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Sarah Palin Endorses Donald Trump

Palin, Sarah NYT

Sarah Palin at Des Moines, Iowa, this time last year. (Source: New York Times)

And you thought the Republican race couldn’t get anymore bizarre!

Breaking news from the New York Times Sarah Palin Endorses Donald Trump, Rallying Conservatives.

This link was sent to me by my brother. He’s been a Republican supporter for a while. His profile is one that is typically Republican – white male, businessman, MBA from Yale, former Wall Street trader for a company that everyone knows the name of. And he’s been loyal to them despite what he thought were embarrassing mistakes like 2008 with Trump’s pursuit of the birther issue and Palin as John McCain’s pick for vice-president. But he told me at Christmas time that he’s now officially a Democrat. “The candidates are a bunch of idiots,” he noted. And he doesn’t mean stupid – many of those running are clearly extremely intelligent. (My own theory is that recognition of their own intelligence means that they think they can’t learn anything from anyone else.) But all the words that come to mind are insulting to the mentally ill, so “idiots” is about the only one of his words I can use here.

From the New York Times:

Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice-presidential nominee who became a Tea Party sensation and a favorite of grass-roots conservatives, will endorse Donald J. Trump in Iowa on Tuesday, officials with his campaign confirmed. The endorsement provides Mr. Trump with a potentially significant boost just 13 days before the state’s caucuses.

“I’m proud to endorse Donald J. Trump for president,” Ms. Palin said in a statement provided by his campaign.

Palin, as the Times notes, has a very high media profile, and Trump is suitably pleased with the endorsement:

“I am greatly honored to receive Sarah’s endorsement,” Mr. Trump said in a statement trumpeting Mrs. Palin’s decision. “She is a friend, and a high-quality person whom I have great respect for. I am proud to have her support.”

Palin has apparently maintained and continued to develop relationships in Iowa since her time as McCain’s running mate.

“Over the years Palin has actually cultivated a number of relationships in Iowa,” said Craig Robinson, the former executive director of the Republican Party of Iowa and publisher of the website The Iowa Republican. “There are the Tea Party activists who still think she’s great and a breath of fresh air, but she also did a good job of courting Republican donors in the state,” he added.

This is significant. For some time I’ve been wondering how Trump would do in caucus situations. He’s attracted a lot of people to his rallies, and he’s got people to name him as their preference in polls. That’s not the same thing as getting registered Republicans out on a cold night to caucus for you at the grass roots level. My assumption for the last few weeks has been that Ted Cruz would win the Iowa caucus despite trailing Trump in the polls because his on-ground organisation was better. However, if Trump can tap into the relationship base Palin has developed, especially with the Tea Party, that could make all the difference.

So, until this happened, there was the strong possibility that the man who is running on being a winner could come out of the first caucus a loser. That has changed today. The only good thing about this is that it damages Cruz, who is a far scarier prospect than Trump, and that’s saying something.

The Times also points out:

Mrs. Palin, who is to appear alongside Mr. Trump at a rally on the Iowa State University campus in Ames late Tuesday afternoon, could amplify the news media-circus aspects of Mr. Trump’s candidacy: Like him, she is a reality-TV star accustomed to playing to the cameras and often accused of emphasizing flash over substance.

What’s more, while Mr. Trump has already shown the ability to garner wall-to-wall cable-news coverage, Mrs. Palin’s active involvement in his campaign could help him deprive Mr. Cruz of vital attention in the homestretch to the Feb. 1 caucuses.

The evangelical vote is particularly important in Iowa, and there has been concern expressed that Trump doesn’t quite “get” Evangelicals. He’s tried to run-down Ben Carson by expressing suspicion of his religion (Seventh Day Adventist), for example, and that just didn’t wash with them. (See here for my take on Ben Carson and Seventh Day Adventist beliefs.) However, this endorsement seems to have got Trump the approval of the ghastly Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. As Wikipedia notes:

Reed designed the coalition as a bridge between the Tea Party movement and evangelical voters. The organization has grown quickly with hundreds of thousands of supporters and several hundred local chapters. Reed and his organization were a major supporter of the Romney-Ryan campaign in 2012 after organizing a debate for the Republican candidates, and a state chapter was also involved in state elections in 2011.

The coalition opposes abortion and same-sex marriage, and supports limited government, lower taxes, education reform, free markets, a strong national defense, and Israel.

The New York Times received the following comment from Reed about Palin’s endorsement of Trump:

Palin’s brand among evangelicals is as gold as the faucets in Trump tower.

So while we can be pleased the extremely scary Cruz isn’t going to get it all his own way, we’re going to have a whole lot more of Palin to (not) look forward to in the campaign coverage. Still, it’s guaranteed to provide some comic moments:

Who knows what’s coming next?! Any predictions?

17 Responses to “Sarah Palin Endorses Donald Trump”

  1. Ken says:

    That anyone would want her endorsement is the bizarre thing. But we’ve left the reality-based world far behind.

  2. Brujo Feo says:

    “Any predictions?”

