Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Sarah Palin at the June 8 Republican Dinner
By Bernie Quigley
- for The Hill on 6/09/09
Last year when Neil Young was promoting some new material, people kept asking him to play the old songs. He told a reporter that he preferred doing the new material because he was a different person back then – Young headlined at Woodstock and was a leading voice into the next decade – and he can’t even remember who that person was.
That is a comment on the artist’s life well lived, taking it as it comes and always peering ahead on the smoky river, never looking back. But it creates issues for the firm. The corporation hates change. It wants to sell the old songs in the backlog. That is the problem the Republicans had with Sarah Palin last night at the Republican dinner. As said here months back, if Governor Palin is to come forth, she will come forth at the June 8th dinner. And she did.
But the Republicans are heavily invested now in the old school. They are very old people with very old ideas who want to hear the old favorites. Palin, Todd and extended family fully change the paradigm; they are an explosive new force in American politics coming down out of Alaska like a volcano. The Palins are Neil Young, coming out of the big mountains in the northern wilderness. The Republicans want to hear the old favorites. They don’t want Neil Young. They want Perry Como. So they took her off the dais and put in that old chestnut, Newt Gingrich.
But Governor Palin is a force of nature which cannot, will not be held back. She was not allowed to speak last night but I couldn’t find any reports about what the speakers actually talked about. However, three million people listened to Sean Hannity’s interview with Palin on Fox in the yard outside.
Hannity, to his credit, circumvented the market. Much as Bob Dylan did when he first awakened on the scene. Likewise, the firm Dylan was under contract to refused to play his good songs, pitching instead the old favorites; modest and moving folk songs he had played at Newport on a wooden guitar. But the really good stuff would change everything. It would be bad news for the old crooners. It would ruin their list. So Dylan surreptitiously brought his music to a New York disco famous and trendy in the day called Arthur’s and slipped it to the DJ. Several radio people were on hand and played it in the morning all over New York. Like a Rolling Stone changed the record industry, changed the day, changed everything.
I’ll put Hannity’s interview with Palin last night in comparison. The Palins cannot be held back; not by Muggle network apparatchiks like Tiny Fey, Charles Gibson and Katie Couric, not by the Republican National Committee, not by anything.