Keith Harris – 2/19/2010

Only one year into Barack Obama’s presidency and there is already talk of the 2012 campaign. If trends continue, Obama is likely to face tough competition in re-election. It is likely that this competition will be in the form of Sarah Palin.

If Palin is nominated, the campaign will be interesting, to say the least. It is likely that she will play up her "mainstream American" status. This will be in stark contrast to Obama, who is perceived as disconnected from the American people. The idea of Palin being an average American is ridiculous, and frankly, insulting. Palin’s supporters often cite her love of hunting as representative of her similarity to everyday Americans. If the murder of innocent beings for personal pleasure defines us as a people, I think we have some problems.

Of course, the glee that Palin experiences while gunning down wolves isn’t all that ties her to the American people, according to her supporters. While Obama is a possible closet Muslim with ties to domestic terrorists and a socialist agenda, Palin is an all-American girl. That’s why she is married to a man who was twice registered with the Alaska Independence Party, a group which advocates the secession of Alaska.

For all their great differences, Palin and Obama do share one important similarity. Both manipulate language to garner support. For instance, Obama’s campaign relied heavily on the words "hope" and "change" in lieu of concrete policy commitment. Palin’s use of language is different. Instead of shrouding meaning through optimistic words, Palin relied on outright lying. When Palin told her supporters that her response to Congress’ attempt to pass funding for a project in Alaska was, "thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere," what she really meant was, "thank you for offering money toward a project of which I am an outspoken supporter, but if the project falls through I will take the money and use it elsewhere." And, like the maverick she is, Palin did take that money and put it to other uses.

As someone who cares about the fate of America, I find the prospect of Palin getting the Republican nomination terrifying, but as a lover of comedy, part of me is thrilled at the possibility. Perhaps she will again forget her opponent’s name as she did during her debate with Senator "Obiden." To be fair, Palin should not be judged for this minor gaffe. Instead, she should be judged for the consistent pattern of ignorance she exhibited during her campaign. Recently, it has been revealed in "Game Change" that Palin had difficulty describing the difference between North and South Korea and believed adamantly that the nation of Iraq was responsible for the events of 9/11, as well as other gaping holes in her knowledge of foreign policy.

But who am I to insinuate that Palin would be an absurd choice for a presidential candidate? Perhaps she’ll pull herself up by the bootstraps, trade in one of her guns for a book or two, and be the best president this country has ever seen.

That is, of course, after someone tells her what it is exactly that the president does every day.