The recent events in Tuscon have shaken American political ideals. While we at VUI believe that people simply do not want to believe that evil acts just for its own sake, as in Tuscon, those on the Left are aiming at Sarah Palin.
And, why shouldn't those hard calculating souls on the Left go after Palin? After all, the former GOP Vice Presidential nominee is one of the most successful losers in American political history. No Republican losing Vice Presidential candidate has ever been so prominent after defeat. Sure, Bob Dole went back to the United States Senate to serve after losing with President Ford in 1976, but no GOP Vice Presidential loser has had the star power of Palin. Palin is blamed for this or that. Palin is credited for this or that. Palin sells books and has a hit television show. Like her or not, Sarah Palin has turned the lemon of the McCain-Palin defeat in 2008 into lemonade for her and her family.
Indeed, one has to go all the way back to 1920 to find a Vice Presidential candidate who lost in either party who turned such a loss into victory. Back in 1920, the nation was tired of the Democratic incumbency of Woodrow Wilson, so they turned to the Harding-Cooldige ticket, which won in a landslide over the ticket of Governor James Cox and Under Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt. That is right, that Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is ironic that the big win of Harding over Cox was roughly by the same margin as Obama over McCain. Both Harding and Obama won after the incumbents were coming off waging unpopular and costly wars.
In the years that followed, Franklin Roosevelt got polio, learned humility through it, mastered machine politics, mastered the media of the time, radio, and got elected Governor of New York before being nominated for President in 1932. In short, Roosevelt parlayed his loss as a Vice Presidential candidate into being a serious national figure in the Democratic Party which led him to become President of the United States. Some people hated the man. Some even wanted to kill him. One even tried to kill him when he was President-elect. Others said his speeches incited people.
Now, VUI is not contending that Sarah Palin is FDR. No, not close. But, the historic status she holds must be noted. Not since Franklin Roosevelt has a person who lost a race for Vice President of the United State ever been so prominent in the national discussion. Love Palin or hate Palin, she is there in the national discussion like no other Vice Presidential loser in modern times.
What does that mean? Who knows? In today's times, Palin will make more money and security for herself and her family by running from politics and being a celebrity with television shows and books. But, the same could have been said back in the 1920s when Mr. Roosevelt wrote about his fight against polio and wrote for his ideals in newspapers columns and spoke on the radio. Good politicians know their times and how use the medium of their times to get to the people.
For that reason, VUI thinks those on the Left in the Democratic Party are playing a tricky political game trying to somehow blame Palin for the evil that happened in Arizona. It could backfire in a big way. It happened before. Back in the early 1930s, a former Vice Presidential candidate was demonized for his writings and stands and even blamed by some Republicans for the civil unrest in the country. Democrats blame the redneck from Alaska today. Then, Republicans blamed the patrician from New York. What happened was historic back then. Roosevelt swept to power in 1932 in a storm no one saw coming.
VUI is not saying that Palin will gain power in 2012. All we are saying is that what she is already is historic and there is affection for her, right or wrong to folks, out there. Palin has the gift to know how to manage the media of her time, and to underestimate her is a silly thing to do.