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Thursday, January 20, 2011

John Hinderaker's Weak Defense Of His Palin Political Premortem

wrote yesterday about John Hinderaker's post at Powerline, Sarah Palin for President, Forget About It.

While Hinderaker does not respond to my post, he does respond today to a reader letter which made many of the points I made.  Hinderaker's response is a call for realism, that Palin simply does not have a chance based on the recent CNN Poll and other polling showing high unfavorability ratings among Independents:
The purpose of a political party is to win elections. For the Republicans to capture the Presidency in 2012, we need to run the strongest possible candidate. That, quite obviously, is not Sarah Palin. You point out that liberals also attacked Ronald Reagan. That is correct, but their attacks failed because Reagan was not just a great thinker but a great politician. If Reagan had had a 56 percent unfavorability rating among independents, he never would have been elected President, and today he would be an obscure footnote to history. It is precisely because Reagan appealed to independents and Palin does not that Reagan was a good candidate, while Palin would be a bad nominee.
I disagree with the emphasis Hinderaker puts on favorability ratings 22 months out from a general election.  I have been unable to find data on Reagan's favorability ratings almost two years before his first general election, but I would not be surprised to find such ratings to be abysmal. 

We have witnessed in more recent times, however, wide swings over short periods of time in the favorability ratings of candidates and approval ratings of Presidents, as to whom everyone seemed to have an opinion set in stone until those opinions changed. 

Guess which Republican candidate had the highest favorability ratings in August 2007?  Rudy Giuliani, and we saw how that worked out for him.  And in September 2007, Hillary Clinton -- about whom everyone supposedly had an opinion which would not change -- was up 20 points over Barack Obama in presidential preferences among Democrats and up 13 points in favorability rating.

So I don't put much stock in early favorability ratings, which are poor predictors in and of themselves of future political success.  So much can happen during a primary season in which candidates either grow into the role of being presidential material, or they don't. 

That Hinderaker and the media do not view Palin presently as being presidential material (another point made by Hinderaker in his response) does not mean that the electorate will not come to a different conclusion at the time when it counts.

And of course, events beyond a candidate's control can change everything.  In 2012, give us $5 gas, 9%+ unemployment, a nuclear armed Iran, or a "lost" Iraq or Afghanistan, and then tell me about favorability ratings.

So on the meaning of current favorability ratings, I just don't buy into Hinderaker's analysis.

But there is an even larger issue which Hinderaker does not address, a question raised by his reader and by me:  Why now?

Of all the moments to let loose on Palin, why on the cusp of the media assault over the Tucson shooting, which was not only a media attack on Palin but also on the entire conservative movement?

Remember, while Palin was the focus of media attention because of the phony supposed connection of her electoral map to the shooting, there was a broader media attack on "right-wing vitriol," conservative talk show hosts, and other Republican politicians such as Michele Bachmann.

Why at such a critical moment in time would one of the most widely read conservative blogs run a headline declaring the candidacy of Palin over?

Hinderaker never addresses that question, which I believe is what upsets people the most. 

There is no need for uniformity of opinion, but there also is no need for gratuitous piling on in a manner which empowers those who willingly smear leading Republican figures.

Update:  I should add that Hinderaker's conclusion, that Palin cannot win a general election, may end up being correct, but there is no way to know now based on favorability ratings.  The same could be said of every other candidate, each of whom has significant weaknesses which the media will exploit.  The point I have made consistently is not that we should anoint a nominee now, but that we should not throw our candidates overboard in reaction to media-driven negatives.  Let the primary process work, and do not feed the mainstream media beast with campaign carcasses of our own doing.

--------------------------------------------
Related Posts:
Memo to the Right: "The Lombardi Rule" Is In Effect
Operation Demoralize Is Working

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38 comments:

  1. I can't seem to find the page again but on Technorati a few days ago I noticed that Surber was rising and Powerline was falling.

