Opinion

Opinion

Sarah Palin for president? Bring it on

February 14, 2010

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Dear Sarah Palin:

I hear you’re pondering a run for the White House in 2012. Last week, you told Fox news it would be “absurd” to rule it out.

I’m writing to ask that you rule it in. I very badly want you to run for — and “win” — the Republican nomination for the presidency.

I know you’re waiting for the punch line. Maybe you figure I think you’d be a weak candidate who would pave the way for President Obama’s easy re-election.

That’s not it. No, I want you to run because I believe a Palin candidacy would force upon this country a desperately needed moment of truth. It would require us to finally decide what kind of America we want to be.

Mrs. Palin, you are an avatar of the shameless hypocrisy and cognitive disconnection that have driven our politics for the last decade, a process of stupidification creeping like kudzu over our national life.

As Exhibit A, consider your recent speech at a so-called “tea party” event, wherein you dismissed the president as a “charismatic guy with a teleprompter.” Bad enough you imply that teleprompter use is the mark of an insubstantial man, even though you and every other major politician uses them. But what made the comment truly jaw-dropping is that even as you spoke, you had penned on your left palm, clearly visible, a series of crib notes.

Mrs. Palin, if Obama is an idiot for reading a prepared speech off a teleprompter, what are you for reading notes you’ve inked on your hand like a school kid who failed to study for the big test?

In the Fox interview, you scored Obama for supposedly expecting Americans to “sit down and shut up” and accept his policies. But when asked when the president has ever said that, you couldn’t answer. Obama, you sputtered, has just been condescending with his “general persona.”

I found that a telling moment. See, ultimately what you represent is not conservatism. Heck, I suspect that somewhere, Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan are spinning like helicopter rotors at the very idea.

No, you represent the latest iteration of an anti-intellectualism that periodically rises in the American character. There is, historically and persistently, a belief in us that y’all just can’t trust nobody who acts too smart or talks too good — in other words, somebody whose “general persona” indicates they may have once cracked a book or had a thought. Americans tend to believe common sense the exclusive province of humble folks without sheepskins on the wall or big words in their vocabularies.

I don’t mock those people. They are my parents, my family elders, members of my childhood church. I honor their native good sense, what mom called “mother wit.” But if it is insulting to condescend to them, it is equally insulting to mythologize them.

More to the point, something is wrong when we celebrate mental mediocrity like yours under the misapprehension that competence or, God forbid, “intelligence,” makes a person one of those “elites” — that’s a curse word now — lacking authenticity, compassion and common sense.

So no, this is not a clash of ideologies, but a clash between intelligence and its opposite. And I am tired of being asked to pretend stupid is a virtue. That’s why I’d welcome the moment of truth your campaign would bring. It would force us to decide once and for all whether we are permanently committed to the path of ignorance, of birthers, truthers and tea party incoherence you represent, or whether we will at last turn back from the cliff toward which we race.

If the latter, wonderful, God bless America. If the former, well, some of us can finally quit hoping the nation will return to its senses and plan accordingly. Either way, we need to know, and your candidacy would tell us. If you love this country, Mrs. Palin, you can do it no greater service.

Run, Sarah, run.

— Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald. He chats with readers from noon to 1 p.m. CDT each Wednesday on www.MiamiHerald.com. lpitts@miamiherald.com

Comments

anon1958 5 years, 3 months ago

Please O please Sara, run for president. So much fun will be had at your expense, I just cant imagine how boring it will be without you.

mr_right_wing 5 years, 3 months ago

'Sarah Palin for president? Bring it on'

No...leave it alone.

I'd prefer someone else....someone please step forward!

Go home Sarah.

grammaddy 5 years, 3 months ago

Run, Sarah! PLEASE!! Thank you Leonard for another great piece. Very entertaining.

BrianR 5 years, 3 months ago

The idea that people actually believe they find a granule of substance in Sarah Palin makes me fear for the future of the U.S. I guess we really have dumbed down to the point that people think Sarah is terrific.

Sarah, GTF out of the GOP and, while you're at it, stay away from cameras and microphones too.

trinity 5 years, 3 months ago

"mental mediocrity"...exactly! sp won't get out, period; quintessential attention hoor.

