In an earlier era of American history, the road to the White House passed through the office of the assistant secretary of the Navy.
That was the door Theodore Roosevelt used in 1897 and it worked so well that others followed in his wake, including a distant cousin named Franklin, who pulled off the same trick in 1913.
Now it appears that the Republican nomination, anyway, must pass through the doors of the Fox News Channel.
Sarah Palin has been announced as a paid Fox News contributor, joining another RNC presidential hopeful, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, on the network’s payroll. Now, we will hear her screechy voice (actually they say Lincoln had a screechy voice too) and feel her fiery rhetoric uncensored, as she calls a spade a spade for middle America.
Most of the networks jealously ignored the event although many of their toady political writers pontificated on the Palin hiring as clear evidence of the unabashed Republicanism of Fox. Their own uncritical, even gushing coverage of the Obama administration hardly qualifies them as nonpartisan.
Still, they huffed and puffed self-righteously, irritated by the unavoidable numbers. They are splitting the Democrat votes while giving Fox the sole ownership of the other half of the country. In a strictly business sense, Fox wins, hands down.
But even more maddening is the realization that the sexy moose hunter from Alaska no longer will be spoon-fed by them, sound bite by carefully chosen sound bite, to the American public.
Palin will be able to fight back with luxurious five-minute segments. And, in case you forgot, she is a scrapper. And they, the libs, have ridiculed and abused her children. Look out. A mama bear don’t allow that sort of thing.
The odds are very high that she will misstep or misspeak during her Fox tenure. Huckabee may not know how to pick the right people for the parole board but he sure can walk the television high wire. But can the hot, popular Palin? And she will likely misspeak because the things that will drive her popularity on television are not the things that make for a winning candidate.
There is a reason why Republican candidates often are thought of as dumb and Democrats as dull. (Dukakis, Gore, Kerry? I call them Dumb and Duller). It is because entertainment and politics are different disciplines. And discipline is the correct word here. The entertainer must make us laugh or cry or get angry. And a politician who does that is bound to lose.
Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, and Newt Gingrich — all FNC contributors? There is one last piece in this puzzle. The Fox News Channel must soon secure Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. And then, with a clean sweep, they will have them all in the stable and the RNC can take place at the FNC.
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