    I wasn't surprised.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hinderaker is not an impartial bystander. He has made it very obvious for years that he is Tim Pawlenty's main man in the blogosphere. He deliberately timed this latest salvo on Palin to knee-cap Palin when she was somewhat vulnerable. Does he not realize that by attacking a Tea Party favorite, he is further damaging the GOP's image with those of us who have already abandoned the GOP?

    The missing factor in Hinderaker's analysis is that the GOP is even less popular today than it was after losing the 2006 and 2008 elections. For him to be making loose statements about what constitutes a "strongest" candidate while being a shill for Pawlenty completely ignores the most glaring factor that will determine the fate of the GOP in 2012: voters have organized to protest how his establishment team decides what is a "strong" candidate. We have already rejected the country club process. Stop trying to cram it down our throats AGAIN!

    Hinderaker is part of the GOP problem. If his man best bud Pawlenty flounders, he will quickly jump over to the Romney camp.

    If the Tea Party plays its cards right and one of our candidates finds a way, we could see an Abe Lincoln lead the Tea Party Republicans into a new party just as Lincoln took one-third of the Whigs with him into the Republican Party and replacing it as the "other" major party.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Why the sudden caving? Mark Tapscott over at the Washington Examiner echoes (and quotes) Hinderaker.

    I wonder if it's these guys who can't stand the heat in the kitchen. Their response seems to be emotional rather than rational. Talk about abysmal polls, what about George W. Bush's polls? And now, without any campaigning, he's gained 10 points. Polls are a snapshot based almost entirely on emotion.

    Given the 100% fail rate of previous predictions of Palin's demise (remember the outbreak when she resigned as governor?), you would think smart people would breathe deeply and take a walk around the block before joining in.

    ReplyDelete
  4. While it's not 1978, there's a 1980 article from Time that has some polling data that showed Reagan 25 points behind Carter in March of that year. Some of their "Reagan cannot win" analysis echoes what's said about Palin: http://is.gd/e6cpUp

    In defense of Power Line and John Hinderaker, he makes it clear in his original post that he likes Palin quite a bit. My "take" is that he was coming from a "practical politics" point of view, at least in his opinion. While I disagree with him, I don't think it fair of some commenters around the blogosphere to imply he's (or the guys at Hot Air) just a Pawlenty-shill. The Minnesotans on that blog like Pawlenty, who has a good record as governor, but they're also intellectually honest and have integrity.

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  5. @pubsecrets:

    Are you familiar with the expression "Damning with faint praise"? Hinderaker is being intellectually cute (if not outright dishonest) by prefacing his damning comments with "while I like Palin a lot". It's the very same strategy being used by other GOP point men like Newt Gingrich and David Frum who are offering her unsolicited friendly "advice" to "slow down" and "tone it down". It's an attempt to quietly escort her out of a room full of friends where she is the most popular person in the room without coming off as a heel.

    And I used to comment at Powerline up until they shut that down. I still admire Powerline and miss the Forum section which was probably the most erudite and sophisticated comment site in the blogosphere. But I am very disappointed with their political tone-deafness when it comes to the GOP.

    ReplyDelete
  6. "In defense of Power Line and John Hinderaker, he makes it clear in his original post that he likes Palin quite a bit." Bullshit.

    Powerline has been maligning Palin since she was McCain's running mate.

    Many conservative pundits have been attacking Palin from the start, and most take every opportunity to twist the knife (oops).

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anyone with access to Lexis/Nexis? I'd be interested to see what Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager have to say about Palin as well. I do know that Prager was very much in favor of her use of the term "blood libel."

    ReplyDelete
  8. Rush is reading your post "We Just Witnessed The Media's Test Run To Re-Elect..." right now. Congrats :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Rush-talanche. Is that phrase allowed?

    ReplyDelete
  10. During the lead up to the 2008 presidential campaign, we conservatives were told that in order to win the Oval Office, we must move more to the center (talking head speak for Republicans needed to move more to the left) to appeal to a wider base and becoming a "big tent" party. My argument against that was if we, as conservatives, became more like the liberals, why would anyone vote for liberal lite and not the real thing.

