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The Fix: How will Sarah Palin’s sarcasm play in 2012?

April 13, 2010

The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza notes on his blog, The Fix, that during a time when many politicians are toning down their sarcasm (at least publicly), Sarah Palin is ramping it up.

Sarah Palin signs autographs after speaking at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans on Friday, April 9. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Apparently Palin was at her sarcastic best at last week’s Southern Republican Leadership Conference, and was well received.

From The Fix

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin delivered a well-received speech on Friday at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, an address defined — as almost all of her public pronouncements have been in the 18 months since she emerged on the national political scene — by a stinging sense of sarcasm.

In her speech, Palin took her now-familiar stance as a wry critic of the Obama Administration.

“Yes we can spread the wealth around,” she said.

Palin questioned President Obama‘s stance on nuclear weapons, mocking “all the vast nuclear experience he acquired as a community organizer and as a part time Senator.”

“How’s that hopey, changey thing working for you now,” she asked.

I think Cilliza’s right when he says that sarcasm might play well with those who think likewise, but is a questionable tactic if you’re looking to change minds and garner support from those who are on the fence. To me, sarcasm is good for a quick laugh, but is often a poor substitute for real insight or solid criticism.

As Cillizza notes, if Palin’s looking for the presidential nomination in 2012, she might want to ease up on the wise cracks.

From Cillizza –

Sarcasm rarely plays well in politics — particularly among the independent voters who typically decide elections. It’s why naturally sarcastic pols — President Obama among them — largely avoid any wise-cracking in public.

Palin seems to be pursuing a different path — growing more rather than less sarcastic the longer she spends on the national stage. (Remember that Palin’s first ever major speech — at the 2008 Republican National Convention — showed glimpses of a sarcastic Palin but by and large was a study in earnestness.)

Palin’s sarcasm strategy will almost certainly affirm to some within the party’s base that she is their most able combatant against Obama. But, for others — Republicans and independents alike — it’s likely to sow some doubts about whether she is up to the task of governing if she is elected to the nation’s top office.

Any thoughts?

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One Comment
  1. Steve permalink
    April 13, 2010 9:14 am

    Her wit (or lack thereof) will be her undoing, in the final analysis. Her 15 minutes are ticking away…

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