Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My thoughts on Sarah Palin endorsing Donald Trump...

Sarah Palin and Donald Trump. AP.

Donald Trump has secured a major endorsement from former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Yahoo News. After losing the 2008 election with John McCain, Palin has been active as a political pundit and reality television star. Though unpopular with many, Palin is very popular among conservative Republicans. The move should help Trump shore up his conservative credentials and fend off Ted Cruz. Cruz is locked into a close race with Trump and Iowa and Palin's endorsement could allow Trump to fend him off. 

My Comment:
Interesting move by Trump. Sarah Palin is, to say the least, a divisive person even within the Republican party. Many people blame her for John McCain's loss in 2008. Others find her down home "aw shucks" kind of attitude to be annoying. And the left has made a cottage industry in making fun of her. Would Tina Fey even have a career right now if it wasn't for Sarah Palin? I personally am not a fan, and kind of consider her a joke. She's still way better then anyone on the left, but her endorsement of Trump doesn't make me want to vote for him any more then I did before the endorsement. On the other hand I don' really see it as a negative either, she's just not someone who's opinion I respect.  

Many people outside of the Republican Party will call this a boneheaded move by Trump, assuming that an endorsement from Palin is the kiss of death. I disagree. Though Palin has her downsides she is very popular for a certain segment of Republicans; Evangelical Christians. And that is a group that Trump needs help from in the primaries. Trump's own religious credibility is in question. He has never struck me as someone that was particularly religious and when he talks about religion he sounds like an outsider. I think that will actually be an asset to him if he is the candidate in the general election but it could hurt him in the primaries. Palin helps cover up that weakness.

The only thing that could really hurt Trump is if he ends up choosing Palin as his running mate. Though the media has been relatively ineffective at hurting Trump, they are very effective hitting Palin. If you listen to the media you would think that Sarah Palin is a mentally challenged fool who thinks that Russia is visible from Alaska. Don't get me wrong, Sarah Palin has problems, but the media is able to exaggerate those problems and make new ones out of whole cloth. And I think a lot of people in the general public buy what the media is selling when it comes to Palin. Choosing her as a running mate may finally give the media an effective way to attack Trump. On the other hand, I have a hard time believing that anyone that Trump could choose as a running mate would be as immune to criticism as he is. 

I think this endorsement has a lot to do with Ted Cruz. In Iowa, Cruz and Trump are in a dead heat, with the election potentially on the line. Though Trump has a large lead in other primary states, it is neck and neck in Iowa, and if Cruz wins in that state it could cause a domino reaction in the other early primary states, effectively derailing Trump's campaign. I don't think that is too likely to happen, but it remains a possibility and I am guessing Trump wants to avoid it. 

But Sarah Palin's endorsement could give Trump the edge over Cruz in Iowa. There are quite a few evangelical Christians in Iowa and by and large they like Sarah Palin. Ted Cruz doesn't have the support of anyone as influence as she is, though he is more popular among Evangelicals then Trump is. I don't think Palin's endorsement alone is enough to beat him in Iowa, but the combination of the endorsement, the Canadian birther issue and his recent attacks on the city of New York should be enough to sink his campaign. That extra edge this endorsement will give Trump makes it well worth it, even if it could cause him problems down the line. 

As for the general election, I am getting more and more convinced that the candidates are going to be Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I just can't see anyone on the Republican side taking down Trump. He just seems invincible at this point. Scandals and controversies that would have killed any other Republican candidate have lead to Trump becoming more popular. If he can hold on in Iowa, Trump should win the candidacy, barring any 11th hour shenanigans by the RNC during the convention. 

 On the Democratic side, I just can't see Hillary Clinton losing the nomination either. Yes Bernie Sanders is gathering steam and could capture several states. Yes, she's tremendously unpopular and should be on her way to prison for the rest of her life. It doesn't matter. The Democrats use a super-delegate system where un-elected delegates have way more influence then they should. Even if Sanders wins some states, the super-delegates all want Hillary Clinton and I am guessing she will be the candidate. Even if she gets arrested, which looks even more likely every day. 

If Sanders is the candidate, somehow, the election gets very interesting very fast. With Trump the likely candidate for the Republicans, that would mean that both candidates would be outsiders hated by they establishment. I'm no fan of Sanders but having him be the President would be better then having criminal like Hillary Clinton in office, and if the Democrats are so determined to have her as a candidate, then it would be just if Sanders punished them for it.  The most interesting outcome would be if both the Democrats and Republicans reject their insurgent candidates and find someone from the establishment instead. Both insurgent candidates could then run as independents and we end up with a four way race. That's not likely to happen but it would be insane if it did... 

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