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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Celebrity politics

The candidate has already had a book tour and is embarking on another whirlwind nationwide swing. Then there's the reality television series. And the regular gig as a "commentator" on a cable channel.

The making of a celebrity candidate?

Remember one of the slurs aimed at Barack Obama at the start of the fall campaign in 2008 was that he was merely a "celebrity"? Well it appears Sarah Palin has decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em is the best approach as she sorts out her plans after walking away early from the Alaska governor's mansion.

In one of the greater political ironies, the pupil is out there stumping for the teacher as John McCain braces for the fight of his political life in the Arizona Senate primary. That's after she pulled down a cool $100K for speaking to the Tea Party convention earlier this year.

Now she's on the road, 44 cities in 20 days, urging the right wing faithful to "take our country back." She doesn't say from who, but the New York Times' Frank Rich does it for her.

All pretty remarkable selling of a person who is clearly the most polarizing candidate of our new social media era and perhaps of all time.

Obviously we have seen this before in our history when the economy was weak and Americans were frightened for their future. It goes all the way back to the Salem witch trials and into the modern era with Father Coughlin, Joe McCarthy and Spiro Agnew.

A prediction: I suspect Palin will reap her financial rewards and head on back to Wasilla without another campaign. Too much to lose by actually throwing her hat into the ring.

A shame too: a "celebrity" 2012 presidential race would be a blast, matching her smaller group of zealots against Obama's core supporters who will be backed by a substantial record of accomplishments.

And by the way governor, I beat you to the wanting my country back line.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be too quick to relish a race between Palin and Obama. An emotional, anger fueled following has the ability to overwhelm a rational, logical candidate, especially during a time of high unemployment and economic distress. Look at what happened here in MA between Brown and Coakley. He caught fire, ignited by the rage of unemployment and anger based on ignorance. People voted, emotionally, against their own best interests. Now, Obama certainly is no Coakley when it comes to being a candidate, but Palin has the ability to ignite her followers, who have shown, time and again, that they will vote against their own best interests for a candidate that gets their juices up.

March 28, 2010 2:47 PM  

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