    I knew the fix was in to manipulate the public opinion when the New York Times came out for John McCain on the (R) ticket. The NYTimes, the bastion of liberal media, backed the candidate they thought Obama could most easily defeat. And they were right. McCain was a weak candidate, with too much left of center voting baggage and McCain could not build energy within the party itself.

    Those talking heads who said that Republicans needed to become more like Democrats in order to win were wrong. And we have now seen the results of their being wrong.

    Polls, almost two years out are simply meaningless. Professor is right, Americans, with their short attention spans, will not start to concentrate on the 2012 election until the primaries are well into swing. By then, a lot can change; higher unemployment rates (or even static unemployment rates), an economy that is not really seeing any marked improvement, war on two fronts still continuing, the national debt continuing to increase. Lots of factors are in play two years out.

    Rick Moran held much the same view in 2008 as John from Powerline does today; the word on the street is X,Y, and Z can't win so bail out now. Moran was one of those who advocated conservative Republicans moving to the "center" in order to hold on to the Oval Office in November, 2008.

    Moran was wrong; Powerline is wrong. Anyone who thinks that by throwing a core conservative under the bus because the MSM is on a witch hunt, will only contribute to the reelection of Barack Obama, Jr. in November, 2012.

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  11. I would agree people shouldn't dismiss Palin's candidacy based solely on one snapshot poll.

    My opposition to Palin isn't based on one poll; and it's not because I'm a RINO (I'm not) or because I've been brainwashed by the MSM (I haven't). It's based on my sincere judgment that there's a very large segment of the electorate who do not accept that Palin is qualified to be president.

    I would absolutely support a candidate who is just as or perhaps even more conservative than Palin.

    What the GOP needs in '12 is a true conservative who is both articulate and knowledgeable in representing those values and policies. I believe Palin is genuinely conservative and that she would govern accordingly; however, I do not think she is capable of persuading those not already firmly in her ideological camp that her way -- our way -- is best for the country. She has the right instincts, and loads of folksy charm, but people do not perceive that she has the intellectual depth or adroitness to handle the challenges and pressures of the presidency.

    She's also incredibly polarizing. It may not be fair or deserved, but Palin's every move and pronouncement seems to ignite a national controversy that takes days to quell. Do we really need our nominee to be such a lightning rod? Aren't there candidates who are at least as conservative, experienced, and articulate as Palin who don't generate such hostile reactions among such a vast swath of the electorate.

    In the aftermath of 2008, my hope would have been for Palin to gain more experience and "seasoning" as a national figure and to demonstrate through word and deed that her unfortunate moments during the campaign were not indicative of her actual abilities. IOW, I wanted her to establish her bona fides as an intelligent, thoughtful, and articulate conservative voice. She's done some of that, I guess, but mainly she seems focused on being "Sarah Palin, scourge of the liberal elites." At a time she should (IMO) be working in a think tank or giving lectures, she's spending her time on reality TV and Twitter. This is not the way to win BACK the huge bloc of voters who were initially captivated by her in 2008 but who quickly arrived at the conclusion she was not presidential material.

    If you think that this critique is somehow ideologically-based, try this experiment: Imagine Sarah Palin in all the ways you have seen or heard her. Now imagine that she is a LIBERAL rather than a conservative. Once you have that image in your mind, ask yourselves whether that person strikes you as someone who should hold all of the power and prestige of the presidency. When I did this, it dawned on me that, no, I'm not at all comfortable with Sarah Palin as president, DESPITE her inarguable conservatism -- at least as long as there are more impressive conservative candidates out there.

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  12. "and do not feed the mainstream media beast with campaign carcasses of our own doing." except Romney, right? Please say right. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  13. God, I am so tired of this conversation. This is not how we pick a nominee. Polls don't mean diddly. She runs. She wins or loses.

    I'm more interested in figuring out how we keep the other guys from voting in our primaries. And, while we're at it, wouldn't it be great if we picked debate moderators who understood and asked questions about things Republicans care about, for a change?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Um, sorry. That wasn't aimed at this blog. I think I've just read one too many Palin pieces today. Here's how that goes:

    THE INTERNET: Palin, Palin, Palin, Palin, Palin, Palin, Palin, Palin, Palin, Palin, Palin.

