Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What do you mean, "Where is Sarah?"

We've been seeing so many great posts at American Thinker and praising them lately that it was inevitable that Thomas Lifson's great site would publish something with which we would disagree. And so it has with George Joyce's "Where's Sarah?" which was posted to AT's blog late Monday afternoon.

Joyce, it seems, is so bummed by Mark Steyn's conjecture -- in an NRO op-ed that ObamaCare will probably get pushed through eventually -- that he's gettin' mighty nervous. Joyce wants Sarah Palin, warrior princess, to ride in on a white steed and save the day:
In light of this remarkable admission from Steyn, the question on many conservative minds is: where’s Sarah Palin? In response to those who have defended Palin’s gutsy political instincts one can only wonder about a woman who seemed to be AWOL during and after last Saturday’s heady demonstration. In other words, without a clearly recognized conservative spokesperson willing to passionately articulate the desires of millions of frustrated Americans, the poll numbers will probably continue to favor the rhetorically unchecked Obama.

Either Palin has decided not to run for President in 2012, or, huddled with her advisors, she is carefully calculating how to plod into her party’s nomination a couple of years from now. If the latter, this dynamic, popular, and talented woman is making a profound mistake.

There’s a righteous wind blowing – a conservative righteous wind – but so far no conservative politician has been prescient enough to ride the gale force that may be the only deterrent to what Steyn envisions as America’s left-of-center future.

In other words, even if Palin does get elected in 2012, her passion may well be condemned to pledges about how she can “deliver government services more efficiently.”

Someone very soon needs to take a leap of faith – the time for calculation is long past.
Chill, George.

Wherever Sarah Palin is, she's probably finishing her book. Authors who sign deals to have their books published owe big obligations to their publishers, who expect to have manuscripts on the editor's desk by certain dates. That's usually written into the contract. And even if the former governor has already delivered her manuscript to Harper Collins, editors always want to make changes, most of them minor ones. Our best guess is that Sarah, with the help of Lynn Vincent, is in the process of making those final changes to the manuscript now. It's a matter of simple economics, as Andrew Malcolm explains:
Book advances are usually paid half on signing and half on acceptance of the finished manuscript with the agent usually receiving at least 15% off the top.
And she can use the money. Her legal bills, thanks to a number of frivolous "ethics" complaints that were filed against her, were reported to be well over $600,000 as of July, and have probably accrued considerably in the two months since. She can't touch her legal defense fund, as that money is tied up pending the resolution of yet another "ethics" complaint which was ironically filed against her simply for having a legal defense fund. 

Sarah Palin declared her independence July 3 when she announced her intention to resign her office, and she sealed it at the governor's picnic when she officially handed over the reigns of power to Sean Parnell later that month. Her key to being able to make the most of her liberation from the bear trap of the Alaska governor's office is the financial security for which her book advance is only just the down payment.

So Sarah Palin has personal business to take care of, and it is obviously very important to her. She passed up an opportunity to appear at the Ronald Reagan Library at the invitation of a Republican women's group and also said no to several other events where her presence would have been a great benefit to her. So no one should really be surprised that she didn't show up at the epicenter of the 9/12 event Saturday. We doubt she will make any public appearances prior to her scheduled keynote address in Hong Kong at the CLSA Investors' Forum September 23.

There is also another personal matter which is sure to command Sarah Palin's attention. Her son Track's Army unit, the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, is in the process of rotating back home after a year of duty in Iraq. Track is due to return soon (the last group of 1/25 Strykers should be back stateside by Oct. 1), and he will have some well-deserved leave coming. Count on the Palins to celebrate his return and spend some family time to themselves.

But there is another reason why she didn't show in person in Washington, D.C. this weekend. The 9/12 event wasn't about her -- it was about the everyday people who made it happen. It was their moment in the limelight, their chance to stand up to the president and his enablers and say, "No you can't." Had Sarah Palin turned up there and stole their thunder, she would have already been dragged through the coals by the Left as a rank opportunist.

Her presence there would have also taken away the argument that 9/12, the tea parties and the town halls are all part of a genuine grassroots movement. The Obamunists dispute this and claim that it's a top-down conspiracy spearheaded by Fox News, the Republican Party and whatever other boogey men they can think of. Had Sarah Palin walked onto the stage, it would have simply added fuel to the fire they have tried, so far unsuccessfully, to build.

We have to have patience, and we have to have faith. When and if the time is right, Sarah Palin will be where she has to be. Trust her political instincts, which many of both her admirers and her critics have praised. And don't for even a second doubt her passion. The grassroots movement will have star-quality leadership when the grassroots decides that someone deserving has earned it, and not a day sooner than that. Sarah Palin said she intended to campaign for conservative candidates for 2010, and we don't doubt her commitment to do just that. After that, who knows?

And though Mark Steyn is one of our all-time favorite political writers (we put him up there with Victor Davis Hanson and Bill Whittle), he is not a prophet, nor is he infallible. For the moment, at least, Obama doesn't have the votes he needs to push through his Big Government patent medicine. There is still plenty of time to make this grassroots movement mature if we take our time and keep our wits about us. That "righteous wind" is in no danger of  blowing itself out anytime soon.

Finally in answer to the question that forms the title for George Joyce's op-ed, all anyone at the rally had to do was look around them. Everywhere there were Sarah Palin t-shirts, posters, pictures, buttons and banners. She was there in spirit, which was not unexpected and was the appropriate presence for her, in our opinion.

- JP

No comments: