I took a circuitous route that led me to a bit with the same title. I started to write a comment in the latest open thread but it got to be really long so I decided to do a diary.
If you want to know the answer, look below. (Not down; unless you’re her mother or father the answer isn’t in your lap.)
The post by fellow Alaskan Andrew Halco is quite introspective:
It begins thusly:
January 27, 2011: Sarah Palin has a problem. With just months to go before the GOP field for the 2012 presidential race starts filling up like shoppers queuing for a Wal-Mart black Friday sale, polls show that she is the most intensely disliked politician in America.
The article goes on to mention why that might be so: the intense media focus and Sarah. But the real issue, according to Halco, lies with the Alaska voters:
From her time as Mayor of Wasilla to her run for governor in 2006, Palin’s message on the issues of the day never had to mature. She was never forced to compete for votes on a knowledge based field, instead using her charisma while tapping into the public’s distrust and dissatisfaction with government. Everything was a soundbite, intended to give voters an easy way out without having to think.
In April of 2006, the morning after a debate at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Palin and I were sharing a cup of coffee at the Captain Cook. “I hear you spout off facts and figures with no notes and I’m just amazed, but then I look out over the audience and I wonder if it really makes a difference”, she said to me.
During an August 2006 candidates forum, opponent John Binkley asked Palin what her vision was for the University of Alaska. For the next forty five seconds Palin prattled on about travelling Alaska, talking to Alaskans. “I’ve been travelling the state in a Jetta, not a jet (an obvious swipe at former Governor Murkowski’s ill-fated jet) and they understand the importance of education.”
I seem to recall that she didn’t want to answer Gwen Ifill’s questions, either, during the VP debate because she wanted to talk directly to the people about what mattered to them. I am pretty sure most of us knew that Sarah knew she couldn’t actually give a good answer to most questions. So, why not go her own way; she apparently was successful in the past.
But she was popular, largely I understand due to checks each Alaskan received from oil revenue, so she could use that popularity to push through important legislation (or not):
Her stratospheric approval from the public gave her the power necessary to pass her gas pipeline plan (AGIA) and to raise oil company taxes (ACES) to some of the highest marginal tax rates in the world. The public never questioned the significance or the risk, only taking Palin’s word. In one online poll, roughly sixty percent of respondents felt Palin’s plan would deliver Alaskans a gas pipeline.
Today, three years after the passage of both pieces of legislation, there is widespread recognition that the only two pieces of Palin’s legacy are failures. Headlines scream about lost investment due to high taxes and a failed pipeline plan while the state is on the hook for almost $500 million. The new governor and legislative leaders are talking out loud about abandoning both policies to protect Alaska’s economic future.
So can she repair the damage she’s done to her image? Doesn’t look like it:
Palin’s problem is she has fallen too far too fast and judging from history, a mid-course correction is highly unlikely. If Palin were to succeed in repairing her high negatives she must immediately begin to temper her tone and offer more substance than an occasional tweet or two blaming Obama for high gas prices.
She must take into account she is marketing herself to many different audiences and one size, or in this case one screed, does not fit all.
These segments include Republican base voters who will be a big factor in next years primaries; independent and moderate voters who will vote in next year’s general election and the news media itself which will continue to scrutinize, dissect and parse her words in different ways and in greater volumes, all with their own twist and interpretation.
We have seen that she cannot, or doesn’t think she has to, change. Her comments after the Tucson shootings show that clearly. Now she’s given us a “spudnut” moment ~ I watched her interview with Greta with the sound off so I didn’t realize what that was about. Having since read the transcription her “spudnut” moment is a bigger WTF? moment than she claims the President’s “Sputnik” moment was. By the way, Sarah has posted a Facebook response to the SOTU. I’m surprised the media hasn’t commented, although I guess the on-air interview is better “news.”
Note to Sarah as well ~ middle-aged women (I’m one so I know what I’m talking about) should not use WTF? in public … ever. Seriously. OMG!