Palin: Political Rogue or Opportunist?


Slate's John Dickerson, just put out an excellent article, Palin's Campaign vs. McCain's. He raises an interesting question, “Has Sarah Palin "gone rogue"? The way I see it the answer is a definitive and resounding, yes! There is no arguing about, she is totally off message with John McCain as noted in the Slate article, she disagrees with him publicly on leaving Michigan, the marriage amendment, she thinks they should have slammed Obama on Wright, and on removing North Korea from the terror list. These are just the issues listed in Slate. I am sure there are more and they run deeper.

One reason could be because their political theories are almost bipolar; McCain is a Moderate while Palin is an ardent Conservative. There are bound to be huge philosophical differences concerning policies as well as campaign style. Also, Palin suffers from Alaskan Independence Syndrome, meaning she does what she thinks is right. The lady went after corrupt leaders in her own party and knocked them off one-by-one. What makes McCain and company think that they can keep her on the short leash for very long?

Another possibility is that she can read the writing on the wall. With the McCain campaign desperately trying to defibrillate itself back from the dead and not being very successful, the round up for the firing squad is starting to form. I guarantee her name is the first one on the list, as pointed out in the Politico. "These people are going to try and shred her after the campaign to divert blame from themselves," a McCain insider said. This attitude may have forced her into a corner, one in which she sees her own political future at stake. To maintain viability on the national scene she is attempting to go “rogue” and keep her support from the base solidified for future political operations.

Then there is likelihood of disillusionment on her part, by the way she was being “handled" by McCain aides throughout the campaign. "Her strategy was to be trustworthy and a team player during the convention and thereafter, but she felt completely mismanaged and mishandled and ill advised," the person said. "Recently, she's gone from relying on McCain advisers who were assigned to her to relying on her own instincts."

There is some anecdotal evidence supporting this claim, “Palin's "instincts," on display in recent days, have had her opening up to the media, including a round of interviews on talk radio, cable and broadcast outlets, as well as chats with her traveling press and local reporters.”

In the Slate article there was mention of a prospect that I might have bought about a month ago. But there is so much obvious fracturing in the McCain camp that I find it hard to believe. Here is the theory from Slate, “The only exception is when campaign strategists carefully orchestrate a schism—and we know when these moments are coming because everyone in the press is invited to watch.”

Dickerson, does argue against it though and I am inclined to agree with some of his appraisal. “But Palin's disagreements don't appear to be a part of a larger strategy. So, political insiders have started asking whether Palin is simply undisciplined or is intentionally ignoring the playbook. And if it's intentional, the question becomes: Is she putting her own political self-interest ahead of her running mate's?

Finally, this explanation of why she went Weather Underground on the McCain camp is the most plausible. "She was completely mishandled in the beginning. No one took the time to look at what her personal strengths and weaknesses are and developed a plan that made sense based on who she is as a candidate," the aide said. "But the aide said that Palin's inexperience led her to her own mistakes: "How she was handled allowed her weaknesses to hang out in full display."This takes into account her political inexperience on the national scene as well as highlights the McCain advisers not doing their jobs properly.

In regards to her recent stroke of political individualism she will still be the target of full blame by her detractors if McCain loses, and the McCain aides will be more than happy to stoke those fires without any prodding. In order for her to remain viable in this environment she must make a positive mark on politics, this calls for her to be a little bit of a rogue as well as an opportunist. If she performs adequately it might just be Senator Sarah Palin (R-AK), minority whip.


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