An LA Times piece regarding the ridiculousness of the TV show “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” (on TLC [The Learning Channel] asks whether the show is really just a campaign commercial. Answer: Of course it is.
But, what interested me most was a quote from a Republican campaign strategist, Ken Khachigian, (a senior strategist to the losing presidential campaigns of Bob Dole, John McCain, and Fred Thompson). Here is his perspective on Sarah Palin’s Alaska:
“There are two goals here: One is to make some money, which nobody can fault, and the second is to position herself via a pretty large media audience in a way that doesn’t go through the lens of her critics.”
In one sentence, Ken Khachigian summarizes what’s wrong with Sarah Palin, and/or why Khachigian has been on the losing end of so many presidential campaigns.
1. “One is to make some money, which nobody can fault …”. Actually, a lot of people can fault Palin’s choice to fail to live up to the oath she took for political office in exchange for money. Her understanding of the roll of public servitude appears to be a path to fame and wealth rather than a way to help the people of the State of Alaska. Yes, many politicians later profit off their fame or political connections, but this is generally done after living up to the obligations of the roll they’ve been elected to serve.
2. “… second is to position herself via a pretty large media audience in a way that doesn’t go through the lens of her critics.” Actually, a strong politician is one who can handle critical questions. A strong politician may actually look stronger when responding to questions from critics because it gives politicians a chance to show that they understand their opponents’ perspectives and can attempt to win them over. If Palin is only capable of dealing with strong supporters (lesser educated Republicans), she won’t be able to build a large enough base to be a viable candidate.
If you’d like to see an example of this, check out President Obama’s appearance at the Republican Caucus back in January where he took their questions, proved that he understood their perspective on issues, explained how he planned to address them, and asked them to cooperate to help do what’s best for the country:
Based on Ken Khachigian’s analysis of Palin’s reality show strategy, I get the impression that Khachigian is on his way to adding another failed presidential run to his resume.