Should Sarah Palin be suspended by Fox News?

John Ziegler wants to know why Sarah Palin has not been suspended from Fox News, given the channels policy on political contributors and potential candidates.

In order, she has made the following on-air pronouncements in the role of Fox News commentator:

  • A long primary is good for the process and the candidate which emerges.
  • Voters should support Newt Gingrich in order to keep the primaries going.
  • There is nothing wrong with a brokered convention.
  • Conservatives should have doubts about the perceived front runner, Mitt Romney.

Now all of these statements are certainly legitimate opinions, though when they come from someone who teased for months that she was going to run for president and who may have a profound political interest in no Republican becoming president so that she can remain more relevant, having her specifically urging voters to take certain actions while in her role as a paid commentator is clearly a cause for concern for any journalistic organization.

However, any question as to whether Palin has indeed crossed the line into the realm of commentator illegitimacy ended yesterday when she said on Fox that she might run for office again and strongly implied that she would accept the nomination of a brokered convention.

So, the obvious question is: If Fox’s policy is to suspend commentators who are making moves to run for high office, how in the world does campaigning on air for a brokered convention, urging voters to take actions which would facilitate that, knocking the frontrunner, and giving the impression you would accept the nomination of any such brokered convention, possibly NOT qualify for such an action?

Frum on President Personality Types

Media obsesses over Palin, ignores Romney

Was Bill Clinton undisciplined and indecisive? He was succeeded by George W. Bush, the self-described decider-in-chief.

Was Bush impulsive and aggressive? He was replaced by No Drama Obama.

Is Obama vaporous and utopian? Maybe what Americans are hearkening for is the analytic ability and negotiating prowess of the former CEO of America’s most successful management consulting firm. And just possibly, Republican primary voters have the self-control not to let the controversy over Romney’s health care record cloud their respect for their front-runner’s genuine executive abilities.

Can Romney win against Palin?

Daniel Larison says:

Do we really think that most Republican primary voters are more likely to nominate a woman for president than Democratic voters were two years ago? Do we really think that Republicans would prefer the less qualified candidate because she is a woman? Wouldn’t many Republicans want Romney to succeed to prove that the GOP is not dominated by religious conservatives who will not support a Mormon candidate? Wouldn’t that impulse to show religious tolerance overwhelm any impulse to promote Palin beyond her ability just to get credit for nominating the first woman nominee? If the 2012 nomination contest comes down to a head-to-head fight between Romney and Palin, there appears to be every reason to think that Romney prevails.

Scott Gallupo responds:

Does he beat her in New Hampshire? Let’s assume, given his New England ties, that he does. Throw in Michigan for identical reasons. Then comes South Carolina. And then Super Tuesday. Assuming Huckabee doesn’t run, Palin will crush Romney in Dixie, and she has obvious “Mama Grizzly” appeal in the Mountain states.

The Midwest and the Northeast will be competitive. There will be an anyone-but-Palin factor—but, in an open contest, this vote will split in any number of directions. Maybe that, plus the “It’s his turn” default thinking that seems to dominate Republican primaries, is enough to lift Romney in 2012.

How the Obama campaign reacted to the Palin pick

Time has some interesting revelations about the choice for Vice President when Tim Kaine was considered but ultimately passed over:

There was no great way to explain putting someone with no foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. If we chose him, we would need to rely on some of the same language we had used on this issue as it related to Obama — judgment vs. Washington experience, a new foreign policy vision vs. the status quo — but doubling down would make it twice as tough for us to roll this boulder uphill.

Later that night, we held a conference call with Obama to brief him on our day. “Well, it sounds like you both are for Biden, but barely,” he said. “I really haven’t settled this yet in my own mind. It’s a coin toss now between Bayh and Biden, but Kaine is still a distinct possibility. I know the experience attack people will make if we pick him. But if that really concerned me, I wouldn’t have run in the first place. My sense is — and you tell me if the research backs this up — that Barack Hussein Obama is change enough for people. I don’t have to convince people with my VP selection that I am serious about change.” (Read “Obama and Biden’s Chemistry Test.”)

But the money quotes are all about Sarah Palin:

We always knew this day was going to be a pain in the ass. Coming right off the exhaustion and exhilaration of our convention week and VP pick, we would have to jump right in and deal with theirs. But [Sarah] Palin was a bolt of lightning, a true surprise. She was such a long shot, I didn’t even have her research file on my computer, as I did for the likely McCain picks. I started Googling her, refreshing my memory while I waited for our research to be sent.

But here she was, joining our real-life drama. And given her life story, coupled with the surprise nature of her selection, her entrance to the race would be nothing short of a phenomenon. But I also thought it was a downright bizarre, ill-considered and deeply puzzling choice. The one thing every voter knew about John McCain’s campaign at this point was that it had been shouting from the rooftops that Barack Obama lacked the experience to be President.

Summoning the wisdom from “the philosopher she turns to most”, besides Mother Theresa, then campaign adviser Anita Dunn offered advice on Palin, whom she had worked against unsuccessfully in Alaska’s 2006 governor’s race:

…warned us that she was a formidable political talent — clearly not up to this moment, she assured us, but bound to be a compelling player and a real headliner in the weeks ahead. (Read about where Sarah Palin is going next.)

“All of you on this call should watch video of her debates and speeches,” Dunn counseled. “The substance is thin, but she’s a very able performer. And her story is out of Hollywood. She’ll be a phenomenon for a while.”

The Obama campaign was mostly annoyed that McCain had chosen a VP nominee that, they claim, had less experience than Obama:

Our strategy with the other potential picks would’ve been to start by saying that choice X subscribed to the same failed George Bush policies as John McCain; all they were doing was doubling down on the same out-of-touch economic policies that had hurt American families. We should have gone the same way with Palin. But McCain had been haranguing us for months about experience, and we were incredulous that he had picked someone with zero foreign policy experience who had been a governor for less time than Obama had been a Senator. Galled by the hypocrisy, we moved in a more aggressive direction.

We decided to call McCain on the experience card directly. The value was in making him look political — essentially, calling him full of shit — and we sent out a release making that clear. “Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” it read. “Governor Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need; it’s just more of the same.”

GOP VA, NJ Gov candidates decline Palins offer to campaign for them

Republican Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial candidates decline Palin’s offer to campaign for them but at least one blogger see’s no ulterior motive in the move:

Romney, Huckabee, Jindal, and Pawlenty have all been to Virginia on McDonnell’s behalf. Proof of a Gillespie vendetta against Palin? Or just basic no-brainer politics in not wanting to “benefit” from a cameo by someone whose favorable rating among independents is 33/59? McDonnell’s sitting on a nine-point lead in a state that broke for Obama last year by six points; why on earth would he risk the upheaval of a Palin appearance, particularly when the Democrats have been trying to caricature him as the same sort of rabid social con that the media caricatured her as?

The hard fact of the matter is that Sarahcuda’s only a clear asset on the trail in a red district where the base isn’t turning out. That’s why she was a good bet in Saxby Chambliss’s run-off in Georgia last year: The GOP knew it had the votes to win the election, they just needed to give dispirited grassroots conservatives a reason to go out and vote. Enter Palin. In purplish states like Virginia (and blue states like New Jersey, needless to say), having her out there becomes a crapshoot because it risks goosing turnout among liberals more than conservatives. In fact, assuming that conservatives stay motivated to send The One a message next year in the midterms, demand for her will probably be low since turnout will be high even without her help. What am I missing here?