Saturday, January 16, 2010

CHARLES M. BLOW: Lady BlahBlah


I have often accused Sarah Palin of having more fight than strategy in her. But I must concede that her decision to become a contributor to Fox News is a shrewd one. Touché, Barracuda.

Here’s why:

1. She’s made for television.

She’s telegenic. She’s never speechless. She has a gift for talking a lot while saying nothing. And, she has one of the best poker faces in the game — smiling and winking while bobbing and weaving, spouting all manner of nonsense to conceal when she’s nonplussed.

2. There’s no better fit than Fox.

It’s a friendly forum in which to hone her sound bites, learn to parry tough questions and answer easy ones, and to bone up on, well, pretty much everything. Sure, she’ll flub some facts, and she’ll take a drubbing for it. But beating up on her often backfires. The more she takes a punch and cheerfully recovers, the stronger she appears.

And, if she decides to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, and all indications are that she will, this perch will give her another leg up on her Republican rivals. She continues to command the spotlight while they dance in the dark.

3. The timing is impeccable.

There is now a bubbling discontent on the right and, in particular, among whites, which is aimed at President Obama.

According to an analysis of New York Times and CBS News polls, Obama has the lowest approval rating among whites at the end of his first year in office than any president in the 30 years that The Times and CBS News have collected such data. And the gap between Obama and the others is significant, ranging from 10 to 36 percentage points.

Furthermore, a Quinnipiac University poll, released on Wednesday, found that most whites think that Obama’s first year as president has been mainly a failure. A plurality of whites even said that Obama has been a worse president than George W. Bush.

If indeed being Negro-lite made Obama palatable to white voters, as Senator Harry Reid was spanked for saying, that charm has worn off. Whites are now fuming at him.

Palin’s chipper visage, baseless certitude, utter obliviousness and unwavering belief in her own destiny make her an ideal vessel for this mounting white discontent. It’s perfect: blind faith meets blinding frustration. For an image of what this looks like, simply recall her rallies from the previous election.

(For the record, according to the Nielsen Company, more than 95 percent of the viewers of the Fox News Channel are white.)

This move could put Palin in a much better position to become the Republican nominee. The race for the nomination may not be given to the slick or to the strong, but to this fame monster who seems to have the stamina to endure until the end. (Sigh.)

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