Liberty275 5 years, 3 months ago

I think she needs two terms in the senate before running. After we kick out obama, we need a very strong and well-proven leader to undo the damage mr dopey hopey changey liar is doing with his collectivist agenda. Idealogically, Palin has the right stuff, but I'm not sure she yet has the thick skin needed to shut down career thieving scumbags like pelosi, reid, frank and schumer.

Scott Drummond 5 years, 3 months ago

"No, I want you to run because I believe a Palin candidacy would force upon this country a desperately needed moment of truth. It would require us to finally decide what kind of America we want to be."

No. Our futures are far too important to play such rhetorical games. Allowing this spokesperson for the right wing fringe to move one step closer to legitimacy is far too dangerous. One only has to remember the stolen elections of george w. bush to understand the catastrophic danger of allowing these elements to come close enough to grasp control of the country. If the republican party ever wants to return to relevancy (and they may not) their leaders need to deep six this rouge, and soon.

ivalueamerica 5 years, 3 months ago

The main reason I do not want Palin to run is because I think Tina Fey is already over-extended and I do not want 30-Rock to suffer.

Otherwise, the biggest joke since Dan Quayle would be funny as anything.

georgiahawk 5 years, 3 months ago

tom, if the left had put out a bimbo like Palin as their face, you would be attacking her with the same vigor that the left is attacking her. By the way, I do not find her sexy at all. Every time she gets all snotty ("how is that hopey changey thing workin out for ya") I just about throw up! I do not understand how any intelligent conservative can back her with the exception that she may make a good puppet for the neocons.

mom_of_three 5 years, 3 months ago

I liked this piece by Pitts. Although I shudder at the thought of Palin running for President to see if we are a country of birthers, truthers, and tea partiers...because I hate to think how many people do not use common sense when they follow those movements. Those movements do force people to think, however, they don't necessarily think for themselves and just follow the herd.

Greenbird 5 years, 3 months ago

Sarah Palin becomes POTUS--"Ow My Balls" becomes #1 hit TV show. 'Nuff said.

puddleglum 5 years, 3 months ago

pilgrim2 "There's that looney left superiority complex again. Looks like the loons are going to stick with their favorite campaign slogan, “You're an idiot! Vote for me!”"

well pilgrim, if thats what you are hearing.........

Kathy Getto 5 years, 3 months ago

Palin is not a conservative. Intelligent conservatives do not back her and did not back her, that's why Obama won the election.

puddleglum 5 years, 3 months ago

actually, I think what lenno is trying to say is that if sarah can somehow get nominated, the republican party will have to split in two.

God how i wish it would.

If fiscal responsibility, pro-amercian business, corporate taxation, anti-trust watchdogism, pro-gun, pro-drag cars, pro-education, environmental responsibility, corporate-welfare elimination, and a u.s.a.-first platform were to arise, I would be the first in line.... vote puddleglum for govenor of Kansas, it may be your only hope.

yourworstnightmare 5 years, 3 months ago

Pitts is dead-on with this column. With claws out an teeth beared, Pitts describes Palin as what she is. It is good to see writers and Americans on the right and left starting to stand up against the angry, anti-intellectual populism that Palin capitalizes on.

Angry populism can win many battles, but it cannot, and never has, won the war. Witness the Populists of the early 20th century, right here in Kansas. They crop up now and again, this time in right wing angry populism, but they never carry the day.

verity 5 years, 3 months ago

While I think Mr. Pitts wrote a well-thought-out column, I tend to agree with Scott. By the way, did you use rouge instead of rogue on purpose? Funny either way.

Georgiahawk hits it with "she may make a good puppet for the neocons." My perception is that they thought she would be another George W. Bush who they could manipulate to their ends. But Palin is no George Bush and has no idea how deeply stupid she is. The neocons couldn't control her, so they have moved on, but so far they haven't found a replacement.

Sarah Palin is starting t make George W. Bush look good---and that is quite a feat.

verity 5 years, 3 months ago

Puddleglum, you keep toying with us, but I have yet to see any action.

