Rich Galen at The Daily Beast is more gracious and honest than some establishment Republicans these days.
Is Sarah Palin back?
That’s the question on the minds of Washington’s political class in the wake of the surprising primary result from Nebraska. For those not up on their Cornhusker politics, a little-known two-term state senator named Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) edged out two statewide office holders, Attorney General Jon Bruning and state Treasurer Don Stenberg, for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination. …
Fischer won with about 40 percent of the vote. Bruning was second with just under 36 percent, and Stenberg was third among the serious candidates with about 19 percent.
The intriguing nature of Fischer’s win is that the new GOP establishment, defined as the Club for Growth and Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, had endorsed Stenberg. Palin endorsed long-shot Fischer.
If Stenberg had not gotten those endorsements, it is quite possible that most of his support would have gone to Bruning, who lost by 10,000 votes, and might well have pushed Bruning past Fisher into the lead.
But that didn’t happen, and the Club for Growth has been uncharacteristically quiet about its involvement. …
In this era of global “throw the rascals out” politics (see also: Dick Lugar and Nicolas Sarkozy), it is possible that Fischer was in the sweet spot. She was in politics but not known as a big-time politician, while her two opponents were statewide office holders and thus represented the rascals who needed to be thrown out.
If Palin picks her spots through the rest of this election cycle as well as she did in Nebraska, she might, without having spent a dime as a presidential candidate, be the second biggest name in Tampa this August, and her endorsement will really mean something down the home stretch this fall.
If so, Sarah Palin will indeed be back.
While I appreciate Galen’s willingness to acknowledge the impact Governor Palin is having, I obviously don’t agree with much of his piece. For starters, Palin never went away. This is what she did in 2010, and in 2011, when she stepped on to the front-lines in the battle for Wisconsin when that fight was at its ugliest (along with Andrew Breitbart). Moreover, she’s always been there for the Tea Party, which also never went away.
Galen also snarks at the fact that “only” 33 of the 64 candidates she endorsed in 2010 won, but that’s because he looks at the Governor as a classic politician who worries about such meaningless things. While the self-involved look at pointless win/loss percentages, Palin is probably thinking that helping those 33 was worth a little snickering from the cheap seat chattering classes.
In other news, the Maury Poviching of Katie Couric’s career will be complete Sept 10.
UPDATE: A tipster disputes Galen’s characterization of Palin’s success rate:
Let’s remind ourselves first and foremost that it’s the candidates themselves–with or without the endorsement of Palin or any other national figure–whose policies, qualifications, and message did or did not hit home with voters on Tuesday.
With that being said, Palin’s 71% endorsement success rate thus far–52 wins out of 73 declared races featuring Palin-endorsed candidates (eight additional races are undecided as of 1:30 p.m. on November 4)–is impressive, especially considering that she embraced a number of underdogs in traditionally blue states. Of particular importance is the fact that eighteen of the twenty candidates backed in Palin’s Take Back the 20 initiative have won their races (one race is undecided as of 1:30 p.m. on November 4). That’s a 90% success rate.
The MSM getting the facts wrong? The hell you say.