With news that Governor Palin started her own political action committee at SarahPAC, she has entered the punditry discussion again, and yet again provokes strong responses, though as Josh Painter shows, little consensus. Many of the descriptions have to be read together to get the full effect of the dissonance.
So, is Sarah Palin the right wing extremist McCain staffers and leftists believe her to be? Is she the fundie theocrat secular leftists say she is? Is she the “neocon” portrayed by careless conservatives? Is she a populist, as some liberals claim? If the governor is a populist, is that populism as disingenuous as the looser cannons on the left insist it is? Is she a leftist, as Big Oil’s useful idiots would have us believe? Is she the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan that his own elder son sees? Or is Gov. Palin a centrist, as the Alaskan pundit says she has governed? Did Pat Buchanan hit it closest to the mark of all the pundits quoted here, calling her a traditionalist?
It’s a question unfortunately, that will need to be answered to the public. James Pethokoukis of U.S. News & World Report’s Capital Commerce blog has some homework ideas on how to do this. I would also love to see more writing and commentary like this. I think it will be important to remember that when answering this question to the public, the response needs to come in many parts, only one of which should be in the traditional media. She could take a few pointers from Fred Thompson and Jon Henke with the other parts using the new media and youtube and other social sites.
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