Palin has been sending a couple messages recently. First, she has, since stepping down as governor, started to communicate with the people not through the press but around the press. In other words, she’s speaking directly to the people through social media. She has had a couple well-timed and well-placed op-eds that have helped define policy arguments. However, most of the time she’s talked to the people via social media. (It should be noted that she’s been silent on Twitter for some time — something I hope she’ll change soon.) This has had the benefit of letting the press know that she does not need them. Rather than go the Obama route and deny what is perceived as the one “enemy” to her aims, Sarah denies nearly everyone. And why not? The press trashed her with risible lies. Why give a dying breed ratings when she can reach the people herself?
With her decision to endorse Doug Hoffman, the conservative (not Republican) candidate, Sarah Palin sends the Republican Party a very clear message. She will be using her considerable fundraising ability to fund candidates who ideologically match what it used to mean to be a Republican. Since the Republican Party, from its toes to its nose, has difficulty identifying candidates with those credentials, she’ll help them do it.
The Republican Party has a choice. They can continue to antagonize those who vote them into office or they can start paying attention. They mistakenly buy the D.C. bubble philosophy that moderation is the way to find good candidates. What they’re seeing is a base willing to lose if the Republican Party doesn’t change its ways.
A friend on Twitter said to me last night: “Sarah Palin has the base, she has to find a way to reach out to the moderates and independents.” I retorted: “The Republican party might have the moderates and independents (which I question since those people chose Obama over the moderate McCain), they have to find a way to win the base.” The base won’t be discounted any longer and they have found their champion in a very powerful Sarah Palin.
Read the whole thing here.