Your Reaction to this story
SUPPORT THE CUI!
CU Independent's Recent Tweets
The opinions represented in this article do not necessarily represent those of the staff of CUIndependent.com nor any of its sponsors
More than two years have passed since the 2008 presidential election, but one Alaskan has fought with all means necessary to remain in the spotlight.
With a name and a face invading every publication and newscast, Sarah Palin has become a political figure of definite and overwhelming fame. But as time passes and events morph the political climate, the nature of her fame falls into jeopardy.
Whether you are pro or anti-Palin, there is no denying that she is an interestingly unique breed of politician. Her career since the 2008 election has accumulated into an evolution between polarities, in terms of public approval.
Perhaps Palin once seemed the breath of fresh air American politics needed, but facades aren’t invincible, and time has dissolved the image Palin so carefully crafted for herself two years ago, as well as the respectability of current politics.
Palin appeared in the 2008 election as a very distinctive politician, and the air about her felt of curious differentiation. She lacked the formality and intimidation constantly emanating from the average politician; instead, she appeared friendly, as though she was no more than your average American citizen.
Quickly, she planted roots in the hearts of the Republican party and women in America, a foundation that would nourish her increasing popularity within the coming years.
To drive her popularity, Palin repetitively stressed the similarities she and the country both possessed.
“I’m just one of many moms who’ll say an extra prayer each night for our sons and daughters going into harms way,” Palin said in a speech at the Republican National Convention.
In a very smart but potentially manipulative way, Palin cast herself as the next-door-neighbor soccer mom, and carried her nurturing and empathetic attitude into her political career. It’s no surprise that women voters clung to her maternal demeanor.
Once she had captured these followers, she watched the “Palin-palooza” bloom and carry strongly into the midterm elections.
The 2010 election could perhaps be considered Palin’s popularity peak. To express her die-hard support of female candidates in the midterms, Palin coined her “Mama Grizzlies” term. Behind the “Mama Grizzlies” promotion was the same average-American-woman ideology that propelled Palin’s own fame.
It was during the midterms I remember thinking for the first time that Palin had over-stayed her welcome. The midterm was a heated whirlwind of voters, politicians and campaigns; the last thing we needed in the mix was Palin’s unsolicited contributions.
With a secured foundation of supporters, Palin decided to expand her popularity by nontraditional means, a critical mistake. In addition to already being an active member on Facebook and Twitter, she starred in her very own reality show: “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.”
“Sarah Palin’s Alaska” premiered Nov. 14 last year. According to ABC News, the premiere attracted about 5 million viewers. Of course, Palin insisted that her show wasn’t like all of the other reality shows and that it served a different purpose.
“This is not ‘Housewives of Alaska’,” Palin said in an interview with ABC news. “This is about the uniqueness of Alaska, the special place it is, and showing the rest of America why we are here and what we have to offer.”
Shortly after the premiere of her show, her book “America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag,” was released. It was official, Palin was everywhere.
Palin ensured that every last person heard her name and knew her face. But with her fame came heavy criticism of everything she once tried to promote: her family, experience, political past and campaign strategy.
It’s a basic concept: Too much of anything gets old quickly. As it stands, Americans have grown exhausted of Palin. According to a poll by CNN, “56 percent of Americans view [Palin] unfavorably.”
Perhaps she had potential, but at some point in the evolution of Palin, she lost the ability to make Americans to take her seriously. Perhaps her average-citizen image was comforting initially, but in little time she crossed the line. Americans realized they didn’t want Palin prying into every compartment of their lives.
Apart from a growing disapproval rate, Palin portrayed what an unprofessional politician looked like while warping the impression of American politics. Palin crossed facets of America that should remain entirely unrelated: social networking, reality TV and politics.
Using Facebook and Twitter to reach to a younger demographic is understandable to an extent, but Palin tweeted like a teenager until Americans viewed her as one.
Furthermore, Palin said her reality show would share information about the state of Alaska when it was blatantly a publicity stunt in disguise. It was a tacky disguise at that, and Americans saw right through it.
Palin exemplifies what happens to a politician when they treat politics like a popularity contest. She sensed the nation’s enticement by her uncommon image and took off running. Ever since, her demand for attention has operated inversely with her approval.
The floating rumor of Palin running in the 2012 presidential election is one the nation should ignore. Through her own publicity stunts, Palin has shattered her reputation in a way that cannot be repaired for presidential eligibility.
But as expected, Palin will give in to desperation before giving up.
“I am not ready to make an announcement about what my political future is going to be,” Palin said in an interview. “But I will tell you… I am not going to sit down. I am not going to shut up.”
Politics are inherently scandalous and controversial and thus always prone to slight corruption. It is the degree of corruption that must be monitored. Palin probably worked herself out of the system, but voters must learn from history and keep popularity contests separate from politics.
Contact CU Independent Copy Editor Devon Barrow at Devon.email@example.com.