Karl Rove doesn’t believe Sarah Palin is electable. It is as simple as that. President George W. Bush’s chief political adviser, in an interview with the British paper Telegraph, says in a roundabout fashion that he not only doesn’t believe that Palin has what it takes to run a major campaign, she doesn’t what it takes to win a presidential election. He said he didn’t think Americans would view someone who starred in a reality show as presidential material.
“With all due candour, appearing on your own reality show on the Discovery Channel, I am not certain how that fits in the American calculus of ‘that helps me see you in the Oval Office’,” he told the Telegraph.
Rove pointed out the promotional video for the series, which features Palin and her family traveling, hiking, kayaking throughout Alaska and exploring its vast wildernesses, would ultimately hurt her in a political campaign. In the clip, Palin says, “I would rather be doing this than in some stuffy old political office.”
He did give Palin credit for doing a good job as a vice presidential candidate, but said the being vice president and president was two very different things.
“There are high standards that the American people have for it [the presidency],” he noted, “and they require a certain level of gravitas, and they want to look at the candidate and say ‘that candidate is doing things that gives me confidence that they are up to the most demanding job in the world’.”
Simply put: starring in a reality show doesn’t instill confidence in one’s leadership abilities.
And Rove, who now, like Palin, works as a political analyst for Fox News, is right. Further undermining that confidence was her sudden withdrawal from her elected position as governor of the state of Alaska, which many felt was an opportunistic and selfish move to make millions of dollars giving speeches and writing books. Many viewed her resignation halfway through her four-year term was a betrayal of her sworn duty to the people who had voted for her.
Also diminishing Sarah Palin’s claim to the highest political office in the United States is her constant use of Facebook and Twitter, social networking platforms that, although popular, aren’t seen as forums for the politically serious, seemingly trivializing not only the issues but the individual voicing their stance on those issues. Although that view may change with time, the content of what is written in those forums will require graduation as well.
Palin is also seen as a polarizer, an extremist, her views somewhat farther right than most. Although a prime mover in the Tea Party movement and looked upon as a Republican heavy hitter, Palin has failed to gain even a single endorsement from any major Republican figure. Even John McCain has failed to endorse the woman his presidential campaign pulled from relative obscurity in 2008.
And if Sarah Palin actually ran for the presidency in 2012? According to a Bloomberg News National Poll, incumbent President Barack Obama would defeat Sarah Palin, should she get the Republican nomination, by a 16-point margin.
It is known that the unofficial push for the 2012 election will begin on Nov. 3, the day after Election Day. Many feel it is a very strong possibility that Palin is positioning herself to make a run for the presidency. Karl Rove doesn’t believe that Palin is ready, not just to combat the Democratic candidate, but to withstand the political infighting within the Republican hierarchy as the primary elections begin heating up.
Bottom line: People won’t vote for her, not outside of her “true believers.”
In the end, Rove said, “They are going to be saying ‘the person who can win is the person who proves to me that they are up to the job.'”
Clearly, Karl Rove doesn’t believe Sarah Palin is presidential material or electable, nor does he think she is a credible candidate for the Republican Party. And thus far, most polls agree with him. But over time things change, situations and circumstances change, people and opinions change. Still, will Sarah Palin ever see the day when most Americans believe she is “up for the job”?