Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Sarah Palin Overexposed: Even Among Conservatives, Her Numbers Drop

5 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size
Thursday was not a good day for veteran Washington Post pundit David Broder to write a column praising Sarah Palin. Noting that Alaska governor who quit must be taken "seriously," Broder gushed:

Her lengthy Saturday night keynote address to the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville and her debut on the Sunday morning talk show circuit with Fox News' Chris Wallace showed off a public figure at the top of her game -- a politician who knows who she is and how to sell herself, even with notes on her palm.

But the same day that Broder was hailing Palin's "pitch-perfect populism" -- without mentioning the demagogic inclinations that led her to decry non-existent "death panels" -- his paper was reporting a new ABC News/Washington Post poll that found that 55 percent of Americans hold an unfavorable view of Palin and, more important, that 71 percent say she is unqualified to be president.

That latter figure is up from the 60 percent who dismissed her as presidential material in November. Meanwhile, Palin's favorable rating slipped to 37 percent, a low for this survey. (Only a dismal 18 percent said they "strongly" hold a favorable view of Palin, while 38 percent reported they "strongly" hold an unfavorable view of her.) Palin even lost ground among conservative Republicans. Less than half -- 45 percent -- consider her qualified to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Last fall, that number was 66 percent.

What does all this mean? Probably that Sarah Palin's publicity blitz of the past few months centered around her book has not bolstered her public standing. As Americans have seen more of Palin, they have lowered their opinion of her.

The PR parade that kicked off with her book was Palin's chance -- as the cliche goes -- to reintroduce herself to her fellow Americans after the unsuccessful 2008 campaign and her inexplicable resignation as Alaska governor. And the whole effort was under her control. It was up to Palin to decide what to write in her book and what messages to convey during her book tour and other public appearances. Yet though her book has sold well -- and earned her millions of dollars -- it was widely seen as a score-settling account aimed at critical McCain aides largely unknown to the general public.

The book made her look smaller, not bigger. It was not, uh, very presidential -- hardly a companion to John Kennedy's "Profiles in Courage." And her speech to the controversial Tea Party Nation convention last weekend made her seem like a money-grubber. She pocketed $115,000 for a political address that most pols give for free.

Palin said she would use the money to support conservative causes, but declined to specify how she would do so. (Would she donate the fee to her own political action committee, which would then buy more copies of her own book?) All in all, this hasn't been an impressive run for her.

Recently, I asked a friend of Palin's who are the people advising the ex-governor. This fellow shrugged and said, "Who knows?" He explained that Palin cooks up her own strategy. She has a few aides, but she doesn't reach out to consultants or advisers. "It's basically her and Todd," he remarked. "She does what she wants to do." He said this more in sorrow than admiration. "I don't see any plan," he added, shaking his head. (Months ago, an adviser to Mitt Romney told me, with unadulterated glee, that Palin had no senior or well-experienced political strategists providing her any advice.)

In her book, Palin complained that all those mean and petty McCain aides wouldn't let Sarah be Sarah. But in the past few months, she's been able to present herself exactly as she wants -- with her book, her regular Facebook utterances, her Fox News gig.

(On her Facebook page, she blasted White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for referring to a strategy being considered by progressive groups a "retarded" idea, and then went easy on Rush Limbaugh after he called liberals "retards." ) There's been no filter. It's been Sarah Palin Unplugged. After all, she wrote those notes on her own hand for that Tea Party speech in which she derided President Obama for using a teleprompter. She cannot blame anyone else. And after all this exposure -- or overexposure -- the American public mostly appears unimpressed. That is, except for David Broder.

You can follow David Corn's postings and media appearances via Twitter.
Outbrain - The Most Trusted Content Discovery Platform

Get Your Content Discovered.

Promote your content on premium websites

Learn More ›

Outbrain Amplify:
Get your content discovered

Your content will be promoted on the web's largest and most respected media properties, including, Slate and ESPN. We make sure it's seen precisely when people will find it most interesting.

Learn More

Outbrain Engage: The solution for a modern publisher

Outbrain Engage is a full stack software solution that empowers an entire media organization to more effectively manage its online content and programming experience.

Learn More

The world's largest content discovery platform

We bring together premium publishers and marketers of all sizes (including many of the world's leading brands) into the world's largest and most vibrant content marketplace. Learn more about Outbrain ›

561 Million

The global audience reached by Outbrain each month*

190 Billion

The total recommendations we serve consumers monthly


Of the world’s leading brands use Outbrain

* Audience reach according to comScore, September 2014. Leading brands via Ad Age DataCenter / Kantar Media, 2014.

Andy Blau
We selected Outbrain not only because the revenues were higher than others, but because its engine drives better recommendations than others.
Andy Blau
Senior Vice President, Group General Manager
Time Inc.
Dan Horowitz
It's less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content.
Dan Horowitz
EVP and Senior Partner
Fleishman-Hillard Digital
Katrina Craigwell
Our goal is always to deliver content that adds value to the conversations being held by the end user. Outbrain allows us to do just that.
Katrina Craigwell
Global Manager of Digital Marketing
Bailey Foote
The fact that we’re able to drive these kinds of transactions with consumers at scale and with increasing efficiency has made Outbrain paramount to our marketing strategy.
Bailey Foote
E-commerce Manager
The Line
Neal Moore
You cannot leave it to chance that someone will find and engage with your content. Outbrain can put your content in the midst of the world’s most prestigious publications.
Neal Moore
Zach Zavos
Having links to our content appearing directly on premium publisher sites helped us establish our brand.
Zach Zavos
Conversant Media
Mike Brito
Outbrain is one of those [critical] components helping us deliver the right messages to the right contingent at massive scale and in real time to counter a crisis.
Mike Brito
Group Director

A global footprint of service

We operate offices in 11 global territories and we partner with publishers and marketers in over 55 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, India and Japan. Come join us ›

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.

Follow Politics Daily

  • Comics
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>