[W]hen one talks to Republicans in private gatherings, on the Hill, and even in Tea Party gatherings it is rare to find anyone who labels Palin as the party's leader or who looks to her for guidance on major issues. This is not a slur on Palin; she has an important and essential role in rallying the base, getting under Obama's skin and debunking much of what passes for conventional wisdom.It is laughable to think that Jennifer Rubin is spending much time at tea parties talking to the folks about who they look to for "guidance on major issues." I'll happily retract my last sentence if anyone has attended a Tea Party and personally witnessed Jennifer Rubin taking pulse of the people there. But for now, I'm not buying it.
Now, concerning what Republicans say in "private gatherings"... I really have no idea what the sort of Republican Rubin must spend her time with, say in their private gatherings. Most of the registered Republicans I know happen to be Palin supporters, but once again, I think Rubin is pulling her conclusions from her own vivid imagination.
Rubin's fables are not the issue however. What she did in that paragraph was to suggest that Governor Palin is good for the party in a certain "role," just not a leading one. This is becoming a familiar tone with some in the Republican establishment.
Last Sunday, Bill Kristol said on the Fox News Sunday Panel that:
She could play a big role supporting someone else and articulating issues - and not running this time.It seems that the talking heads are trying to push a 'Sarah Palin as activist, not candidate' narrative. At least they admit that she is "important" and has the ability to "rally" Conservatives. They especially like when those rallies turn into money for the Republican party.
What these over-sized egos of the pundit class do not seem to understand is that Governor Palin is an effective leader, and not just in an activist role. They ignore her many accomplishments as an executive, and show disdain for her unconventional approach. They downplay her support with conservatives in their columns and on their panels, but they themselves are not members of the grassroots, which is where Governor Palin receives most of her support. So, how would they really known what kind of support Governor Palin truly has? Their criticism is condescending at best but it also lacks credibility, most notably when they cite Daily Kos pollsters as their "empirical evidence."
Nobody knows if Governor Palin is running for President or not. Thankfully, it is not up to "chattering class" to declare what "role" she will play now, or in the future. Governor Palin will decide her own roll.