President Obama’s forceful declaration at the end of his State of the Union address – “I don’t quit!” – may be a pretty clever way of reviving a presidency on the ropes. But it’s a cry that has an awfully familiar ring to it.
Last summer, in resigning the governorship of Alaska, Sarah Palin made not being a quitter her own personal theme. “I’m certainly not a quitter,” the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee told CNN’s Drew Griffin in an interview not long after announcing her departure. “I’m a fighter.”
In her resignation speech on July 3, Palin said that serving out the remainder of her term as governor as Democratic political operatives drain the state treasury by targeting her with frivolous ethics probes would lead to paralysis for the state’s executive branch.
“It may be tempting and more comfortable to just keep your head down, plod along, and appease those who demand: ‘Sit down and shut up,’” she said, “but that’s the worthless, easy path; that’s a quitter’s way out.”
The bestselling author of “Going Rogue” added “it would be apathetic to just hunker down and ‘go with the flow’” – “only dead fish ‘go with the flow.’”
At first, pundits called it a politically suicidal decision, but Palin’s “I’m not a quitter!” tack has ended up making her more popular than ever. Her book sales and now her prominent new role as a Fox News commentator have led to her sitting atop the entire field of Republican presidential hopefuls for 2012.
A new Newsmax/Zogby poll finds Palin leading a large and varied pack of GOP candidates with 22.2 percent. Coming in second was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 19.4 percent.
The Newsmax survey, released Thursday, asked likely Republican voters who would get their support if the GOP presidential primary were taking place now. Well behind Palin were former House Speaker Newt Gingrich with 12 percent and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 11 percent. Further down on the list were Massachusetts Sen.-elect Scott Brown, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and counter-insurgency wizard Gen. David Petraeus.
These new findings are in stark contrast with previous polls showing Palin trailing other potential candidates like Huckabee.
The feisty candor of “Going Rogue” and her combative refusal to quit has given Sarah Palin a stunning surge in popularity. So much so that her “I’m not a quitter!” rallying cry has become a model for a president who just suffered electoral defeats in New Jersey, Virginia, and most devastatingly, heavily Democratic Massachusetts – where Scott Brown’s Senate win may mean the death of Obamacare.
Few observers could ever have imagined Barack Obama of all people taking a page from Sarah Palin’s political playbook.
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