Katie Couric and Sarah Palin: Will Rick Perry go rogue in 2012? - this is an unedited draft
We will learn one thing from Sarah Palin’s new book, Going Rogue: She will not be humiliated; she will not be intimidated; she will meet you head on. This should be considered in answering the question posed by Armstrong Williams here whether there will be a dark horse Republican candidate in 2012. Conditions are almost perfect for a dark horse because an original, new conservative theme has developed this past year and that theme has a rising spirit attached to it. Former Alaskan governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is the rising spirit, although she may not be the dark horse candidate.
Katie Couric will get her fare share in Palin’s book. Couric is the major networks’ official greeter. She is a gatekeeper. Her role is archetypal rather than journalistic. When she embarrassed Palin by insinuation and mneumonic slander (“. . . not one of us”) implying that she never read a newspaper, she turned Palin away from the door. She unofficially granted permission from the networks and sent forth the winged monkeys – Tiny Fey, Letterman, etc. – allowing them free fire character assassin.
The interview Couric did with Palin will be considered a milestone of journalistic history. In previous elections we had pack journalism but what happened in 2008 can only be called horde journalism. The 2008 election reminded Johns Hopkins professor and frequent Wall Street Journal commentator Faoud Ajami of the “politics of crowds” in places like Argentina and Egypt and Iran, “ . . . of multitudes brought together by their zeal for a Peron or a Nasser or a Khomeini.” Couric and the networks intentionally set out to subvert a Presidential race by destroying one of the candidates. The networks – and the NYTs and the Washington Post – had already decided by mid July when McCain was 15 points behind Obama where the election would go. The celebrations for the first black president were all prepared and the invitations had already been sent out. Suddenly, with the arrival of Palin, they were dead even. It changed everything.
Palin’s was a dynamic new voice in America, potentially one as vital and relevant as Andrew Jackson’s. Couric should have been fired, instead she was honored and rewarded by Princeton University, mocking Palin throughout the award ceremony in her bright red dress. Possibly no incident in the post-war period showed the full convergence of the networks, the press, academia, undergraduate bloggers by the millions, virtually all of Hollywood and the entertainment industry, converging on one point with Couric leading the charge. And now it is revealed in her new book that Palin’s own Republican apparatus were coat carriers and appeared to help in the herding of the Obama horde to Mile High Stadium by intentionally subterfuging Palin.
The country needed a break and Barack Obama, bright, young and black, would be the antidote to a few grim years. Now the young President is thin and prematurely greying. At this point it is fair to say he does not appear to know how to be President and America’s health, welfare and possibly freedom is dangerously destabilized. A year on, we are beginning to hear the phrase, how did this happen?
In the past year we have watched history rising from the unformed. It is still not yet formed but in the next year it will begin to find form. By 2012 it will be in coherent shape. What is forming is a concoction of Ron Paul and Austrian economics, the April 15 demonstrations against the bailouts and the deficits and the subsequent town hall demonstrations. These rude awakenings began to find legitimacy in NY 23 when Doug Hoffman gained support as a Conservative Party candidate and when Tim Pawlenty, governor of Minnesota, offered his support. The unapologetically conservative candidate in the governor’s race in Virginia winning by 17% suggests that substantive change is at hand.
In a word, the times have awakened but they have not yet fully formed. Everything is changing and change requires new people. The newest Gallup numbers show independents leaning to the GOP by 52% to 30%. The traditional Republicans are like the elegant jazz musicians of the 1950s, suddenly faced with the new music of the Sixties. Newt Gingrich will try to present himself as the new guy and so will others, but they are the old jazz musicians. Tim Pawlenty is new, Sarah Palin is and so is Rick Perry and these are perfect conditions for a dark horse.
Armstrong asks who is the dark horse. Palin will be there as she was from the beginning. But Rick Perry, governor of Texas, was also with this movement from the beginning. He is highest ranked and most respected of the new people advancing the new ideas. He would be the likely dark horse to consolidate and legitimize these issues – bring them to form - if this movement is to go forward. While the others are demure and cosmetic, Perry speaks out. He recently told a gathering in Texas that Obama was “hell bent” on socialism, raising a shocked “oh my!” from the punditry fashionistas. This is what is required at beginnings. But Virginia’s new governor-elect Bob McDonald could now qualify as well.