Sunday, October 05, 2008

Right wing death wish?

By Libby Spencer

Frank Rich has an interesting column today that touches on something that has been percolating in the back of my mind about Palin and her fan club.

It’s against this backdrop that Palin’s public pronouncements, culminating with her debate performance, have been so striking. The standard take has it that she’s either speaking utter ignorant gibberish (as to Couric) or reciting highly polished, campaign-written sound bites that she’s memorized (as at the convention and the debate). But there’s a steady unnerving undertone to Palin’s utterances, a consistent message of hubristic self-confidence and hyper-ambition. She wants to be president, she thinks she can be president, she thinks she will be president. And perhaps soon. She often sounds like someone who sees herself as half-a-heartbeat away from the presidency. Or who is seen that way by her own camp, the hard-right G.O.P. base that never liked McCain anyway and views him as, at best, a White House place holder.

This was first apparent when Palin extolled a “small town” vice president as a hero in her convention speech — and cited not one of the many Republican vice presidents who fit that bill but, bizarrely, Harry Truman, a Democrat who succeeded a president who died in office. A few weeks later came Charlie Gibson’s question about whether she thought she was “experienced enough” and “ready” when McCain invited her to join his ticket. Palin replied that she didn’t “hesitate” and didn’t “even blink” — a response that seemed jarring for its lack of any human modesty, even false modesty.

I've had the same sense. Palin's fans are voting for her, not McCain, without any apparent acknowledgment that she is only running for VP, not President and as such wouldn't have the power on her own to change anything. It's also felt to me that her fans are subliminally assuming that McCain wouldn't live out the term of office and they don't mind a bit. As for Palin, her ambition is palpable and her icy certainty about McCain's mortality is all too apparent behind her smug smile. I get the feeling her greatest struggle is to avoid slipping up and saying, "When I'm president" during one of her stump speeches.

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

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  • she has called it the 'palin/mccain' ticket already. won't be long now.

    By Blogger billie, at 6:18 PM  

  • Libby, the other thing is that the Cheney people have already started educating her to the neocon way...the unitary president way.
    Shiver me timbers!

    By Blogger Carol Gee, at 7:05 PM  

  • It's clear to me they think Palin would make a useful puppet president and McCain is not looking well lately, not at all.

    By Blogger Libby Spencer, at 9:13 AM  

  • I have no doubt that God told her she was chosen to be president and end the world - and that it was OK to lie, cheat and steal to further her holy mission.

    I'm hoping God will tell her to go sit on some high mountain this January and wait for further instructions - and wait.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 9:30 AM  

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