"I wonder what he meant by that." That's what Talleyrand is supposed to have said on getting news of the death of the Turkish ambassador. Or was it Metternich on the death of Talleyrand?
So when the president responds to criticism by Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) on his nuclear policy:
President Barack Obama on Thursday made clear he was not going to take advice from Republican Sarah Palin when it comes to decisions about the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
You wonder. Is he serious? What would be the point of commenting on something Sarah Palin said? Does the president want to boost Palin because he thinks she'd be an easy mark in 2012? Or did he just say that in a careless throwaway remark?
I'd like to suggest this to the president: Don't boost Sarah Palin into the position of de-facto leader of the opposition. You'll live to regret it.
Your liberal pals in the mainstream media have done a bang-up job of demonizing Gov. Palin. So everyone left of center now believes that she is a flake.
Maybe they are right. But what if they are wrong? Despite the most horrendous attacks and humiliations, she's still there. She's very popular, not just on the far right wing but with moderate women. And I'd say she has the potential to appeal to rust-belt Democrats, the lunch-bucket Democrats that are on the cusp of deserting the new identity-multicultural party that sneers at God and guns.
Democrats have made much of Palin's inexperience. What are they talking about? She's been a professional politician since 1992. She's been a legislative politician on a city council. She's been an executive politician, as mayor and governor. And she's had experience as a regulator.
Yes, but she doesn't have national experience!
Here's my take on that. In my experience of politics, the higher you go, the more you get paid professional help. On the city council, you are on your own, and your staffers are as green as you are. But when you run for governor you start attracting contributions and ambitious people eager to hitch their wagons to your star. At the presidential level there is a whole subculture of campaign professionals, not to mention national think tanks, all eager to ride your coat-tails to national power.
Palin may have been inexperienced in national politics in 2008, but in 2010 she will be a kingmaker, and by 2012 she will have a fully functioning national political machine.
Palin has already defined her ideological position. She calls it "common-sense conservatism" and she mentions it with practically every breath. What does it mean? Good question, Senator. It means whatever she wants it to mean, but it seems to be uniquely suitable for a run against an ideological liberal.
If I were Obama I think I would much rather run against a Gingrich, a Romney, a Pawlenty, ordinary politicians without the star power of Palin.
But maybe the president knows something I don't know.