UPDATE at 1:17pm: Here’s an editorial by Gerald Seib from this morning’s WSJ, entitled, “Romney Emerges as Top Issues Play to His Strength”
And now with Sarah Palin’s resignation, that’s another HUGE thing in his favor.
UPDATE at 1:05pm: One thought keeps running through my mind, as it looks like Palin won’t be running for president in 2012, and that is, “the coast looks crystal clear for Romney.” Hugh Hewitt will be quite pleased I would imagine.
UPDATE at 12:52pm: Breaking News from Fox News. Looks like Palin isn’t going to be heeding Jonah Goldberg’s advice:
Palin Announces She’s Quitting as Governor of Alaska
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin shocked the political word Friday by announcing that she will step down at the end of the month and transfer power to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell.
Palin made the announcement from her home in Wasilla, flanked by her husband, Todd, and family and state commissioners.
Palin’s decision now allows her to avoid the difficult task of running for president while serving as governor.
UPDATE at 10:47am: Jonah Goldberg addresses the Palin die-hards who have been sending him hate mail all morning. I’m pretty amazed about the lack of tolerance on our side when it comes to pundits offering constructive criticism of Palin.
Hey Palin fans, I don’t know if you remember this or not, but Goldberg is the author of a tiny little best-selling book called Liberal Fascism. Maybe you’ve heard of it? How about you stop attacking fellow Conservatives for merely having an opinion that’s different from yours? It makes you seem childish.
And this is coming from someone who would vote for Palin in a heartbeat if she became the nominee.
This follows on the heels of Charles Krauthammer virtually saying the same thing yesterday on Fox News.
I won’t post Goldberg’s entire letter to Palin, but here are a few key excerpts:
For starters, every time I see you on TV, you’re whining about unfair press coverage. Don’t get me wrong: Much of it is unfair, and some of it deserves a response. But it’s not presidential. It’s not even gubernatorial. You are constantly taking the bait, taking up the fights your biggest fans want you to take up.
Politics is ultimately about persuasion, and you seem entirely uninterested in that, preferring instead to play the victim. Well, victims don’t get elected president. Ronald Reagan was a laughingstock for liberals and despised by the press. But he didn’t whine or take the bait.
While I would agree that whining about unfair press coverage isn’t presidential, I’m trying to think of any other instances other than the Letterman feud where she’s done that. There may have been plenty, and I just missed them, but I can’t think of any off the top of my head. In fact, Palin did an 11-minute interview with Hannity back in June, and not once did she mention the media.
Second, peddling a few platitudes and truisms about free markets and limited government is no substitute for really knowing what you’re talking about. Yes, you can talk well about the stuff you know — oil drilling, energy, etc. — but beyond your comfort zone, you fall back on bumper-sticker language that sounds fine to the people who already agree with you but is useless in winning over skeptics.
I completely agree with Goldberg here, and this is the exact reason why I don’t think she’s going to be ready until 2016. Because of how she’s perceived on the Left (attractive woman, funny accent, not very bright) she’s going to have to work twice as hard to convince all Americans that she’s really adept at understanding the crucial issues of the day.
Here’s the good news: You have time. Here’s the better news: You have something no one else in the party has — charisma.
Good politicians can learn how to win over audiences, but the great ones are born with the ability. Reagan had it. Clinton had it. Obama has it. You have it. You are the “It Girl” of the GOP.
Can’t argue with that.
Goldberg’s bottom line:
So here’s my advice. Stay home and do your job and your homework. You’ll still be a national figure come the primaries. But if you can’t surprise your detractors with your grasp of policy when you re-emerge on the national stage, you won’t win the nomination. More important, you won’t deserve to.
That’s exactly right. While Goldberg will be slammed by die-hard Palin fans, his piece is one of constructive criticism, which offers a mostly-accurate portrayal of her strengths and weaknesses.