Apr 8, 2010

Translating Palinspeak

"What truly distinguishes Palin’s speech is its utter subjectivity: that is, she speaks very much from the inside of her head, as someone watching the issues from a considerable distance. The there fetish, for instance – Palin frequently displaces statements with an appended “there,” as in “We realize that more and more Americans are starting to see the light there...” But where? Why the distancing gesture? At another time, she referred to Condoleezza Rice trying to “forge that peace.” That peace? You mean that peace way over there – as opposed to the peace that you as Vice-President would have been responsible for forging? She’s far, far away from that peace."— John McWhorter
It's a reverse zoom: a long way distant is precisely where she wants to be when asked questions of this nature. "That peace" is shorthand for "you know, the peace we all know about so well and which you will therefore not be wanting to ask me any more questions about" or more precisely: "Get me out of here!" Chris Bowers argues that her nomination as the Republican candidate for President in 2012, assuming she runs, is a lock.
  1. Huckabee is unlikely to run, and his evangelical / born again base (virtually all Huckabee voters in 2008 were evangelicals) is a lot closer to Sarah Palin than they are to Mitt Romney.
  2. Romney isn't going to win many caucuses if he is facing a candidate who can draw 10,000 people to a rally in early 2010, not to mention what is likely a tarnished reputation among Republican activists after the health care fight.
  3. Palin's grassroots strength will provide her with all the funding she needs, and also goes a long way to pre-empting any possible insurgent candidacy against her.
  4. Say what you will about Palin's ability as a campaigner, but if gaffes were going to make her unpopular among Republicans, it would have happened already.
Pretty please with sugar on top.

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