A lot of us have wondered why Obama spokestoad Robert Gibbs has been taking every available opportunity to belittle Sarah Palin. It is always unseemly when a paid representative of the President uses his position and taxpayer time to slag on a private citizen or a new organization. Unseemly, of course, is part of the ambiance that you get with the current administration but the frequency of Gibbs' criticisms stood out even by the cesspool standards of the White House press operation.
Today what we've long suspected was the truth has been revealed. The White House fears Sarah Palin.
David Broder has this to say on Palin:
Her lengthy Saturday night keynote address to the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville and her debut on the Sunday morning talk show circuit with Fox News' Chris Wallace showed off a public figure at the top of her game -- a politician who knows who she is and how to sell herself, even with notes on her palm.
This was not the first time that Palin has impressed me. I gave her high marks for her vice presidential acceptance speech in St. Paul. But then, and always throughout that campaign, she was laboring to do more than establish her own place. She was selling a ticket headed by John McCain against formidable Democratic opposition and burdened by the legacy of the Bush administration.
Blessed with an enthusiastic audience of conservative activists, Palin used the Tea Party gathering and coverage on the cable networks to display the full repertoire she possesses, touching on national security, economics, fiscal and social policy, and every other area where she could draw a contrast with Barack Obama and point up what Republicans see as vulnerabilities in Washington.
Her invocation of "conservative principles and common-sense solutions" was perfectly conventional. What stood out in the eyes of TV-watching pols of both parties was the skill with which she drew a self-portrait that fit not just the wishes of the immediate audience but the mood of a significant slice of the broader electorate.
I don't know what Governor Palin's plans are. While many might wish for her to run for office my view is that as a spokesman she is a strategic asset for conservatives that would be greatly diminished if she was serving as an elected or appointed official. Having her out on the stump for our candidates is a much greater boon to conservatives than seeing her essentially silenced by the work load and legal requirements of government service.
Be that as it may, the White House, far from dismissing her has pulled on its brown trousers in anticipation of this fight. They are trying to use Alinsky Rule 5 on Palin and it is failing because their opinion doesn't matter to an increasing number of Americans.
Broder gets that ridicule won't work. He's seen her in action and he respects her ability to connect with Americans, many of whom are fairly apolitical. At some level he knows the attempts at ridicule are going to rebound against the coterie of thugs in the White House.
Those who want to stop her will need more ammunition than deriding her habit of writing on her hand. The lady is good.