps on trucking whether he has the media’s support or not. I think few candidates could handle being “Palinized”… Perry’s definitely one of them. 🙂

How is Fed Up? I started reading it a while back but had trouble getting into it.

I have been warning about Palinizing until I am blue in the face. By so many Republicans not defending Palin and piling on, a new standard for attacking ALL Republicans was being set. In 2012 even if we pick the biggest RINO in the bunch, the left will Palinize them.

Many say Palin cannot win, I say she is the only person we have who has experience with dealing with these new levels of attack. Despite the left outrageous and relentless attacks against Palin, Palin has found a way to survive and thrive. She maybe our only hope.

The reason that candidates like Michelle Bachmann when both professional knowledge and personal experience should warn them that this is a bad idea for any candidate in any party to do this is because they are short-sighted idiots. To explain why this is the case let’s wander off topic long enough for me to say that one of my favorite titles for a cartoon book was “Why Worry About Tomorrow When You Can’t Make It Through Today?”. It’s a legitimate question that points out the limits of long term thinking when you consider it though I would insist that the wise man would still give some thought to the coming day if he has any hope at all of making it through the immediate moment. From a weak candidate’s point of view primaries are today and general elections are tomorrow which is why I presume they insist on saying and doing things against a stronger candidate which inevitably come back later to haunt them even if by some chance they do get the nomination. That Miss Bachmann would let her toadies resort to such a tactic against someone who hasn’t even announced yet would seem to be her way of showing that she thinks herself a *very* weak candidate and I am harsh enough to take her at her assessment. <_<

can any republican withstand palinization? depends on the candidates.

remember, obama doesn’t have anything to run on. which means he and his cohorts in the media will employ the harry reid/chris coons model–which is to make his opponent’s fitness and qualifications the issue in 2012.

if the tea partiers elect palin or bachmann, then obama’s job will be easier.

if republicans nominate somebody who is an “acceptable alternative,” then obama will lose if the economy remains in the tank.

oh, and the poll where it shows obama losing to a generic candidate? it shows him losing to a generic REPUBLICAN candidate, NOT a generic TEA PARTY republican. if bachmann wants to overcome her deficiencies with voters outside the tea party base, then she needs to run as more of a republican (ie competent, conservative, qualified, not crazy).

Well, there are a couple rules a Republican candidate needs to follow in order to succeed.
1) Reagan’s 11th Commandment – (Yes I’m talking about Ed Rollins). Save your best shots for your Opponents, not your Allies. Smacking away on fellow Republicans for fairly minor things is dumb, and will not get you support from the MSM or other Liberals. Which leads us to…
2) The Media is not your Friend, no matter how they try to suck up. They don’t care how good you look, they care about how good *they* look. And nothing gives a nice glowing coat of wax and polish to ones Media bona fides, like a three-hour interview summarized into a 10 minute hit piece. Record your interviews with the press, with the willingness to publish the *whole* thing. Restrict your interviews to “friendly” reporters and “neutral” reporters, ignore the crybaby leftists who only exist to stick you in the back. In particular, resist the urge to squish some of the more pesky blogs and minor journalists who run their itty-bitty pi**y hit pieces, and wait with baited breath for you to hit back.
3) Be able to summarize your major plans to fairly simple one or two sentence bites. You will have an advantage over the Democrats in this regard, since their plans seem to be built on clouds. Which leads us to…
4) Stay on target. When given a misleading question, you have to use verbal judo to turn it back in the direction of your talking points. “Have you stopped beating your wife?” should be turned into “As you know, my wife of X years has been fully supportive of our plan to __________ and has campaigned for it in….”
5) Try not to look crazy or stupid. If you do a 3 hour interview, and raise your voice once, guess which part gets on TV? The objective of the Media and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) is to make you look like some frothing loon of the Right-Wing, who could not tie their own shoes. Don’t go monotone on us, (the Al Gore treatment)

In short, be yourself, don’t let it drive you crazy, and remember the taxpayers are your bosses, not your employees.

[…] Legal Insurrection wonders if any Republican candidate can stand being Palinized […]

gary gulrud | June 26, 2011 at 1:19 pm

While Michele is my Rep. I cannot claim any inside info. Nonetheless, I find Professor, your analysis a bit facile considering your customary insight.

Why would Mother B. need a goon like Rollins? Check your post’s headline.

Was “not serious” representative of Rollins at his worst, e.g., might he have done better than “unschooled”, “quitter”, “slutty flight attendant” or “unelectable”?

The week before on Hannity Bachmann had to defend the ‘stalking horse’ charge with “Palin has nothing to do with my running”.

Not saying they do weekly conference calls together, or have never crossed swords, they are working in concert.

[…] In his new Google-free digs, William A. Jacobson asks, “Can any Republican presidential candidate withstand being Palinized?” Filed under: The Making of the President […]

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