Run, Puddleglum, run.

beatrice 5 years, 3 months ago

I give Republicans more credit than this. If she runs -- and she just might -- she will get creamed in the debates against her fellow Repbulicans. Think they would go easy on her for quitting as governor? No chance. However, she may also run as an independent party candidate, which would be terrific. Take money and votes away from conservaties, that would be fine with me.

In the end it won't matter, since Obama will win a second term, easily.

Kathy Getto 5 years, 3 months ago

Pil says" “You're too stupid to make a wise decision, I'll make it for you,” “You don't know what's good for you, so I'll tell you what to do,” and yada, yada, yada are nauseatingly repetitious."

You mean like a woman's choice to make informed decisions? Hmmmmmmm.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 3 months ago

Humm, "lamestream media". Tom, you been listening to limbaugh again? I do not, so I am "out of the loop" with the dittohead crowd. He coined the term "drive-by media" and much to my horror, I heard the term on a "legit" (or so I thought)media outlet.

Pitts has hit a "home run" with this article. His assessment of the phony facade (double negative?? Sorry Dr. Campbell) that is Palin of Wasilla. The plaintive cry of happiness from the tea party gang due to this icon of idiocy is distrubing, to say the least. I have had many thoughts about Palin of Wasilla, none of them conforting, but Leonard has really put the issue to paper and clearly stated the awful truth, that we are under an attack that is worse than the economic war that China is waging against the USA. We are suffering from internal decay in the minds of citizens that find it easier to embrace the "youbetcha" gospel of Palin of Wasilla, rather than excercising our God-given intellect. Use of brain power seems to have deteriorated and lemming-like following of personalities like Palin of Wasilla sounds a hostorical echo that should alarm and frighten every living, thinking person (I said THINKING!) Her rise is vaguely similar to a lot of puppet rulers of the past, the indifference of a majority of the people have allowed. It is my fondest hope that enough intelligent and educated people will awake and foil this onslaught of incompetance and stupidity and that Palin of Wasilla will become another dim footnote of history.

jafs 5 years, 3 months ago

Pilgrim,

So you think Sarah Palin is intelligent?

Liberty275 5 years, 3 months ago

What barry said.

I have 4 dogs. One is an Akita mix, dumb as a brick. Another is a Border Collie, bordering on doggie Einstein. The other two are sort of in between. One protects the house, the rest don't. Lets see if our Lawrence pseudo-intellectuals that worship the god of book-smarts can figure out which one allows us to always leave our doors unlocked in east Lawrence.

Protip: the bark is enough to scare people out of our yard.

georgiahawk 5 years, 3 months ago

I will bite Liberty, who protects your house? The dumb one? If it is, is there a life lesson I should learn from this? The smart one? How about another life lesson?

shotgun 5 years, 3 months ago

Great article Leonard!

I am curious, what political talent does Sarah Palin have? I know Tom thinks she is hot, like I said before, he needs to get to town more often! What does good looks have to do with anything. Her talent is getting "conservatives" all hot and bothered. Whether it be them fantasizing about "having her" or "having her give them the mother of all tax cuts"! I really got a kick out her bad mouthing Obama's use of a teleprompter, her big moment at the RNC came when her teleprompter malfunctioned. I can't beilive that a Vice Presidential candidate's big moment was a "You know what the difference is...... joke"

headdoctor 5 years, 3 months ago

I am still rolling my eyes at the angry, uneducated, modern day so called conservatives. They seem to think that Obama in 13 months should have fixed all the problems. Never mind that until October 1st Obama was still having to work with Bush's budget. There isn't anyone on the face of the planet that could pull off a recovery of this size of a Democratic Republic in that length of time even if the Republicans were cooperating. My bad. I forgot we are dealing with a bunch of uneducated people here who have no real concept of how our Government works nor do they have the ability to see what is going on. All they want to do is throw a temper tantrum when they don't get their way.

headdoctor 5 years, 3 months ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says… No I don't. I can't help it because the far-left fringe irks me beyond comprehension and Obama is a disaster.


I guess by your statement that Bush was a disaster too. After all most of this crap rolled down hill on his watch. It is also interesting that Obama has continued a lot of what Bush was doing and in some cases expanded on it. Why was it okay for Bush and not Obama? I am sure your pat answer would boil down to Obama is Socialist as to why you don't like him. If that is the case then the Republicans must irk you as well.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 3 months ago

As I read these comments, particularly the barbs at Tom (well-deserved!) I am struck with one overwhelming thing.

