This was originally published last year as a “diary” entry on Daily Kos during my short-lived attempt to write there. I like the site but I found the discussion on any posts I wrote too unpleasant to make writing there fun. I stopped doing it and took down all my posts. I resurrected this one here because the news of Sarah Palin’s
party bus national bus tour and campaign commercial feature length film release got me wondering, again, why on earth she would want to President. So here, for your enjoyment, is my letter to her asking that very important question.
(Sadly, this will probably not be the last Palin post I do. I’ve gone off my Palin-abstinence wagon and I’m suddenly deep in the throes of my obsession with her. She is arguably the most interesting figure in 21st century politics and I find it hard to look away from her. I’m gearing up to read some new books that criticize her and I’ll likely discuss them here. I apologize for drawing you into my bizarre fixation.)
Dear Mrs. Palin:
Please don’t run for President in 2012. It will only make you sad.
See, Mrs. Palin, you already have your heart’s desire. Just look at your life now. You’re rich. You have throngs of people who adore you. You have a tv gig. You get to “write” books and autograph them. You never have to fly coach. You never have to gut fish.
You won the Race of Life, Mrs. Palin. Bask in it. But don’t run for President. If you do? It will all change.
For one thing, you’ll have to go off tv. That’s part of election law. You know about election laws, right? You’ll need to learn them. You’ll also need to learn geography, history, world religions, etiquette, Constitutional law (that means reading beyond the Second Amendment), parliamentary procedure, and English vocabulary.
And as soon as you start campaigning, you’ll have to listen to people who think you’re wrong. The adoring crowds will still be there but the haters will show up to. And not just haters: scholars who will point out factual inaccuracies that even “refudiation” won’t dial back. Your fellow Republicans will debate you and slap down your ideas, if you have ideas, and contest your positions. Primary state debates won’t be love-fests and that “say it ain’t so Joe” schtick you used when you ran for Vice-President won’t stop a Gingrich or a Rommney or a Brownback or a Santorum from exposing all the gaps in your education, all the ways in which you are unqualified to lead a nation. Yes, they might congratulate you on your stance on abortion or share a prayer backstage, but I promise you, an intellectual heavy-weight like Gingrich will slaughter you in a debate.
And Democrats won’t roll over either. Democrats already hate you and they’ve been compiling massive files on you since the day you stepped on a stage with John McCain in 2008. And the opposition research has gone on and on. They know your soft spots, Mrs. Palin. They will aim for them. They will show no mercy.
And if you actually won the election? And found, like all Presidents find, that Executive Powers are, by definition, limited, and you can’t deliver your campaign promises? You will be shattered. Your supporters will turn on you. Your detractors will sit smugly on Meet The Press and say they told us so. Congress will step directly in your path if you overstep your bounds, even your own party. And your approval numbers will plummet.
You will stop being popular. You will be criticized. You will be held accountable. You won’t like it. You’ll want to quit. You might quit. Just like you did as Governor.
Then you’ll be a joke. You’ll be a failure. And the wild ride will be over. No more tv gigs. No more book deals. No more fans. Just Todd and the kids and a country full of people who wish they’d never heard your name.
Keep doing what you’re doing Mrs. Palin. You’re doing it well. It’s what you really want.