    ME: would you please shut up?

    THE INTERNET: ZOMG, you Palinistas won't let anyone criticize Queen Sarah!

    ReplyDelete
  15. http://www.therightscoop.com/rush-palin-would-wipe-the-floor-with-obama

    ReplyDelete
  16. Advice to all my conservative brethren.

    You think you know who is the better candidate? Fine. Tell us about it by talking up your favorite(s).

    Engage in any trashing of other potential candidates - no matter how 'goodwilled' you claim to be - and I will either consider you unworthy of attention or (more likely) in need of some serious ripping.

    Hinderaker, as noted, is merely acting as an attack dog for his chosen one.

    It's my new civility, but it's your choice really.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Bill, regarding this:

    "I disagree with the emphasis Hinderaker puts on favorability ratings 22 months out from a general election. I have been unable to find data on Reagan's favorability ratings almost two years before his first general election, but I would not be surprised to find such ratings to be abysmal."

    There is a site -- this one, where someone with a current subscription to the Gallup database over the years, could go to to research Gallup Poll surveys over time to determine what Ronald Reagan's popularity was at various points along the way.

    Without the subscription, you get everything but the answers!

    Unfortunately, as I read the site conditions, they are apparently not taking new subscriptions for access to the database.

    If you do a simple search of the Gallup site for "Ronald Reagan" you will get 88 pages of questions asked in their polls, with a total of 874 such queries found. Scroll back to page "81" (which spells out poll questions that were asked over time that asked anything related to Ronald Reagan, from way back in 1973 if you like. And then go forward to the election of 1980, in to get a picture over that time period of the "waxing and waning" levels of popularity of the pre-Presidential Ronald Reagan.

    With respect to understanding Reagan's changing fortunes over time, all of that certainly needs to be understood and carefully measured in conjunction with this measure of Presidential popularity!

    According to a piece Walter Shapiro wrote in the New York Times (back in 2007) polls taken one year out as a measure of predictive ability for figuring who would be the Democrat nominee are notoriously bad. And that certainly ended up being the case in 2008 as well.

    As for Republican presidential candidate predictability, again in the case of polls taken only one year out, they have been much more accurate over time. But that is only true for that narrow period of time -- one year.

    I agree with your point, and your basic question.

    Why now?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I can't speak for the veracity, but a poster called portlandon posted this on HotAir today:

    Time Magazine – March 31, 1980

    “National opinion polls continue to show Carter leading Reagan by an apparently comfortable margin of about 25%. They also show that more moderate Republicans like Ford would run better against the President. This suggests that Reagan is not the strongest G.O.P. choice for the November election and that he clearly faces an uphill battle.”

    “Party operatives are plainly unhappy with his selection. In Massachusetts, where both Bush and Anderson defeated Reagan, party leaders are not yet reconciled to the Reagan candidacy. Says one: “There’s a vacuum of leadership at the national level; and what appears to be the Republican Party’s response? A 69-year-old man who has done virtually nothing for years”

    “Reagan has a history of committing rhetorical blunders that drive away voters. His quest in 1976 was damaged when he suggested vaguely, without proper research and consideration, that $90 billion in federal programs should be turned back to the states. He then spent months explaining that the affected programs would not be eliminated, only transferred. As Governor, Reagan was outraged by student unrest and once proclaimed: “The state of California has no business subsidizing intellectual curiosity.”

    “Worse perhaps than the verbal gaffe is Reagan’s relentlessly simple-minded discussion of complex problems. He is aware that he is charged with this failing, and in his 1967 inaugural address on becoming Governor of California, he asserted: “We have been told there are no simple answers to complex problems. Well, the truth is there are simple answers, just not easy ones.”

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  19. Wow.

    For the most part the above posters are grabbing at straws. Do you honestly believe that you are making a strong case for Palin when you say, "oh, this data won't be good a couple of years from now."

