Thanks to media rogues and back-stabbing colleagues, many in the punditocracy are underestimating the future possibilities for Sarah Palin.
“A poll said like 80 percent of Republicans want her to, you know, become a leader in their party,” Paul Begala said on HBO’s “Real Time.” “And my answer was, and 100 percent of Democrats.”
Careful what you wish for may be the apt admonition for the liberal political consultant and his friends.
Hollywood agents, studio execs, and PR firms alike often muse about the elusive quality of “star power.”
As we saw during this election cycle, D.C. officially has become Hollywood East.
Political stars have all the glitz, glamour, and fame, as do top box-office draws. Like movie idols, they ooze charisma, command stages, induce lightheadedness and uncontrollable weeping among adoring fans, create endless fascination, grace magazine covers, shape opinion, set trends, and provide otherwise ordinary lives with excitement.
Of course, President-elect Obama fits this profile to a T. But so, too, does Governor Palin, or Sarah, as she is now affectionately known; first-name star recognition like Cher, Jen, and Angelina.
Evidence of Sarah’s enduring star power can be seen in the interview requests that continue to pour in from the likes of Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey, and Larry King. Even as I write, proposals from the biggest agents in Hollywood are being drafted by the droves.
Sarah’s emergence at the Republican National Convention would leave an indelible impression of an awesomely inspiring female leader, yet one so approachable. The public would swoon over the hockey mom with a baby on her hip who would ascend to the highest office of her state and beyond to become the veep nominee. Pure gold.
She would go on to draw consistently larger crowds than the man at the top of the ticket. And in that same vein, she is destined to triumph over the negative image that the mainstream media has plastered over her.
The conservative base, vital during the primary process, is in love with Sarah. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 64 percent of Republicans pick her for the party's next presidential nomination, and 69 percent of GOP-ers believe that she helped rather than hurt McCain in the election.
After the hard-fought campaign, Sarah returned to Alaska. As she emerged from her plane, the crowd chanted, “2012! 2012!”
In his gracious concession speech, McCain praised his running mate as “one of the best campaigners I have ever seen, and an impressive new voice in our party for reform and the principles that have always been our greatest strength.”
The party’s new voice has left the door open for a run. When asked about a possible 2012 candidacy, Sarah told the press, “Plans for 2012 are to enroll Trig in kindergarten and see where the kids are at that time in their lives. They're going to come first.”
She added, dramatically: “We'll see what happens then.”
James Hirsen, who has a law degree and a master’s in media psychology, is a media analyst, teacher of mass media and entertainment law at Biola University, and professor at Trinity Law School.
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