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Gender Politics Still a Huge Issue

Hillary Palin Photo.jpg

(San Francisco, California)

Boy, did I strike a nerve! Earlier this week, I posted two blogs--one about the prospects of Hillary Clinton's still becoming President and one about Sarah Palin’s Presidential chances. I received many responses, many of them very passionate one way or the other. Here's a sampling:

John T. commented: "Mark, your analysis was brilliant. I think that if the economy rebounds as it does and should, then nobody worth a darn is going to run against an incumbent in a good economy. Look at history - Kerry, Dole, Dukakis, Mondale, even Clinton - NOBODY thought he stood a chance against Bush 41; talk about a shot in the dark. All of these folks, while good politicians, didn't have the stuff to win. DOLE?!?! What were they thinking? Enter Palin 2012 just like you said. I can't imagine that Biden will be looking to extend his career at that point. She will have the experience that she needed in 2008. Not that she didn't have enough, she had more and better than Obama, but it wasn't enough for the masses, obviously. Timing would be perfect.

It’s always good to see you in person. It is a true joy to see someone that is as passionate as you are about what they do.(You spoke at my Rotary club a few months back.)

Thanks, Mark"

Devi L. commented: "Mark - I think your comments are right on and interesting."

Cory C. commented: "What political future??? She (Palin) has had her 15 minutes of fame...and, believe me, that was 14 minutes too long, Mark"

Ida C. commented: "Like Tiger for ESPN, a comeback and a return are two different things; Yes, they, Clinton & Palin, will return because of the love affair between them and the media - As for a comeback? Match Play - Clinton 1 - Palin 0."

Diane M. commented: “I LOVE the Palin piece, btw!!!!! You are spot-on! Keep 'em coming!”

Part of me wonders why the emotions for these two women run so hot and cold. There seems to be no middle ground. Are we still that gun shy about electing a woman President? During the campaign of 2008, it became very clear to me, wherever I went in America, that people were far more receptive to electing a black President than a female candidate. Was it because the black candidate was a man? I don’t know, but I surely got that impression often.

One thing that is completely equal opportunity is the purchase of my book. We sell to men and women, young and old, of all races and creeds! “Age of Obama: A Reporter’s Journey…” is a look at ALL the candidates who ran for President in 2008. You can buy it by clicking on the blue book button on the right of this screen!

I will be on KPIX CBS-5 in the San Francisco Bay Area on Sunday to promote my book! The show is at 5:30 in the morning, so wake up early. There will also be a link for online viewers around the country! http://cbs5.com/video/?id=47806@kpix.dayport.com.

Sarah Palin: She’ll Be Back, Too!

Sarah Palin Governor.jpg

(Danville, California)

I am getting a lot of buzz on my blog on the eventual return of Hillary Clinton to the Presidential picture. She’s not the only serious woman candidate we will see again. Sarah Palin will be back, too! Mark my words.

I have been doing a lot of speaking engagements these days to promote my book. The mere mention of Palin’s name brings laughter from liberals. “Not so fast,” say conservatives who like her and think she has a future in the GOP. I agree with the latter.

On Friday, at the “Sacramento Seminar” at the North Beach Grille in San Francisco (What a great group!), someone in the crowd asked me, “What would you say to both parties about Sarah Palin?”

My answer was this: “For Democrats, don’t underestimate Sarah Palin. And for Republican’s, don’t overestimate Sarah Palin.”

Palin can be a force in politics long after the Tina Fay parody has faded away; but if I were her political advisor, I would say “no” to a run for President in 2012. In my opinion, she would be more viable in 2016, if she follows my game plan.

Palin is up for reelection as Governor in 2010. I think she should pass, and run instead for the U.S. Senate against current GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski. Sounds risky? Perhaps, but Palin made her name by ousting Lisa’s dad, former Republican Governor Frank Murkowski. The senior Murkowski served twenty-two years in the U.S Senate. Then, when he was elected Governor, he appointed his daughter to fill his vacated Senate seat, in what critics felt was the ultimate act of nepotism.

So, Sarah Palin took on the incumbent Governor of her own party and won a “David vs. Goliath” battle. For her part, Lisa Murkowski was miraculously reelected to the Senate seat in 2004. That means she is up for reelection next year. If Palin challenges her and wins, Palin could--as a U.S. Senator--gain the foreign policy experience she so glaringly lacked in the last election.

Imagine it's 2016 now; Sarah Palin has served four years as governor and six years in the U.S. Senate. She'll be only the ripe old age of 53. And if she waits until 2020, she’ll have that much more experience and will be only 57. My point is this: Don’t count her out. She has a solid political future if she wants it, but she has to time it right. That’s why I think a Presidential run in 2012 would be premature and could end her career.

A lot of Republicans like Palin; but if they push her too hard too early, she may be little more than a shooting star who fades before her prime.

In the meantime, you can read more on my assessment of Sarah Palin in my new book, “Age of Obama: A Reporter’s Journey with Clinton, McCain and Obama in the Making of the President 2008.” To buy it, just click on the blue book button on the right side of this screen!

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