    We have data now, today, that says people greatly dislike her. Back during the healthcare debate, we made the same argument... 50 to 60 percent of the country was against the HC bill, and we considered that a strong majority. Now that over 55 percent of independents dislike her, you are just writing off the data! That's not logical, or even substantiated. You're just saying, "oh, we don't know for sure." Maybe, but we have a damn good idea!!! Your argument is essentially just a big logical fallacy.

    If you want Obama to win, continue to ignore the fact that independents are key to victory in a general election. Continue to ignore the months and months of data that suggest Palin is losing support among independents, and not gaining it, and most of all... understand that you have zero analysis as to why or how Palin will be able to turn this tide around. You have nothing, no evidence to suggest that independents will swing back her way. But we do have evidence that her overexposure has made things worse. We have evidence that America unites against her and her family.

    I want a GOP White House in 2012, which is why I cannot support her--I do not attack her person, I do not insult her, I simply cannot support her.

    Why make this argument now, you ask Prof. Jacobson. Because we need to beat Obama! If you want to do that, stop supporting Palin! She's toxic. Liberals want her to run, pragmatic conservatives do not.

    ReplyDelete
  20. In 1980, I was working for a major northeast public radio station and the backup telex that continuously printed news wires was in my office. On election day in November 1980, I went to work convinced that Reagan was so far behind that he couldn't win. I voted for him anyway. I was the only Reagan supporter at the entire station, or at least the only one who had the guts to say so.

    The mood that morning was far from ecstatic but certainly gleeful with a sense that Carter had it in the bag. As the wires repeatedly reported that the polls had tightened overnight and that exit polls were showing a tighter race than expected, the fear of a bad surprise steadily grew. At about 7pm, I left a glum station with a big Cheshire cat grin. So much for polls.

    One of the reasons it looked hopeless for Reagan right up to election day was that the establishment Republicans wanted him to lose and had played the same "damning with faint praise" game that they are playing today with Palin. Make no mistake about it, Republicans hate conservatives at least as much as do the Democrats and they don't want us in their country club. They want our money and our votes, but not us nor our ideas.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hinderaker is fundamentally right. Palin is already a big loser, if she chooses to run. Despite endless lefty claims that Obama owes his election to them (his base) and assertions from the right that winning is simple matter of revving up conservative voters with strong and unambiguous stands, national elections are and always have been decided by swing voters (independents and moderates in both parties). If you closely compare the 2004 and 2008 election results, you can literally see the swing voters swinging from GOP to Dem.

    This is so obvious and well established that to argue that it may not be so is to reveal oneself as not serious. How or why a candidate wins over swing voters is another matter, of course. In 2008, it was the scary economic implosion. In 1980, it was Carter's being battered by stagflation, the Kennedy primary challenge, and the glaring, embarrassing incompetence of his response to the Iranian hostage crisis.

    And the fact is that Palin is already in the dog house without hope of escape where swing voters are concerned. It's not just that her unfavorability with independents has peaked near 60 percent in the poll cited by Hinderraker. In the Gallup polls taken continuously since December 2008, she has never scored above 44 percent favorability among independents. Fair or not, these decisive voters have made up their minds for a long time now that that don't like and that she is not Presidential material.

    Now, there is no question that Palin has been treated disgracefully by the MSM. Be that as it may, politics is a tough racket, and Palin has not measured up to the challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Like 49erDweet and viator on an earlier thread, I'm a bit suspect of those who too eagerly make the unseemly argument, like sincrinon above, that Palin is so "toxic" that people, including independents, will not vote for her.

    I detect the unmistakable smell of a control troll.

    You see, Sincrinon just joined the conversation . . . anywhere!

    Google says, two hits total, both being comments linked here on Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, one yesterday and one today!

    Both, incidentally were attacks on Sarah Palin as being "toxic" whilst seemingly being enthusiastic about beating Obama.

    And, as it says in his/her AOL Lifestream profile, "sincrinon just joined Lifestream to get all their social network updates in one place."

