Our friend and esteemed colleague Andrew Malcolm at Top of the Ticket has noticed that Gov. Palin's favorable ratings are up again, but he reminds who the real decision makers are at this stage of the game:
Republicans are the ones who'll be attending the Iowa caucuses, slogging through the snow to New Hampshire's voting booths and going in short sleeves to vote in South Carolina, where Palin was a key factor in electing the state's new Republican governor, Nikki Haley.As Andrew pointed out, the rest of the pack is eating Mama Bear's dust. Huckabee is second at 74-10, Romney (64-18) and Newt Gingrich (68-21) are fighting it out for third place. Way back in the pack are Tim Pawlenty (28-13-59%), Haley Barbour (27-14-58%), Mitch Daniels (24-13-63%) and John Thune (20-10-70%).
Unless Howard Dean changes his mind, the GOP competition will draw the concentrated media publicity for months on end while the White House golfer complains about the Republican House and tries to convince people that 9% unemployment is way better than 9.6% unemployment.
In the determining area of Republican support, even without announcing a candidacy, Palin currently destroys her potential competitors, according to AP's findings.
This fuels verbal insanity among the woman's critics, who profess so much disdain for Palin that they can't resist attacking her at every opportunity. All of which, of course, makes her even more popular among fans. And intrigued bloggers.
Forget that without holding an elective office but talking common-sense "tea party" conservatism, Palin helped to lead the successful national "Fire Pelosi" GOP bus tour while helping elect a majority of those she endorsed, many of them women, raising millions of dollars and knocking off 18 of her 20 targeted Democrats in the largest midterm political slaughter since 1938 -- which was even before Joe Biden was born.
Fact: Palin is now viewed favorably by nearly 8 of 10 (79%) Republicans or Republican-leaning independents, while only 17% see her unfavorably.
But regardless of how the numbers stack up for the various would-be GOP candidates, count on the lamestream media to put a lot of negative spin on Gov. Palin's chances. Andrew, btw, stands apart from that crowd. He was the only blogger/columnist for a major media outlet to post that George W. Bush refudiated the NY Daily News hit piece which alleged that the former president had said her selection as John McCain's '08 running mate was a poor choice. Dubya told Rush Limbaugh in an interview Tuesday that he never said anything of the sort. The salivating media was quick to spread the NYDN lies, but not so much the truth. That makes Mr.Malcolm exceptional, in our opinion. But of course we already knew that.