Matthew Continetti, Associate Editor of The Weekly Standard, is the author of a forthcoming book entitled The Persecution of Sarah Palin (Penguin Sentinel, 2010). In an op-ed piece for CNN, Continetti argues–convincingly, in my judgment–that we’ll be hearing from Sarah Palin for a long time:
Something about Sarah Palin riles people up. After the McCain-Palin ticket lost the election and the governor returned to Alaska, the onslaught against her did not cease. The Democrats in the state legislature who once had been Palin’s allies turned on her. Her opponents, continuing their never-ending search for dirt, inundated the governor’s office with 150 Freedom of Information Act requests for documents relating to Palin’s schedule and contacts.
The Anchorage Daily News counts 18 ethics complaints filed against Palin. All of them have been dismissed, but at great cost to the state in man-hours and wasted resources. The Palin family’s personal legal liability is around half a million dollars.
Meanwhile, the father of her grandchild went on a publicity tour flacking “intimate” details about her family, and David Letterman joked on national television about Alex Rodriguez impregnating her underage daughter Willow. (He later apologized, saying he intended for the joke to be about Palin’s 18-year-old daughter, Bristol. As if that would make it any more tasteful.) And McCain sources kept providing ridiculous insinuations about her to reporters (all on background, of course).
Palin is impulsive. Her charisma is such that she does not need to hold an office to command attention or wield influence. She resigned from the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission all of a sudden in 2004, plunged into a Republican gubernatorial primary in October 2005 and joined McCain’s campaign without hesitation. Two of these three dizzying moves ended up in victory, and one did not.
Read the whole thing. My take is that she should not and will not run for President in 2012. However, she will be a significant player in the conservative movement, and will, over time, become increasingly knowledgeable and conversant on the issues of our day.