Friday, November 5, 2010

Jedediah Bila: The Palin Effect in the 2010 Elections

In her Human Events column, Jedidiah Bila considers the question, "Did Palin-endorsed mama grizzlies roar?" Some won, some lost, and the governor's overall batting average will remain very high, even if the remaining undecided races don't turn out as desired.
The “radical” portrait that has been painted of Palin by the left-wing media lives on in many places, particularly in heavily blue states like California and Delaware. I assure you that Palin Derangement Syndrome is alive and well in Manhattan.

Some have argued that even without the “radical” epithet, the fact that Palin is a true conservative—both fiscally and socially—can be a tough sell in heavily blue states. They have opined that her endorsement of Republicans in states where many consider Arnold Schwarzenegger to be conservative, may not have been perceived well by many in those states.

Reality check: Palin’s endorsements aren’t geared toward America’s hard left. They’re meant to rally conservatives, Republicans, and Independents—be they in typically red or blue states. They won’t always yield victory, particularly in America’s deep blue regions, but you just never know. It is noteworthy that her endorsements of Susana Martinez in blue-leaning NM and Kelly Ayotte in blue-leaning NH certainly lent a hand to their successes.

In ordinarily red states and/or districts—and with respect to the GOP primary—there’s no doubt that Palin’s endorsements helped put candidates like Nikki Haley, Rand Paul, and NY–13’s Michael Grimm on the national map, playing a role in their victories.

On another note, Palin has been willing to get behind candidates far from shoo-in status, including the likes of Christine O’Donnell, John Gomez, Sharron Angle, Sean Bielat, John Raese, and Joe Miller. She appears to base her endorsements upon which candidates she believes are standing on principled conservative ground, rather than upon whether or not they’re considered to be “sure winners.” That will undoubtedly yield a results map that features some losses.

Much like her decision to resign from the governorship after facing a slew of bogus, costly ethics charges, Palin’s choice of endorsements doesn’t appear to be based on what will or won’t preserve her political future. Rather, it seems to be based on her principles..."

The author makes the salient observation that even Mediaite, CBS, and NBC, none of which can be described as having a favorable attitude toward the first woman to be both Alask's governor and the GOP's vice presidential candidate, all had to admit that Mama Bear had a great night. and that, Bila says, "just may be one for the books."

- JP

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