The "conservative" crowd seems to be able to do nothing buy criticize the current administration. Too much spending, too much government, yada yada yada. I see very little information as to what the blessed conservative methods would be. Let the auto companies go bankrupt and put thousland out of work? Let the banks and investment firms fail and thousands loose life savings and jobs?? (investments are NOT covered by federal deposit insurance as bank accounts are) Would you let the health insurance industry complete it's current ambtion to be profit-motivated and completely desert persons who are sick with pre-existing conditions and due to no fault of their own are thrust on the useless and unworkable COBRA system??? You will discover this last item when you are put out of work and the personnel manager presents you with the paperwork to sign up for DOBRA. Are you willing to let hospitals go bankrupt because of your stupid notion that not supporting national health will somehow save you tax money?

I want to see some solutions from the right wingnuts, not the constant drumbeat of "Poser", "Obama care" and other vicious lables. What do you have to offer that is better? How would you deal with these problems? I have not heard Limbaugh or Beck or any other "tea partiers", "birthers", "truthers" or other Republican shills make any useful suggestions in response to the manner the current lawfully elected (Tom!) president and his administration have done. What say you, how would McCain/Palin or worse (horrors!!) McCain heart attack and death/President Palin handle all the problems that the Obama administration has (in your opinion) done so miserably wrong??????.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 3 months ago

A lot of people voted for Obama, Tom, educated and otherwise, that is why he WON without Supreme Court assistance. So what is your point?????????

headdoctor 5 years, 3 months ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says… The “uneducated” voted for Obama, this is indisputable fact. You don't believe me, kick your feet up, set a spell and have a listen….


I know exactly what bunch I was referring to when I said uneducated. If you have any brains at all just listen to what is coming out of the mouths of Republicans both in office and voters. It doesn't take long to figure out who the true ignorant ones are. If you don't want that label then start using some intelligence when you speak or post.

Someone somewhere earlier mentioned they wish the Republicans would split into two parties. That would be a great day if it worked out. Maybe we could have the idiots in one party and the real Republicans in the other. Guess we would know where most of the LJW right wing posters would end up.

beatrice 5 years, 3 months ago

"Obama wasn't elected, he was selected–by the lamestream media."

Only someone who doesn't believe in the American way of electing a president would claim such a thing. Tom, actual people actually voted for Obama, and he won overwhelmingly. If you believe the media was responsible for electing Obama, then which media outlet convinced you to not vote for Obama?

"And so far, in 13 months, you are basing this on what?"

Tom, without name-calling or questioning anyone's intelligence on this board, I say Obama will easily win re-election for two reasons. First: by 2012 the economy will almost certainly have improved from where it is now and unemployment will be heading back downward (if not, then I agree with you, his position as President will be in trouble).

Second: the simple fact that the GOP doesn't have any strong leaders who are clear threats to Obama. Closest is probably Mitt Romney, and he comes across to many as another version of a slick, John Edwards-type politician. Just too slick for his own good, and he lacks that likability factor necessary to win. Palin has already cut out too many independents from possibly being on her side by letting too many people know that they don't count as being what she calls "real Americans." She simply does not have what it takes to get beyond the GOP debates. Mitt Romney will go after her like he is a pit bull and she is Michael Vick for his being passed over by John McCain in 2008. That won't be pretty, but it will be entertaining to watch.

I personally believe it would be a disaster if Palin wins the nod from the Republican party. If that happens, America will need a viable alternative party to the Democrats, because the Republicans will have lowered themselves to being the party for the lunatic fringe. It won't happen, and Palin might run as an independent "tea party" candidate, which will only strengthen Obama's chances of winning re-election by pulling conservative voters away from the Republican candidate.

Kontum1972 5 years, 3 months ago

the Mayan calendar runs out in 2012...who cares!

Don't fear the Reaper.....just smile and take it the long rest will be welcome...".Ad Sum"

Liberty275 5 years, 3 months ago

"I'm thinking your Akita though??"

