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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Supporting Gov. Palin Means Respect, Trust, Loyalty

I have seen comments from numerous supporters of Governor Palin's expressing "disappointment" for various reasons in her decision to appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Let's make this very simple:

  • Governor Palin has 17 years of executive and political experience, going on 18.

  • Governor Palin is an astute businesswoman as well as a stateswoman (to call her a "politician" to me is a gross insult). Going Rogue is her product. Governor Palin knows how and where to market her products.

  • Governor Palin has a journalism degree. She was a sportscaster and was part of the media.

  • Governor Palin has borne the complete brunt of a full court hostile press, and not merely survived but thrived, thanks largely to her very strong objective ego. In a perverse way, her enemies did her a huge favor, for she now has media experience that millions of dollars in consultations and simulation cannot buy. Governor Palin is more than ready for any media attack.

  • As Governor, Sarah Palin hired Bill McAllister, an excellent communications director who served her well. Both Meg Stapleton and Pam Pryor handle Governor Palin's media through SarahPAC, and as delineated in an article this morning, Ms. Pryor has more than two decades of media and communications experience.

  • Sometimes, a leader's decision might not appear to make sense prima facie. Governor Palin has her reasons -- reasons that we are not privy to and may never be. We are not in her inner sanctum. Part of loving and supporting her is trusting and respecting her decisions as a leader, understanding that these unknown reasons may exist.

What the entire foregoing list distills to is this: Governor Palin -- not any supporter of hers -- decides who she will interview with, where, how, when, why, and with what she will conduct said interview.

In this relationship, Governor Palin is the leader. We are her supporters. When we sign on to support any leader, we owe that leader our loyalty, trust and respect. The leader in turn must earn our loyalty, trust, and respect, and this is done by establishing a track record of accomplishments, simultaneously avoiding association with anything that would bring them disgrace. Governor Palin has fulfilled her end of this relationship far above and beyond.

The Limit of Respect, Trust and Loyalty

This is not to suggest that Governor Palin be deified, not held accountable for her actions, or blindly supported no matter what. Cults of personality are very dangerous and toxic. We don't want to establish one around Governor Palin and she certainly would not approve of such a thing. Even "absolute" loyalty, trust, and respect have a limit, which is, they must be earned. If a leader commits a highly unethical or criminal act, an act of grave moral turpitude, or displays egregiously bad judgment, that leader would be no longer deserving of support. My position is -- that Governor Palin never came anywhere near that limit with her decision to market her book on Oprah's show.

Why Her Appearance on Oprah is Worthy of our Support

The Oprah Winfrey show is a well-established venue for authors to market their books -- the purpose of Governor Palin's appearance there. For that reason, I find it patently absurd to question her judgment in appearing on this show; and ludicrous to disavow and deny her support on that basis.

For those of you who do not watch Oprah, because you don't like her -- If you love and support Governor Palin, on November 16, watching or DVR'ing the one episode of Oprah is the right thing to do. It is right, because we want Governor Palin and her product to succeed. You're not doing it for Oprah. You're doing it for Governor Palin. Boycotting this episode because you don't like Oprah is a self-defeating act for any person who considers themselves a supporter of Governor Palin's, in my opinion.

Yes, Oprah could be considered an enemy of Governor Palin's by virtue of her rather enthusiastic support of Obama. We also have been clamoring for Governor Palin to run for President in 2012, yes? We want her to deal with allies and enemies -- people like Ahmadinejad, Putin, the Castro Bros., Chavez, and so forth. She cannot go the rest of her life just interviewing on shows she is comfortable with. "A ship in a harbor is safe. That's not what ships are built for."

Governor Palin picked Oprah's show for what I believe are very good reasons worthy of delineation:

  1. Governor Palin has her audience already on Hannity, Greta, Beck, etc. We already bought her book by pre-order! She doesn't need to go promote her book to people who already bought it. That is preaching to the choir and a complete waste of an interview.

  2. Oprah's show is the venue for authors to market their books. Governor Palin is marketing a book.

  3. Governor Palin will win minds and hearts on Oprah -- she will gain supporters, because she will be placing herself in a new venue, in a new market. And this is a good test market for her: center-left, feminists -- Reagan Democrats -- women -- lots of women -- for women are Oprah's main audience.

  4. Governor Palin walked into Saturday Night Live (SNL) a year and three days ago with Tina Fey as an enemy and walked out with her as a friend. Even Alec Baldwin softened his heart towards her, and SNL enjoyed the best ratings they had in 30 years. This is what you call a win-win.
Supporting Governor Palin does not just mean posting "I love you Sarah" or something equally emotionally charged on her Facebook wall, and where ever else we might post it. Absent respect, trust, or loyalty, expressed love is nothing more than meaningless words.

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