    Hmmmmm . . . "just joined" . . .

    And, the profile further says:

    "We couldn't find any visible activities in this person's Lifestream."

    Neither could we "sincrinon." Neither could we!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Trochilus - you would be better off dealing with the fact that Palin has become toxic, or ar least deeply unpopular, with independent voters than just shooting the messenger.

    ReplyDelete
  24. As for those who seem to be making a living calling Sarah Palin "toxic," Victor Davis Hanson has just published a great piece summing up the essence of that attempt.

    I for one refuse, to participate in any effort to give the left help in such an ugly enterprise. And that's what this is all about.

    She may rise or fall in the Presidential primary sweepstakes, but that should be a result of her making or breaking herself politically on her own terms, not as a result of being unfairly pilloried by calumny. Nor is it appropriate to use that attack to suggest that this might be the time for her to remove herself from consideration.

    Currently, I am not a supporter of Sarah Palin or of any other specific candidate for President in 2012, though if she were to earn that honor, I would very actively and enthusiastically support her candidacy, as I no doubt would, whoever else might become the Republican nominee. I think I'd like to hear a bit more about what each of the candidates wants to do before making any such commitment.

    But as far as I'm concerned, not defending her and other conservatives that have been attacked by name, virtually as being accessories to murder in this tide of venom floating around since January 8th, is in my mind a form of dereliction. That lie cannot be allowed to stand. None of it. Suggesting somehow that she should stand down, regardless of any connection, is not just a case of bad timing. It amounts to creating a diversion, one that would leave her, in essence, holding the bag. What a disgrace!

    By the way, in his conclusion VDH takes the long view of why people fear Sarah Palin:

    " . . . Palin need not run for the presidency in 2012 in the manner commentator and newly elected governor Reagan did not until 1968, and did not successfully until 1980 — all the while establishing a populist conservative persona as hated — and successful — during his near two-decade pre-presidential career as a younger Palin might be in the two decades ahead.

    Palin is scary not so much in 2012, but that she could be around — and be around in an evolving way — for a long time to come."

    ReplyDelete
  25. @Trochilus

    Palin is toxic because she cannot win a general election. Supporting Palin results in an Obama victory. Deal with it. This is not a matter of ad hominem--I have not insulted her person or family in any way--it's a matter of the right tool for the right job. Can Palin win a general election, yes or no? All evidence we have, quite substantial and trending as Burke mentions above, points to a clear "nay."

    This is a logical problem. Select the right politician for the right position. Unless you simply do not care about the outcome of the 2012 election, and are willing to give it up to Obama.

    There is a reason why liberals would LOVE if Palin won the GOP primary, and it's the same reason many smart conservatives do not want her to run.

    Just looking at your language, you seem to welcome martyring the GOP for the sake of... what exactly? Sarah Palin? You are just as guilty of the cult of personality as the Obama Zombies, and this is clouding any reasoning you "might" have.

    ReplyDelete
  26. sincrinon

    Who decided that Sarah Palin is toxic, oh yeah the media and the powers that be. All the evidence we had is what? Polls?? Remember that Hillary was leading Obama by 20 points in a lot of polls in 2007 and early 2008 and the result was what in November of 2008??

    Who is the right politician for the right position and what positions should they take?? Left Center, Far Left, Center Right, Far Right, Neo left, Neo Right , Center? what?? There is no right politician for the right position, there is no such animal. If there such a thing, 2/3 of Congress, the Senate and almost 95% of the people working in Washington DC would have been kicked out, replaced and in jail and replaced by competent people who not only know what they are doing, but understand the responsibilities they have to the American people.

    I don't get it, if the Left wants Sarah Palin to win the GOP nomination, would it much better to give Sarah a good press until after she wins the GOP nomination where they can deliver a crippling blow to her candidacy and ensure another 4 years of Obama presidency?? Because what you posted makes no sense considering that the MSM and the Left in general are doing everything in their power to get her out of politics permanently( short of throwing her to jail or worse) and half of the GOP are cooperating to achieved that same goal.

