Thursday, December 2, 2010

COMMENTARY: The Polarizing "Palin Effect" in Politics

Former Alaska Governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin will visit Columbia tomorrow as she continues to promote her latest book, America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag.  Books-A-Million is hosting a book signing for Palin at its Village at Sandhill store.  The event starts at 6:00 pm.

I'm no Palin fan so I was not among the people standing in line last night to get one of the 500 wristbands Books-A-Million distributed for Friday's event.  As I posted on my personal Facebook and Twitter pages, I drove past the book store on my way to a nearby Starbucks Coffee store and was amazed to see the ticket line stretching halfway around the store at 4:45 pm.  I'm not sure what time Books-A-Million started passing out the wristbands, but The State newspaper reported that by 5:30 pm, most of them had been distributed. I was SMH (Shaking My Head in Twitter language).   Even crazier, in my mind, was the fact that the newspaper r article also included this little tidbit:

"Sarah Palin fans began lining up Tuesday night about 10 p.m. at the Books-A-Million in Northeast Richland for the chance to meet the Republican star." Read the entire article.

I went from SMH to LMBO (Laughing My Butt Off)!!! Those folks need help and if they don't get it at Charter, I hope they get it somewhere. I would not spend a warm night-- let alone a cold one-- outside anyplace trying to get anything.

The discussion on my Facebook page was fairly quiet with all but one person choosing to comment agreeing with me.  The one dissenting comment came from Sonny Young-- who I do not know personally but, in the world of Facebook, is a "friend."

"A lot of you are still upset that you got your butts beat in the last election, wrote Young. "Wait until 2012."

In politics, there is always a winner and a loser so the fact that many-- you can argue most-- Democrats came out on the losing end of the last election is just part of the game. I have no problem with that. It should be noted that I am not registered in either political party and always vote for the candidate who I feel can best do the job at hand. That said, I do have a problem with electing candidates who not only demonstrate, but prove, that they are NOT qualified! That not only speaks to the candidate, but the electorate.

President Obama exits Air Force One
in Dresden, Germany on June 4, 2009.
Photo Credit: Miguel Villagran/Getty Images
Again, it's politics. There are those who believe President Obama was an unqualified candidate in 2008 so it's all in the eye of the beholder. But anybody who-- can't name a newspaper or magazine that they regularly read; claims as foreign policy knowledge the fact that she can see Russia from her back porch; has not travelled outside of the country; added nothing to the campaign of the man who put her on the '08 GOP ticket; then quit on the people who elected her (for whatever reasons) governor of Alaska; and has an irritating voice to boot-- will NEVER be the candidate of choice for this American voter. And, I am AMAZED at the number of people who honestly think she is a viable candidate.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin during a
book signing event on Nov. 27, 2010,
in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Photo Credit: Charlie Neibergall/AP
What is the Palin appeal? I mean, really... what is it? Help me, somebody.  I would really like to-- at least-- try to understand what people see in Sarah Palin that makes them think she is a viable candidate for anything other than, maybe, the Miss Alaska title for which she competed in 1984.  Now, that may seem a bit harsh. Palin did have a successful run serving as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska and I suppose I'll give her the benefit of the doubt for her half-term as governor. But, after Sen. John McCain introduced her as his running mate in August 2008 and she took the podium to give her acceptance speech, McCain had tanked any hopes of earning my vote.  The more Palin talked throughout the remaining campaign, I think she tanked any hopes of earning a lot of votes. I never could understand the rabid nature of the die-hard support for her.

Anyway, I'm sure the event at Books-A-Million will be a huge success tomorrow.  I hear the store required those who received wristbands to buy, not one, but two copies of America By Heart. At the retail price, that's nearly $26,000 in sales.  That is certainly good for Books-A-Million's bottom line and  Sarah Palin's bank account.  But, whatever happens in 2012, I pray that it doesn't include Palin's election as anything.

What do you think? Chime-In!

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