Quin Hillyer from the American Spectator puts forward reasons for why none of the potential presidential candidates on our side should be nominated as part of a mock exercise to identify their strongest weaknesses. However, you’ll notice that the weaknesses that Hillyer highlighted for Governor Palin aren’t particularly compelling even if his article was a mock exercise. Let’s go through them:
Nobody with a 59 percent disapproval rating nationwide can win.
If that were true, Alex Sink, rather than Rick Scott, would be governor of one of the most important swing states in the country. The reality is that Rick Scott won almost as many votes in the Florida governor’s race as Marco Rubio did in the Senate race despite his high disapproval rating and Sink’s popularity with Floridians (this point will be discussed at length in a future post).
Plus, what has she actually accomplished in office?
She accomplished just as much in office as any two-three term Governor. To keep this post brief, I’ll only highlight some of her accomplishments:
The final budget she signed into law was effectively smaller than the final budget that her predecessor Frank Murkowski signed into law.
Her vetoes were pretty much the largest in Alaska’s history. She vetoed plenty of projects that were submitted by politicians from her own party and designated for the Mat-Su Valley, her home region.
She transformed the way capital budgets were assembled (read pages 148-152 of Going Rogue).
She overhauled the state’s ethics laws, reformed the way oil taxes were valuated, and jumpstarted one of the largest infrastructure projects in North American history.
She quit the governorship before any of her initiatives really bore fruit
Under this logic, no one would be able to run for the presidency until ten years after his or her final term in office. For example, Governor Palin’s AGIA project was designed to bear fruit around ten years after the plan was implemented. If Hillyer is seriously arguing that someone shouldn’t run for the presidency until all of his or her initiatives have come to fruition, then he’s effectively arguing that no one under the age of 55 should ever be able to run for the presidency again.
If you take the time to pierce the narrative, you’ll conclude that the weaknesses that Hillyer highlighted as Governor Palin’s weaknesses are not compelling.