    If the GOP wants to be a viable political party for conservatives,then stopped being a liberal lite and gather some spine too.

    ReplyDelete
  27. This Conservative will not fall for the media "picking" the Republican nominee as so many did in 2008 with McCain.

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  28. I wish more people on our side would at least defend Palin. Don’t support her for president if she’s not the best choice, but she’s a fighter on our side. We should treat her as such.

    ReplyDelete
  29. "Smart conservatives" sincrinon? Hm. Don't like the sound of that. And I notice you don't address the part where you didn't exist before yesterday.

    My memory matches pasadenaphil's (and that Time article). I was twenty in 1980, so it was the first presidential election I was eligible to vote in. I wasn't very political, but I hated Carter. The conventional wisdom was, Carter had it in the bag. Reagan didn't have a chance. Even those smart conservatives were sure of it.

    When I woke up to the Reagan landslide, it was like Christmas morning.

    ReplyDelete
  30. "For weeks before the presidential election, the gurus of public opinion polling were nearly unanimous in their findings. In survey after survey, they agreed that the coming choice between President Jimmy Carter and Challenger Ronald Reagan was "too close to call." A few points at most, they said, separated the two major contenders.

    But when the votes were counted, the former California Governor had defeated Carter by a margin of 51% to 41% in the popular vote—a rout for a U.S. presidential race. In the electoral college, the Reagan victory was a 10-to-l avalanche that left the President holding only six states and the District of Columbia."

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,924541,00.html#ixzz1Bfex6zQ0

    ReplyDelete
  31. In January 1980 Gallup had Carter polling at 62 Reagan 33. So Palin is actually polling better right now against Obama than Reagan was against Carter ten months before the 1980 election.


    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:UUrRb9ggO0EJ:209.157.64.200/focus/f-news/2119163/posts+reagan+carter+polls&cd=9&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

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  32. Dear he/she who is demonstrably new (by this name of "sincrinon") to the internet, but who even insists on have been involved in debates here during the Brown/Coakley race:

    Methinks you either missed my comment responding to J.E.Burke, above, or you chose to ignore it.

    You now say:

    "There is a reason why liberals would LOVE if Palin won the GOP primary, and it's the same reason many smart conservatives do not want her to run."

    Looks like you just got your answer to that from "Will," above. "Will" makes several valid points that entirely vitiate your charge. Because you choose to ignore him, I'll just take the opportunity to reinforce what he said by putting it another way.

    There is an old adage in politics that one should, "Never shoot a man who is committing suicide."

    If you on the left truly believed that Sarah Palin was so "toxic" that she is unelectable, you'd sit back with big smirks on your faces at this point, and just watch the show. You would WANT her to be nominated! But the truth is that the left does not believe anything of the kind. There is too much time, and the recent personal attacks against her, including falsely charging her with complicity in a mass murder and the attempted assassination of a Congresswoman, provide clear proof that the left is still hell-bent on politically killing her, by whatever means they believe are necessary.

    And then, brand new commenter, you added, about me:

    "Just looking at your language, you seem to welcome martyring the GOP for the sake of... what exactly? Sarah Palin? You are just as guilty of the cult of personality as the Obama Zombies, and this is clouding any reasoning you "might" have.

    Actually, I answered that presumptive little falsehood before you even asked it by making it clear that I do not now support Sarah Palin for President, and, that it is too early for me to support anyone.

    But, she is certainly as entitled as anyone to compete, and not to be forced to remove herself from consideration now, especially if it is done in the face of the vile and utterly false charges that have been aimed at her by the left arising out of that horrid incident in Arizona.

    Personally, I want to hear the national exchange before making up my mind on anyone.

    You, on the other hand, are seeking to have her peremptorily sidelined, not for any intelligible reason, but because of your "conclusion" -- two years out -- that she is so "toxic" that she is unelectable.

    Who is the one with the clouded reasoning?

    But I can understand if your latest snarky comments here are focused on a personal attack on me. It seems to be what you do best. Fine. After all, I made the point that there are serious questions regarding your comments.