    I’m going with this one…this week’s SNL (“Saturday Night Live” for the uninitiated) will feature a guest appearance by Tina Fey. Who right about now must be happier than a pig in shit. Sarah Palin has always been a one-woman full employment act for Tina, and she certainly has made the best of it.

  3. j.a.m. says:

    The quid pro quo is a lifetime Supreme Court appointment, so eat it, lefties.

    Although she may yet be persuaded to run the new Department of Reality TV.

    Either way, a breath of fresh air after the last 8 miserable years.

    • Mark R. says:

      “…last 8 miserable years.”
      Riiiight.
      Let’s see…

      8 years of continual job growth. FYI: In Bush’s 8 years, he lost 462,000 jobs. Obama a/o 11/15 has created over 22 million.
      Getting out of the worst recession since the Great Depression.
      Stopping another Great Depression.
      Saving the American Auto Industry.
      Stopped the war in Iraq.
      No trillion dollar wars.
      No lying us into a war.
      20 million people have health care.
      You won’t be thrown off a plan if you get sick.
      You won’t be denied health care if you have a preexisting condition.
      Kids can stay on their parents’ plan until age 26 instead of 19.
      Invested more in green energy than any other President. Just acknowledging climate change is a HUGE benefit over the Republican field of fools.
      Got China to decrease carbon emissions.
      Greatly improved America’s image abroad.
      Wall Street reform bill.
      Stopped don’t ask/don’t tell.
      Successfully nominated two excellent women to the Supreme Court.
      Opened borders with Cuba.
      Halted or slowed way down Iranian’s efforts to build a nuclear bomb.
      Killed Osama bin Laden
      On track to balance the budget by the end of his term. (Something a Republican President hasn’t done since Eisenhower.)
      And how about just being ethical? I know that matters little to Republicans, but I think it’s a favorable trait.

      And he managed all this while working with the most intransigent, hateful, obstructionist Congress in the history of the United States.

      I for one don’t think he’s liberal enough, and is basically a centrist and corporatist; I especially don’t like his drone program, his massive deportations, his continued policy of domestic surveillance and his lack of holding banksters accountable for the 2007 debacle. But having said that, he’s utterly more competent than any Republican Presidential hopeful on current display.

      If a Republican wins the white house, I hope you’re a millionaire, because that is the only group of people they serve. People who vote Republican and aren’t rich have simply been duped by wedge issues and FOX so-called news. Time to get out from under that rock.

      • j.a.m. says:

        Peace has broken out in Iraq and the Middle East, you say? Who knew! If that’s your idea of peace and peace-making, you may wish to consult a dictionary.

        Anyone who would boast with a straight face about our country’s improved “image” abroad, at a time when delusional ex-KGB thugs, repressive ayatollahs, and senile Caribbean despots all spit in our leader’s eye, may have lost contact with reality.

        You overstate job creation by about 140%. The number is lower yet if you subtract: low-wage, part-time work; the artificial and unsustainable effects of years of free money; oil and gas jobs created IN SPITE OF Obama, not because of him; etc. You also have to ignore declining workforce participation and the 93% of the country that is still in recession.

        And no, balanced budgets are nowhere in sight. According to the latest CBO estimate, Obama’s big-government, anti-growth ideology, along with the failure to reform entitlements, have us on track to accumulate another 9 TRILLION dollars in deficits over the next decade.

        Thank goodness we have just enough intransigent, obstructionist, freedom-loving elected representatives to do exactly what we the people have asked of them, namely to serve as a check on the damage Obama and his extremist entourage can do.

        I do find your comment about ethics heartening, since it implies at least you won’t be supporting Clinton II under any circumstances.

        • I’ve started writing a post about the view of US leadership abroad, to I’ll save my responses to that part of your answer until then.

          Yes, a lot of the jobs created have been part-time and low wage, but you can’t just subtract them, because part-time, low-wage jobs have always been part of the figure. Your assumption is that all jobs used to be full-time, high-wage. The workforce is declining because the baby-boomers are retiring. That will continue until c. 1930 when the last of them retire. They are a population bulge. The way to ameliorate it is more immigration.

          Obama has focused on sustainable energy, and good on him. Your country is less dependent on foreign sources than ever before, and could soon be self-sustaining.

          Obama has significantly reduced the deficit as Mark stated – that is a fact. That is not the same thing as paying back the debt that has already been accumulated. It was Bush that put two wars on the credit card, and a big chunk of the debt since is the interest on Bush’s debt. Republicans have added far more to your national debt that Democrats.

          Clinton I, despite the issues with his personal life, was an excellent president. We don’t know for sure yet how much of what surrounds Clinton II is genuine, and how much is hyped by those wanting to defeat her at the ballot box. Either way, she demonstrates the skills that would make her a good president.

          • j.a.m. says:

            I would respectfully answer as follows. Yes, there always are low quality jobs, but they account for a disproportionate share of the increase. Demographics only partially explain the labor participation decline.

