2012: Sarah Palin is the Next Hillary Clinton

For my final blog (hahaha… right now I know jealousy is stirring with many of you), I will suggest an unlikely similarity between two seemingly opposing political figures, who on the surface appear to possess only one similarity: their gender.  Although their political views are obviously quite juxtaposed, I would argue that both these women, one of whom attempted a run for the presidency, and the other of whom will likely attempt one in the near future, face a major obstacle in reaching the nation’s highest office (beyond, perhaps, their similarity as women): their status as highly controversial figures in American society.

            Hillary Clinton, at least before she became Secretary of State, normally evoked strong emotions from people.  Most people either hate her or love her.  Her role as a former first lady, and the stigma that comes with being the wife of former President Clinton further emboldened opposition against her.  In reality, I don’t think Clinton is really that radical of individual; rather, the time she has spent in the public spectrum has created strong opinions about her policies and ability to lead.

            Similarly, I think we find deeply held and strong opinions concerning the figure of Sarah Palin.  Some herald this former Alaskan governor as the future of the Republican party and the face of the reenergized conservative movement in America.  Others find her strongly conservative views repulsive and narrow-minded.  Furthermore, many understand this “working-class mom” (as she likes to paint herself) to be unintelligent, as evidenced by certain remarks made during the 2008 Presidential election cycle.  All this aside, it is undeniable that Sarah Palin, like Hillary Clinton, is a controversial figure.

            And so, I suspect that 2012 will be a difficult (and perhaps unsuccessful) year for Sarah Palin.  Her tendency to stir strong emotions in people will bring both motivated supporters and determined opposition.  Furthermore, her strongly conservative views might alienate the crucial independent voting bloc, thus threatening the party’s chances for a White House bid.  She will probably make a strong showing in the primaries, but to obtain the nomination will be both an immense challenge, and a perhaps ill-advised outcome for the Republican party.

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~ by aakort on December 7, 2009.

6 Responses to “2012: Sarah Palin is the Next Hillary Clinton”

  1. Although I see you connection between Palin and Clinton, I can hardly justify it as a strong one. Since Clinton and Palin both are women and are both controversial in America, I can see how one might see similarity. However, I do not see Clinton as such a polarizing figure as Palin is. Clinton has too much experience in the White House and in Congress to be controversial any longer. However, Palin, the outsider, will come off much more strong, thus making her bid in 2012 much more difficult that it was for Clinton.

  2. Yes, and that is in part why I say “Hillary Clinton, at least before she became Secretary of State, normally evoked strong emotions from people.” She isn’t near the controversial figure she used to be, but I will maintain that this similarity plays/played a role in their executive aspirations.

  3. First of all Aaron, that is a terrible first line. It makes everyone who started reading it want to stop immediately.

    Secondly however, this is a good post. All I have to say about it is that, I am not convinced that 2012 will be unsuccessful for Ms. Palin. Over the last few weeks, I have asked a wide variety of my friends or aquaintance about her… and I have been decently stunned to find out that for the most part.. everyone likes her. Perhaps my little experiment is a fluke, but a few of the people I talked to I was sure would just repudiate her every actions… liked her. Just a thought

  4. I’ll give you a two dollar bill if you do my last blog posts for me.

    Huh? Huh? What do ya’ think?

    Isn’t your analysis merely pointing out that being controversial and polarizing aren’t good qualities for getting elected? Perhaps that is a fact which really has nothing to do with a comparison between Hilary and Palin. You may as well compare Hilary and Huckabee. Or Palin and Kanye West.

  5. Well the obvious fact that both these political figures are women who had poor showings during their attempts at an executive White House office that mostly pulled women back 2 steps instead of taking one forward (sorry had to say it), I think your main reason of comparison lies in that. While my last sentence was basically just an emotional rant which is probably grammatically incorrect, allow me to clarify. Most political leaders are controversial in some way or another, depending on what political lens you analyze them through. Therefore, I tend to agree with Taylor that mere “level of controversialness” is not a good measurement tool in this instance.

    I do appreciate the post. It brought up some good points and I’m excited to see the next political year play out for both women.

  6. Aron this is an interesting comparison that I had not really thought of. In saying that though it worries me a little. It is obvious that the two women have received their far amount of press, but do you think that the press is a little different? I think that the majority of the time when Palin is in the news it is to in some ways make fun of her. Hillary is not exempt from this but I think there is also a substantial amount of press based on her political experience and theories. I am also curious that with this comparison are you assuming that if Palin runs she will achieve the same fate as hilary becoming Secretary of State?

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