Simon Says What?
I often enjoy hearing what political reporter Roger Simon has to say about presidential politics, but I was disappointed to read his surprisingly predictable don’t count Sarah Palin out column over at today. I assume he was compelled to write the piece by the critical drubbing Palin has taken in the press and polls recently for her controversial remarks on the Arizona tragedy. The clincher for me is Simon’s closing statement that, “Palin still has time to both educate herself and grow more skilled at handling the non-adoring media.”
I have been hearing basically this same comment from nervous Republican political elites for over two years now. I have seen zero (and I do mean zero) evidence during that time that Palin has any intention of improving her grasp of the issues, or of making overtures to anyone she considers to be adversarial media. Those factors are just not central to her conception of political power. As a result, this all Palin needs to do argument has become an easy cliché among political analysts who want to keep her in the 2012 presidential narrative, and I was surprised to see Simon wield it.
As I have written many times before, Palin also needs to show some interest in stepping out of her political comfort zone to build a broader electoral coalition. I don’t think she will, so I don’t see any way that she can conceivably win a general election. Palin may be able to influence the political discourse in the Republican primaries, and perhaps even win her party’s nomination (although I'm skeptical), but that’s about all. As more Republicans come to accept this (and some seem to be), Palin’s path to the nomination will become increasingly difficult.
Note: Back posting on Monday. -Dean

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