Sarah Palin; Leader or Cheerleader?

Bookmark and ShareSarah Palin can continue to be a rising star. Or she can plummet like a meteorite. I am one of those who sees the potential for her to be a star that continues to grow as bright as the sun. I believe she has a record and solid foundation in being the anti-establishment politician with the ability to tap into the prevailing sentiment of the day which is less government and more personal responsibility.

However; I have been disappointed in what is becoming an extremely commercial image. She is becoming more of a commodity than a leader. That is a dangerous position for Palin to put herself in. I believe that if she has any ambitions for national elected office, she must soon start looking more like the elder statesman than a cheerleader.

While she can continue to make lots of money and cheer on Conservatives to aid the cause, the truth is that while Sarah is energizing the Conservative base, that’s all she is doing. Let’s face it, given a good Republican candidate to vote for, most Republicans and Conservative will vote for that candidate. But to win countywide, citywide or statewide elections, you need Independent and some Democrat votes too. Sarah does not attract those votes to those whom she endorses. Many Democrats and too many Independents don’t take her serious, and if Sarah simply continues to act like a cheerleader, when the halftime show is over, the audience is just going to start paying attention to the rest of the game and leave Palin standing on the sidelines.

I have yet to see any sign of Palin broadening her base. I fail to see where she reaches out to those beyond the Conservative ranks and while her motivation of the Republican base is important, she needs to also expand the base and that Palin is just not doing. If she would just do something like present her own economic recovery plan and her own ideas for tax reform, maybe people would  begin to see Sarah as a much more substantive figure than some see her as today.

It is great that Sarah Palin’s stated mission is electing “good Conservatives “ to office but if you want to lead, you must be a leader. You must put forth the ideas, proposals and plans that can help give solid solutions for Conservatives, and others, to rally around.

Instead Sarah Palin is simply repeating anecdotal and philosophical platitudes that, while sounding good and inspirational, leave you hanging and after a moment of reflection, make you wonder……”but what’s the plan that will allow us to do all those things and achieve all those goals?”

As someone who joined with Adam Bricker, the creator of the original draft Sarah Palin for Vice President movement in 2008, I am confident that Sarah has the capacity to lay out those plans and lead, but she just isn’t doing that.

Sarah Palin has much to offer. She can and often does convey a necessary sense of being one of us, someone who genuinely understands our frustrations with an overreaching government and overbearing bureaucracy that at times seems too ridiculous to have any faith in. She takes strong stands and she does so unapologetically. On the issue of abortion she is uncompromising. On spending she is a deficit hawk and on national defense, she is polar bear——-strong and self sufficient when left to themselves but ominous and brutal when threatened. Her short record as Governor of Alaska was a solid one and her decision to resign was an example of politically uncharacteristic self-sacrifice. While some accuse her of giving up and being a quitter, unlike other political leaders such as Charlie Rangel, Palin made the decision she believed was best for her constituents, not her career. Instead of putting the people of Alaska through a relentless tabloid and legal circus based on frivolous lawsuits that would have distracted from the issues and forced the state to incur undue legal costs, she stepped down knowing full well that her Lt. Governor was more than capable of carrying forward the torch that she lit.

Few politicians would make such sacrifice. But that’s Sarah. She does what is best for the people, not politics and politicians.

But if Sarah really wants to do some good for the people, then she must start leading the people down the path of common sense conservatism, not just talk about it.

Give those “good conservative” candidates that she is trying to elect , something to get elected on. Lead them, don’t just cheer them on.

Until Sarah starts offering that leadership, she will fail to establish the statesman-like image, that she will need if she wants to be taken seriously as a presidential contender. Right now Sarah is in a very precarious position. She can be like the pet rock of the 70’s, a big hit that quickly faded into undistinguished and unremarkable history, or a Reaganesque figure that changes the course of history.

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