Not a single politically aware person does not remember John McCain’s surprise announcement of Sarah Palin as his running mate on August 29, 2008. The Democrat National Convention was wrapping up, Obama had made his grand speech, but all the political world was abuzz over the impending selection of Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty as McCain’s running mate. The surprise and expertly choreographed announcement of Sarah Palin was one of a few grand McCain campaign moments.
The conservative world, conditioned by a generation of horribly biased media now enchanted by the charismatic Obama, was braced for the media onslaught that would immediately descend on McCain’s choice, no matter who it was.
And still, we were utterly unprepared.
John Ziegler takes us through the experience, and what a year has taught us about Sarah Palin, the media, and the political landscape we now find ourselves in. Ziegler, you will recall, famously exposed in the movie Media Malpractice the true extent of media complicity in the 2008 election of Barack Obama. Previously he helped sink John Kerry’s 2008 chances by bringing to the public eye Kerry’s silly “stuck in Iraq” statement in 2006.
Read the whole thing here:
On August 28th of last year Sarah Palin was a largely unknown governor considered to be a rising star largely because of her willingness to take on Republicans in a way that had endeared her to Democrats. Today she is an ex-governor wrongly perceived by most of the country and virtually all of the news media as an erratic, unqualified, lightweight and ultra-partisan Republican who can’t even mange her own family.
What did she do exactly to deserve this unfortunate perception? I have literally gone around the country (screening my film “Media Malpractice” which features an exclusive interview with then Governor Palin) and asked numerous media outlets that question and I have yet to get a remotely sensible answer.
Some of what we’ve learned along the way:
So, what have we learned from Sarah Palin’s remarkable year? Hopefully, we have learned a lot. Among other things, we should have learned…
- That surprise announcements can often create more long-term perception problems than they are worth (at least when they come from Republicans).
- That to the media if you are a young, good looking, charismatic, non-white male without a long resume and are a conservative running for Vice-President, you are an embarrassment to the country. But if you are a young, good-looking, charismatic, non-white male without a long resume and are a socialist running for President, you are the Second Coming.
- That the candidate who told the truth the most during the 2008 campaign was Sarah Palin.
- That the media is perfectly willing and able to destroy someone’s character simply because it suits their political and economic agenda and will stop at nothing to do so.
And in closing:
- That August 29th, 2008 was a seminal moment in our politics and media which has changed, perhaps forever, the rules of engagement in a way that may make it impossible for conservatives to ever fully recover and should truly frighten all fair-minded Americans.
If we don’t heed these lessons, then we will deserve what we will inevitably get.
It has been a very telling year, and if nothing else, conservatives should have learned that we must be ready and willing to fight the ugliest kind of war, because the forces of the other side play for blood.