If she runs in 2012, will Sarah Palin be the Rashomon candidate? (or to borrow another film analogy, the Zelig candidate?) Much like the original blank slate version of Obama before Rev. Wright arrived on the national scene in the spring of 2008, people certainly do project want they want to see on her.
Here’s David Solway on Sarah Palin, on the PJM homepage:
As Victor Volsky writes in American Thinker, “in the eyes of the political/cultural aristocracy, [Palin] is the embodiment of its worst nightmare: the revolt of the masses against their masters.” And she knows that the master class will mobilize its considerable reserves against her. The question is whether, by sheer force of character, will, and charisma, like an American version of Delacroix’s Marianne leading the charge at the electoral barricades, and by pursuing a tireless itinerary, she can prevail against overwhelming odds and bring to the American people authentic change and genuine hope for the future.
For the flip-side, here’s Charles Krauthammer on Palin:
Krauthammer has previously downplayed Palin’s chances and indicated he favors Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. He said Palin would not be the ideal candidate to unseat a “vulnerable” President Barack Obama.
“Her negatives are over 50 percent,” Krauthammer said. “She has no chance of winning a general election. Why would you want a candidate who is going to lose against a Democrat who is going to be vulnerable and who is also extremely ideologically ambitious?”
He even employed a Keith Olbermann catch phrase to describe Palin and said even fellow Republicans didn’t see Palin as qualified.
“A half-term governor? I’m not sure Republicans think of her as qualified.” Krauthammer said.
As of right now, I actually agree with Krauthammer — but then, that’s why both parties have primaries. Right around this time at the end of 2006 and the start of 2007, we were expecting a Hillary versus Giuliani slugfest in ’08. History turned out just slightly different, because Obama, his team, and a cadre of sympathetic journalists decided that Hillary was far from of inevitable, and would appear shrill and brittle if she was opposed in the primaries. Which reminds me, look how easy it would have been to employ Krauthammer’s statement back then with just a couple of minor twists:
A half-term Senator? I’m not sure Democrats think of him as qualified to run for president.
But then, in retrospect, to paraphrase one of the favorite sayings of Presidents Truman and Reagan, you can accomplish anything in Washington if you’ve got the entire media telling voters you’re the second coming of Christ. Having been painted as the anti-Christ by the media in reaction to the Oba-phenomenon they created, Palin won’t have that sort of wind behind her back if she runs. On the other hand, Obama won’t be a blank slate himself this time around, though if the media could surround John Kerry and John Edwards with a halo effect worth 15-points, assume they’ll be able to work similar magic even with as tarnished a figure as our current president.
For more Rashomonic reaction to Palin check out Allahpundit’s round-up at Hot Air.