Monday, November 14, 2011

Scott Conroy: Palin's ‘Crony Capitalism’ Mantra Gets ‘60 Minutes’ Boost

If Cain fades, Gingrich may be well positioned to contend seriously for her endorsement.
Scott Conroy at RealClearPolitics muses if Gov. Palin had run for president, one of her campaign's landmarks would have been Sunday night's episode of "60 Minutes":
In the venerable CBS News program's opening segment, Hoover Institute fellow and Palin adviser Peter Schweizer previewed his forthcoming book, "Throw Them All Out," which details allegations of legal, yet ethically dubious insider trading and conflicts of interest among members of Congress.

“There are all sorts of forms of honest graft that congressmen engage in that allow them to become very, very wealthy,” Schweizer told correspondent Steve Kroft. “So it's not illegal, but I think it's highly unethical, I think it's highly offensive, and wrong.”

Schweizer has been described in various news reports as a “foreign policy adviser” and a “speechwriter” for Palin. In fact, he is both of those things, and far more than that.

Though he has managed to stay largely under the radar until now, Schweizer’s influence on Palin since joining her staff last spring has been profound.

When Palin was still mulling a presidential run back in September, she delivered a closely watched speech in Iowa that served as a preview of sorts for Schweizer’s new book. In the speech, it was the former Alaska governor’s references to “crony capitalism” and “the permanent political class” that picked up the most attention -- buzz phrases that appear near the very beginning of Schweizer’s new tome.

“This is a book about how a Permanent Political Class, composed of politicians and their friends, engages in honest graft,” Schweizer writes in the introduction to his book, which goes on sale Tuesday. “Let’s call it crony capitalism.”

Along with Steven K. Bannon, the filmmaker behind the pro-Palin documentary “The Undefeated,” Schweizer’s influence has been instrumental in leading Palin to a renewed focus on her political roots as a reformer.


But now Bannon is considering embarking on a new film project based on many of the themes in Schweizer’s book, and Palin appears ready to reinsert herself more prominently into the 2012 fray, though not as a candidate

- JP

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