Commentary Magazine


Sarah Palin’s Projection Problem

Last week, I wrote a post praising Romney, Santorum, Gingrich and Paul for their willingness to put themselves through an exhausting, grinding presidential campaign rather than staying on the sidelines. I pointed out that it’s easy for politicians and political commentators to focus on the foibles, mistakes and awkward language that sometimes characterize the current crop of GOP candidates. And I added that it’s a lot easier to analyze candidates from behind a keyboard, microphone, and television studio than it is to actually run day after day, speaking at event after event, taking question after question.

And just like that, who pops up but former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who on Friday told Fox’s Greta Van Susteren,At this point we are watching Obama with his naive apologies to savages in Afghanistan who turn around and kill our soldiers. We look at things like that, the actions of our sitting president and we say, ‘anybody but Obama.’ And that is why Greta, that Alaskans whom I speak with — we’re so tired of the pettiness within that GOP process. You know, the folks are bickering back and forth about different tactics taken within their campaigns and in this nominating process. We’re trying to remind these candidates: Stay focused on the main thing and that is get a commander in chief who our troops deserve.”

This is rich. Palin prematurely resigned her post as governor because she couldn’t take the political heat. Since the 2008 campaign — in which, it has to be said, she was often badly mistreated — Palin has become brittle, often defensive, and consumed by resentments. She has engaged in too many petty twitter wars to count. And against the counsel of many, at the moment when President Obama was about to speak at a memorial service for those who were killed and wounded in a massacre in Tucson (including Representative Gabrielle Giffords), Palin released a video in which she responded to “journalists and pundits” for “manufacturing a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.”

So to have Palin complaining about weariness with the “pettiness within the GOP process” and for “bickering back and forth” is a bit much. Among other things, it shows an utter lack of self-awareness by the former Alaska governor and, I would imagine, some degree of projection.

Whatever complaints some Republicans might have about the current field, at least Sarah Palin isn’t in it. Call it a small blessing for the GOP.