Yesterday, Nate Silver compared Bush and Palin:
Bush was at least smart enough to surround himself with a team of exceptionally competent strategists, advisers and consultants. He was smart enough to recognize that it takes a village to get oneself elected President, and ideally one a bit less isolated and insular than Wasilla. Palin hasn't figured that out yet; her ability to become the Republican nominee and have a fighting chance in the general election will depend on her ability to do so.
She had some total pros in the last campaign - Schmidt, Wallace, et al - and she just couldn't handle any direction. Continetti is still auditioning for one of those roles:
Palin's speech was a window into the Tea Party movement and the future of the Republican party. The reaction to her discussion of national security and social issues revealed that the Tea Partiers share much in common with rank-and-file GOP voters. Palin's emphasis on limited government -- her frequent mention of the Tenth Amendment, for instance -- and less government spending was an attempt to re-capture the conservative voters repelled by George W. Bush's big-government conservatism. The Tea Party movement is a return to an older, more traditional conservatism. Katrina vanden Heuvel is not wrong when she says Palin shares many similarities to Barry Goldwater; she's just wrong to describe those similarities with such venom and condescension.
When Palin or the tea-partiers proposes real spending cuts commensurate with deeper tax cuts and higher defense spending, I'll take her seriously. The trouble is, you only get to break the bank once with this blarney. And the bank is already broken.
Please, reporters, keep, keep, keep asking the central question: what would you cut? (As well, of course, as asking Democrats, what taxes they want to raise).
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