Bingo! At about 130 pounds, just his bark is enough to keep people away. My wife can't walk him, but I parade him around the neighborhood now and again just so everyone gets a good look.

"I will bite Liberty, who protects your house? The dumb one? If it is, is there a life lesson I should learn from this?"

Of course there is. The dog's job is to protect and execute the will of his master. The president has the same job. That job doesn't include sniffing hind-ends around the world instead of defending America and then turning on Americans by taking a chunk out of their wallets to pay for his socialist agenda of wealth redistribution. Those are the fancy tricks his mentors taught him to do.

Better a dumb akita-mix to protect you than a brilliant border collie that was taught to steal food off your table to feed the rats.

gchawk 5 years, 3 months ago

For what it's worth, Obama won the electoral college, not the popular vote. I'm still very interested to find out if he's actually a legal U.S. citizen. It would definitely be the slickest move the Muslim's have pulled off so far if it were proven he wasn't one.

dicknixon 5 years, 3 months ago

Nice gchawk. Other than stating that Obama won the Electoral College, everything you said was stupid and/or wrong. Please go microwave your computer.

bd 5 years, 3 months ago

aLL OF YOU GUYS NEED TO CALM DOWN A LITTLE! TEA ANYONE??

gchawk 5 years, 3 months ago

that's okay, dicknixon, continue to live in the dark. The fact that you won't even consider that there might be a possibility of this fact lends credence to ignorant blind faith. I could be wrong in my statement but I'm still willing to hear all the facts.

beatrice 5 years, 3 months ago

gchawk, Obama absolutely won the popular vote as well as the electoral vote. In fact, he had roughly 9 1/2 million more popular votes than McCain. Obama was also born in Hawaii, where his birth was anounced in the local newspaper at the time.

Simple question for your simply misguided self -- why would two of the local newspapers run the birth announcement of someone not born in Hawaii? Was it really just a Democratic set up from 50 years ago, just in case he might grow up to be president some day? Please, don't be so alarmingly ignorant.

Speaking of facts, they are an annoying thing, aren't they? http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthcertificate.asp

Melissa Sigler 5 years, 3 months ago

Although its an interesting idea...I don't know if angering and separating our country even more than it already is is the answer. We can't get things done because no one agrees...we all hate each other because of our respective political "titles"...etc etc. Do we really want someone on either side be so extremist that we lose sight of what is really important?

I would rather have two people running against each other who are willing to work with the other "side" to get things done...to make things run smoother.

I realize this sounds like a really "feely goody changey" idea...but it just seems like the better ideal for everyone's sakes.

leedavid 5 years, 3 months ago

Wasn't it Lenoard Pitts that just last week said journalist should base their story on facts?

Yeah...that's the guy.

Last name fits, I would say. What is it to Pitts if she runs? Obama is going to lose in the democratic primaries if he keeps it up at his current pace. Forget Palin Pitts worry about the country. There is a lot there to write about.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 3 months ago

The front page of the New York Times pictures a woman manning a Tea Party recruiting stand in, of all places, Sand Point, Idaho!

For those of you in west lawrence, Sand Point, Idaho is where the headquarters of the Aryan Nation is located! This is where detective Mark Fuhrman moved to, after retiring from the LAPD. You remember, the glove planting, never used the N word scandal back in the 90's.

I guess my,meant to be humorous, nudge about Sarah=Britney Spears meets the Aryan Nation, were not so farr off the scale after all!!.

Tea Party->Aryan Nation->Sand Point, Idaho->Sarah P.

It is all coming together quite clearly.

jaywalker 5 years, 3 months ago

No chance the country is that collectively stupid, is there? No, I don't believe Palin will sniff the nomination.

geekin_topekan 5 years, 3 months ago

Palin is raking in the $$$ by the truckloads. ++++ Just like I said she would.

Sarah aint stupid. She knew her political career was over. Instead of dying after a losing battle, she abandoned her post mid-term to go for the money! Lame duck? She had half of her term left!

But whatever, I too cannot wait to see what she brings to the entertainment venues over the next couple of years. it'll be good.

BorderRuffian 5 years, 3 months ago

Isn't it so interesting that, just like during the presidential race, the left is so scared spitless at the thought of Palin "going for it" that they have gone all out to destroy her in the press, television, and any other place they can be heard?