    But, I backed it up factually. Since then, S. Weasel, above, called you on that again, yet you still refuse to respond.

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  33. Trochilus sez:
    "If you on the left truly believed that Sarah Palin was so "toxic" that she is unelectable, you'd sit back with big smirks on your faces at this point, and just watch the show. You would WANT her to be nominated!"

    ta-daa! there is the answer right there....if she WAS so unelectable they would sit back and actually encourage her to run. Sarah represents the values of the majority of this country and identifies with the ordinary joes. She won't get the black vote, with them voting 98% for Obama, but that is merely identity politics of the most superficial type. What she needs is Herman Cain. Wouldn't that be a show to watch? The first female president and the first TRUE African-American as veep. Voting Americans aren't as dumb as the MSM wants them to be.

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  34. @sincrinon:

    This post was about the position taken by John Hinderaker of Powerline on a potential Palin candidacy. Now, I highly respect John, and have enjoyed his incisive commentary for years. Even though I disagree with him on this issue, I fully expect to agree with his insights and find common cause with many of his conclusions well into the future.

    I would only add that John made the following valid point in response to a critic on this topic:

    "[N]o one on this web site [Powerline] has failed to respond aggressively to the unfair--obscene, really--attacks on Sarah Palin by the Left. On the contrary, I have defended her as vigorously as any commentator, and will continue to do so."

    And here is a link to just the latest of those prior defenses coming from Hinderaker, in which he noted a long history of vicious Democrat attacks against Republicans, including attacks made against Abraham Lincoln!

    "Then, as now, the most vicious rhetorical flourishes were all coming from Democrats. That seems to be a constant through our history, going back to the days when Abraham Lincoln was an illiterate gorilla. Sarah Palin should take comfort from the fact that the Democrats haven't said much of anything about her (gender differences accounted for, of course) that they didn't also say about Lincoln."

    So, here is a challenge for you, Mr/Ms new commenter, sincrinon.

    Please post a link on this thread showing where you even once defended Sarah Palin in particular, and other conservatives in general, against the scurrilous charges by Democrats that her political rhetoric was somehow responsible for the Arizona shooting committed by Jared Loughner.

    And if, for the very obvious reasons I documented above, you are incapable of doing so, how about cobbling one together, and posting it . . . right here, right now?

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  35. It's a good thing John Hinderaker isn't leading House Republicans - I can see him throwing in the towel once Harry Ried told him not to bother with the Obamacare repeal.

    Hinderaker ignores the fact that Sarah Palin almost completely ran the table in the candidates she backed for the November elections. He also ignores the conservative landslides that swept the country at the state and local levels as well, landslides inspired in no small degree by Palin's leadership in the TEA party cause.

    By Hinderaker's reasoning, TEA party voters should have quit in the face of all the slanders against them and just gone home. That's not the reasoning of a conservative, but of an establishment handringer with no guts for the fight and no faith in the judgement of a vast bloc of like-minded voters who just carved a swath across the American political landscape.

    Hinderaker can leave the job of judging Palin to those people, thanks very much.

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  36. BTW, loved this comment at another blog:

    "Little Green Power Lines"

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  37. I like John H, and much of his analysis. But in this case, I don't believe he likes Sarah Palin.
    But I believe he, John, believes he does like her.

    This dishonesty, to himself, is one of the key Liberal issues, that Ayn Rand was also guilty of.
    Every smart person is smart enough to lie to themselves, so as to believe the lie.

    Even me, even you, even John. And Sarah, and Obama.

    How to know? John didn't link to any posts of his that were clearly positive about Sarah. That's how you treat folks you like, you're positive about their positive parts. I don't get that from John, but I stopped reading him every day, too, so I might have missed it.

    I like Sarah. I'm sure I'll vote for the Rep nominee. I voted for McCain, despite not liking him, as better than Obama. Will Frum and John H vote for, and advocate for, a Rep Pres candidate Palin against Obama? If not, I don't want to listen to their rationalizations.

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