News Columns & Blogs

Pro-con on Palin's presidential prospects

The similarities between Andrew Jackson, William Jennings Bryan, Ronald Reagan and Sarah Palin are striking. This is not to say that they are alike in every respect. Nor is it to say that Palin's achievements to date rank with the others'. But it's nonetheless true that a couple of traits span the centuries and unify these four political figures. The first is the reaction they provoke among the elites of their age — what one might call the "Coonskin Cap Critique." The second is their advocacy of dispersed power, open markets and American individualism. Elites routinely underestimate the capacities of populist leaders. They mock their enemies as uneducated provincials who lack expert knowledge and therefore have no place interfering in politics. — Matthew Continetti, Weekly Standard

Sarah Palin's book publishers started early leaking tidbits to drum up sales. This one was a gem: Palin, the former GOP governor of Alaska, claimed she was charged $50,000 by Sen. John McCain's Republican presidential campaign to cover the cost of vetting her as a potential vice president. Because McCain's vetters must have gone gaga over her good looks, or maybe her down-home style, they somehow missed the fact she was more suited to be a talk-radio host. The thought of this daffy beauty contestant running things in the Oval Office during a military crisis sent chills up the nation's spine. The nation could relate to Katie Couric's dumbfounded expression as she unpeeled Palin's layers in that infamous nationally televised interview and found nothing at the core. — New Jersey Star-Ledger editorial