Palin’s ties to Tea Party signal bid for presidency

The populist Tea Party movement now has a legitimate face — the indomitable Sarah Palin.

Last month, Palin secured her position as the head of the movement as a keynote speaker at the Tea Party Convention in Nashville. In typical Palin fashion, she delivered an abrasive speech that aroused cheers from the eclectic crowd, and was highly critical of Obama and the Democrats while offering no profound approaches to policy changes.

With her recent bestselling memoir, “Going Rogue,” commentator gig on Fox and upcoming speeches at other Tea Party events, it appears that Palin is attempting to hone her deranged brand of politics to achieve an ambition far greater than being mayor of Wasilla.

The media speculation of a 2012 candidacy seems to have finally gone to her perfectly-coifed head and, for Palin, the highly divisive Tea Party movement is her ticket to glory.

Unfortunately, that’s where it ends.

Though the Tea Party is a hailed as conservative movement, many Republicans have remained wary when it comes to the embracing Tea Party and its extreme stances, despite Palin’s call for the party to “absorb as much of the Tea Party movement as possible,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

The AP reports that even Dick Cheney, one of the staunchest Republicans in politics, is “mum” in whether or not he supports a Palin presidential bid.

One of the convention’s keynoters, prominent Republican Tea Party activist and former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo, is also on the fence regarding a Palin presidency. “I really don’t have this feeling about her as being presidential,” he said, according to Politico.

Then again, Tancredo became infamous during his speech for saying, “People who could not even spell the word ‘vote,’ or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House. His name is Barack Hussein Obama,” according to CNN. Despite its racist implications, his statement garnered enthusiastic applause amongst Tea Partiers.

Now, it is the inherent right of every American to stand up for their beliefs and have an opinion. But it is comments like Tancredo’s that undermine the integrity of the movement and create even more fractures amongst Americans, as opposed to the unity that this country needs.

The Tea Party touts itself as a grassroots movement that formed due to the anger that “ordinary” Americans feel regarding the current political climate and government policies. However, the supporters on the extreme fringe, and leaders like Tancredo, are what makes the Tea Party a rather disturbing mix — especially when coupled with the unfounded nonsense of Sarah Palin.

Palin’s fallacious death panels, infamous quotations such as “pallin’ around with terrorists,” and scathing supporters (does anybody remember the “McCain not Hussein,” or “Kill him” chanting at Palin VP rallies?) make her a polarizing force that is not only unqualified, but appeals to the most extreme of her base. Her Tea Party prominence further signals evidence of preening for a role in the highest office. Does she have a shot? I wouldn’t say, “you betcha!”

Reach Alana at alana.arbuthnot@asu.edu


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