            Yes, domestic oil production has doubled, and natural gas production has increased by about 40%, so the USA now is the biggest oil and gas producer, and an exporter again — thanks to the industry’s ingenuity, and no thanks to Obama or any of his dodgy green boondoggles.

            I replied to a post that said that Obama is “on track to balance the budget by the end of his term.” To the contrary, as my reply indicates the CBO projects deficit increases this year and every year for the next decade. It is true there was a massive deficit in Obama’s first year due to his trillion-dollar “porkulus” boondoggle, and by retaking the House the Republicans prevented a repeat of that. Again, no thanks to Obama for taming his voracious appetite for other people’s money.

            Bill Clinton committed perjury and obstruction of justice and evaded criminal prosecution only through a plea deal. That’s hardly a personal problem. Hillary Rodham is a criminal accomplice who encouraged Americans to think of her as “co-president”. The only executive position she’s held in her own right was her tenure as Secretary of State, which was a disaster, and during which we now know she recklessly and illegally compromised classified communications. While she’s not quite as encumbered by ideology as Obama, it’s because she’s not much encumbered by principles of any kind.

            If other countries are enamored of the Obamas and Clintons, they are more than welcome to take these people off our hands. Please.

          • Unless you can prove which proportion of jobs are low quality, you can’t say whether there are more now than then. I accept you could be right – I’m saying you need to prove it. I don’t know how the stats are broken down by whoever produces your labour market statistics, so I don’t know whether or not this is possible.

            Obama’s support of sustainable energy is a good thing. Some of the projects haven’t worked out. However, even Fox News has stopped going on about them because the vast majority have done well, and the number that have failed is less than was expected when the programme was started.

            You’re getting the budget deficit and the national debt mixed up (which nearly everyone does). The budget deficit continues to reduce, but still exists. As long as there is any deficit, the national debt increases. It takes surpluses to decrease the national debt, which, of course, (in a recovering economy) means the government keeping more of the money they take in taxes. That doesn’t sound like the position of a typical Republican.

          • j.a.m. says:

            The link to the CBO estimate is below — see Summary Table 1 on Page 2. The budget deficit increases for 2016 and every subsequent year, exceeding a trillion dollars in six years. Debt reaches 24 trillion (86% of GDP) in a decade.

            https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/114th-congress-2015-2016/reports/51129-2016_Outlook_Summary.pdf

            In January 2009, part-timers accounted for 17% of employed persons aged 16 and over, whereas they account for 37% of the difference (10.7 million) in the number of employed persons in December 2015 against January 2009.

            http://www.bls.gov/data/#employment

          • Thanks. I accept your employment figures re-part-timers, though I haven’t checked them.

            The budget one is exactly what I was saying. The CBO is anticipating no increase in revenue, but an increase in debt/interest payments and fixed expenditure (probably because of increased population and increased retiring baby boomers). The actual budget deficit has reduced over Obama’s term in office. The are clearly assuming no increase in economic growth (which would increase revenue), which is very conservative as at the moment the US has one of the stronger economies in the world. However, due to the weakness in much of the rest of the world some caution is sensible.

          • j.a.m. says:

            Sure, any estimate looking ahead that far is a guess. And yes, the Republican Congress has forced some very modest spending restraint that pushed the deficit back below 500 billion for a single year, 2014. But it would be fantasy to give Obama credit for fiscal responsibility (let alone balancing the budget):

            Cumulative deficit spending:
            2001-2008…2.2 trillion
            2009-2016…7.1 trillion

            Annual deficits exceeding 500 billion:
            2001-2008…0
            2009-2016…7

          • I never said he balanced the budget. And by the way, when was the last time a Republican president balanced a budget? I’m not sure, but George Bush never did – during the Clinton presidency there were consistent surpluses. The strong fiscal position of the US was destroyed by the illegal war in Iraq.

            However, a balanced budget isn’t necessarily a good thing. It’s a good thing to have deficits when the economy needs a boost because there isn’t enough demand. It’s not when the money is going to pay for a stupid war that has caused far more problems than it solved.

            I’m not sure if you’re understanding what I’ve been saying about the deficit. For example, if the deficit was $10, and now it’s $5, it’s been cut by 50%, but the total debt has still increased. The deficit has reduced every year of Obama’s presidency, but the cumulative deficit has increased. However, because the problem causing the GFC was a lack of demand, demand needed to be stimulated and therefore a deficit was required.

            Your figures are correct, but they are not explaining the situation correctly.

            Anyone who thinks the government should be required to balance the budget doesn’t understand economics. Whether there is a deficit, surplus, or the budget is balanced is a tool the government can use to help the economy. To fund the deficit, the US government has been borrowing money at an extremely low rate – the strong fundamentals of the US economy mean that the amount borrowed was therefore not a problem. It seems like a huge amount of money (and it is), but it’s not the issue those who worry about it think it is.

    • Ken says:

      Department of Reality TV. That’s where those of us still not plugged into the Matrix get forced to take the blue bill. Perfect job for her.

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