Monday, July 6, 2009

Gerbil Goods

As Todd Purdum said in that Vanity Fair piece, Sarah Palin's political appeal is rather strongly linked to her "obvious fertility." Politicians like that come with an intrinsic sell-by date, beyond which -- unless they've managed to get themselves elected to high office -- they have, for all practical purposes, expired. I would put Palin's sell-by date at around 2014, when she'll turn 50, though with some care she could probably extend it as far as 2016.

However, Fred Barnes's notion that she can "win Alaska's lone House seat in 2012 and oust Democratic senator Nick Begich [sic] in 2014. A term in the House and another in the Senate--nothing would do more to groom her for the White House than this and transform her into the best Republican candidate for the presidency in, say, 2020, when she'd be 56," is absurd. Why would anyone be interested in her when she's 56?

Meanwhile, Douthat -- who was, infamously, one of the first to back her for veep last May -- has a column about how Sarah Palin was roughed up by the media. The column is rather silly on the merits, with a moment of the Douthatic sublime:

In a recent Pew poll, 44 percent of Americans regarded Palin unfavorably. But slightly more had a favorable impression of her. That number included 46 percent of independents, and 48 percent of Americans without a college education.

That last statistic is a crucial one. Palin’s popularity has as much to do with class as it does with ideology.

If you're going to misrepresent statistics to support your pet themes, you should at least put some effort into massaging them so that they seem to say what you want them to.

No comments: