The Jewish Athena (Jennifer Rubin) just penned, er, pixeled (?) a most excellent post on Sarah Palin, looking at the divisions within conservative circles over the Republican Vice Presidential nominee. Rubin divides us into “Players”and “Kibitzers,” with the players (political activists) loving the Alaska Governor while the kibitzers (intellectuals) revile her.
It’s an interesting breakdown which makes sense even if it isn’t perfect. I mean, I see myself as more a kibitzer than a player and I’m pretty enthusiastic about the Alaska Governor. The distinction makes a lot more sense when Rubin fleshes it out, so make sure to read the whole thing.
What really struck me about the post was Rubin’s critique of the “kibitzers,” those
. . . who don’t hold office or run campaigns or much bother with real voters. They write books, tell us what is wrong with conservatism, and scold the poor slobs who run campaigns. They lack any visceral sense of actual conservative voters. Their bent is decidedly academic and their approach to politics is sterile.
That pretty much nails it. They don’t understand the imperative to inspire voters. When they see Reagan, they see primarily his intellectual bent. They miss the importance of Hollywood to his success, his understanding of appealing to an audience. And they forget the years he spent traveling the country working for General Electric, meeting with, talking to, listening to the company’s employees.
Reagan knew he had to reach out to these people. Having spent sixteen years in politics in a state where personal contact matters more than uplifting rhetoric, Sarah Palin has learned the same thing. Now, as I’ve said before, she just needs to complete her conservative education.
And then she might sway some of her conservative skeptics, with another Athena likely becoming the first to admit her error in underestimating Palin’s promise.