If you were hoping to prove your conservative bona fides this week, there was one important place to be seen: the 50th birthday video created by a conservative women's PAC for Sarah Palin.
It's actually pretty impressive the line-up of conservative stars that appear in the video, compiled by She PAC. It starts off with John McCain, of course, the man who gave Palin the greatest gift she would ever receive: legitimacy. And then it whips through everyone else.
Condi Rice. Newt Gingrich. Donald Trump. The NRA's Wayne LaPierre. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. Rudy Giuliani. Congressman-turned-human-ball-of-fury Allen West. Utah Sen. Mike Lee. The other Utah senator, Orrin Hatch. Nikki Haley. J.C. Watts. RNC Chair Reince Priebus. Not one, but two stars of Duck Dynasty, including the homophobe.
Since these are video snippets sent in from all of these luminaries, the transition between two speakers can be abrupt. By far the best is at the 2:15 mark, when the drum-heavy Skype felicitations of Lee Greenwood ("Hope you have a great day, and God bless the USA!") suddenly switches to the treacly, professionally-made statement of Sen. Ted Cruz. Then to the elder Duck Dynasty guy, sitting in a pick-up. And it just keeps motoring on, thanking Palin for her "courage, clarity and willingness to speak out," in the words of Mr. Gingrich.
So who's missing? Every one of Palin's former co-workers at Fox News, for one. Sen. Rand Paul doesn't show up, and neither does Karl Rove. It's a sweep through the outsider's conservative sphere and those conservatives eager to appear therein, but light on the establishment. "On behalf of the Republican National Committee," Preibus says, "I want to wish you a very happy birthday." He later continues, "Thank you for everything you've done in your career to uphold Republican principles" — then trailing off. Priebus, the face of the establishment, did not thank Palin for her courage or clarity. Maybe next year.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.