After more than a decade away from electoral politics, former GOP Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is going back on the ballot for the at-large House seat left vacant by deceased Rep. Don Young who died last month. It’s past time for the former vice-presidential candidate reclaim her stardom as a serious policymaker after the media nearly killed it in 2008.
Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris is everything the media frantically portrayed Palin was about to be 14 years ago. Ignorant, extreme, unprepared, and merely one 70-year-old’s heartbeat away from the presidency. Except while Arizona Sen. John McCain was 71 in 2008, President Joe Biden governs today at 79.
Harris offered her latest word salad this week in what’s become routine for the vice president dragging the administration down with abysmal favorable ratings. Watch what she had to say at a White House event with the prime minister of Jamaica on Wednesday:
If it were Palin at the podium, Saturday Night Live (SNL) would lead this weekend’s program with Tina Fey returning to reprise her role as the 2008 vice-presidential candidate. In fact, Fey will probably be back on the late-night skits as Palin once again by the end of the year mocking Palin’s run for the House of Representatives as the comedian did when the conservative lightning rod endorsed Trump in 2016.
Wednesday’s nonsense from Harris at the White House was relatively tame compared to the prior 14 months of nonsensical commentary from the nation’s president on stand-by.
Just last month, Harris appeared to confuse Ukraine as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), despite its pending membership of the western security apparatus at the heart of the conflict in eastern Europe.
“I will say what I know we all say and I will say over and over again: the United States stands firmly with the Ukrainian people in defense of the NATO alliance,” Harris said at the annual DNC meeting.
Harris made the same mistake again in a tweet days later.
Palin, in contrast, was depicted as a dunce when she suggested governing the state closest to the Kremlin-controlled landmass along its arctic border enhanced her foreign policy credentials with Russian land visible from Alaskan territory.
“I can see Russia from my house!” Fey mocked the governor on SNL who returned to the weekly comedy program to play the part.
Just 55 miles with islands in between on the Bering Strait however, even Slate conceded that yes, Palin’s was right when she claimed on ABC “you can actually see Russia from land, here in Alaska.”
Palin was asked again later in the campaign by Katie Couric, then at CBS, how governing Alaska equipped her to navigate complex global affairs. Her response wasn’t well-articulated, but it wasn’t outright inaccurate either, certainly not on the scale of misidentifying Ukraine as a NATO state when Russia’s invasion was launched over that very issue.
Palin, the most popular governor in the country wasn’t treated fairly in 2008, whose folksy attitude on the campaign trail was the subject of mockery from reporters who often trapped her in “gotcha questions” in nearly every memorable moment of the election. The same could not be said of Harris, whose unpopularity and extremism failed to propel her own presidential campaign even to the Iowa caucuses. GovTrack rated Harris, not Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, as the most liberal senator in 2019.
Harris’s pattern of quotable moments, on the other hand, has almost always come unprovoked in prepared speeches, or, as shown above, in a written tweet, with few exceptions. One exception stands out below where Harris explains the crisis in Ukraine as if she were a kindergarten teacher to an audience who are not kindergarteners:
Even after the media’s hostile coverage of the former Alaska governor in 2008, Palin’s popularity never dipped below 50 percent among constituents during her time in office despite her national reputation wrecked by the beltway circus. No vice-presidential candidate ever faced the kind of viscous and sustained character assassination as Palin did, by both the media and her own campaign.
While Biden’s team protected Harris on the trail, Palin’s handlers, Steve Schmidt and Nicole Wallace, were working to undermine the success of their own ticket selling out stories to reporters before the election was over. Wallace didn’t even vote for the campaign that employed the future MSNBC host.
If Palin’s run for Congress pans out, we can expect more of the same.