The Demolibs ARE scared of her. She has a chance to dethrone their two dour Demo-hags, Hillary the Horrible and Pelosi the Prune.

So she comes off as young and beautiful. Well, newsflash! That's why John F. Kennedy was elected (by a whole bunch of Demohags) and that was why Obama was elected. They, too, were young and pretty.

So now there are a whole bunch of follks who want to elect Palin, who IS HOT, by the way, and also a whole lot more intelligent than it is POLITICALLY CORRECT to admit. For crying out loud, she went toe to toe with Biden (himself a formidable statesman) without flinching, and actually scored about equally in the debate.

Does Palin come across as a hockey mom? Yes, she does. Is that a problem? Really? Perhaps her disarming ways and easy-on-the-eyes good looks will be what it takes to charm the petty little dictators of the trouble-making countries that Obama seems to have such problems dealing with.

jaywalker 5 years, 3 months ago

I would have to say it's been interesting, Tom. I mean, I respect the woman for what she's been able to make of her life, but it's amusing that there's so much attention paid to her by the left at this point. None seem to take her seriously, so why the vitriole? Her 'stature' seems to be mere misdirection on the part of the GOP leadership (too much credit?) and/or a waste of time for the Democrats to be so concerned with unless they truly believe she's some sort of threat. If I were a Dem on the Hill (and there are a few that have adopted this tactic, I believe) I would be respectful whenever I spoke about her, and it would be rarely. The more she opens her mouth the closer she gets to makin' major slip-ups. She'll sink herself. And if she doesn't, somehow, it would have to seem like Xmas to the Obama administration.

beatrice 5 years, 3 months ago

"For crying out loud, she went toe to toe with Biden (himself a formidable statesman) without flinching, and actually scored about equally in the debate."

Revisionist history already at play. She didn't fall into a lump and have to cry out "I've fallen and I can't get up." That is all. The winking, the incomplete sentences, the answers to questions not asked. No, she lost.

"The Demolibs ARE scared of her."

To address the sentiment while ignoring the maturity of the post, the left is "scared" of Palin in the way rational people are scared of drunk drivers. We are scared when a drunk driver is on the road with us, so we keep a distance and keep our eyes on them. We are horrifed when we see that the drunk has a child in the back seat, without a safety seat. We are aghast when we find out that some felt the obviously drunken driver was qualified enogh to drive that they gave her the keys to their car as she stumble her way out of the bar. It is in this way we are scared of Palin. More fittingly, we are mortified to know that our fellow Americans can be this delusional to believe she is qualified for any elected position at this point, let alone to be President.

Jay, obviously, I'm not a Dem on the Hill. I'm happy to speak my mind about Palin. However, I agree with you that Dems would best be served by not even mentioning her name if it can be avoided. Having quit her position as governor, it isn't like she is a fellow politician. She is just a Sally Six Pack who looks like Peggy Hill.

The Dems on the HIll should just watch, and if she wants to run, fine. Then sit back and watch her fellow Republicans rip into her like she is t-bone and they are hungry dogs. Think they will hand over their own chance to possibly by President by playing nice? The Republicans? Hardly. Those will be some debates worth watching.

jaywalker 5 years, 3 months ago

bea,

Exactly. This is a perfect situation to 'show' they've changed and aren't part of the usual partisan hackery; she will hang herself. Attacking her only reinforces what so many feel is wrong with politics, and it's a redundant exercise.

tbaker 5 years, 3 months ago

Some of the Obama supporters / conservative haters on this site remind me of Baghdad Bob: "Remain calm! All is well! Nothing to see here!"

This November will change that tune. Tea Partiers aside, the American people have had enough of the liberal / socialist style of government currently being practiced in our capitol.

jafs 5 years, 3 months ago

tbaker,

And they clearly had enough of the Republican right-wing nonsense of the last 8 years.

If we don't like Republicans or Democrats, we're kind of in trouble - there are no viable third-party candidates.

What should we do?

tbaker 5 years, 3 months ago

jafs: Vote against every last incumbent politician on the ballot, thats what. Throw all the bums out.

Agostick: ROTFLOL

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