Just as the presidential campaigns are heating up each day, Sarah Palin, the former Alaskan governor (i.e. the “Grizzly Mama”) supports Donald Trump for US President. The GOP front-runner Donald Trump has been proving each day, ever since he announced his candidacy that no criticism, backlash or even Parliamentary debate upon banning him from entering a country will make him adopt “political correctness.”
As it is known, Sarah Palin joined Senator John McCain as his running mate in the 2008 presidential election. Palin introduced herself as “just your average hockey mom” who is ready to serve her country at the party convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. Unfortunately, the campaign lost and McCain’s supporters were partly blaming Palin for being a political liability for the candidate. In addition, her inability to answer some questions about important foreign and national policies resulted in another round of media backlash. Palin was being described as someone not credible and knowledgeable enough to serve as the national leader.
Following her defeat, Sarah Palin returned to her home state Alaska and continued her job as a governor. However, her involvement in controversial issues such as oil drilling and unreasonable dismissal of subordinates resulted in even more scandals. Even in her earlier years as governor, Palin was condemned for supporting oil drill, ban of same-sex marriage in Alaska, and her skepticism about climate change. Furthermore, Sarah Palin has been active in the Tea Party movement and proclaimed herself as the de facto leader of the party. As a charismatic leader of the movement she reportedly charged even her own followers hundreds of thousands of dollars to speak at an event. This exploitative behavior is known as “the dark side of charisma” in the leadership theory.
Donald Trump, the real estate mogul who has not been spending much of his money on campaign advertising due to his already established media popularity, also showed his “dark side of charisma” by demanding CNN to pay him to attend the debate. Trump knows how to stir controversy better than anyone by saying things out loud that most politicians are afraid to say. This technique saved him millions of dollars and garnered more than the needed media attention. Less than a week ago, a petition signed by around 600,000 people to ban Donald Trump from entering the UK was debated upon by the Parliament. This alone illustrates how massive Trump’s PR technique is.
This duo has a long history of mutual support, reports the Washington Post. Trump supported Palin first during the 2008 election and Palin, in response, joined Trump in demanding President Obama to show his birth certificate. There has been speculation that Palin was planning to run for the Oval Office in 2012 and that she was going to choose Trump as her running mate.
This particular Trump endorsement speech that she delivered on January 19 in Ames, Iowa has been regarded by the media as unprofessional, inarticulate or as even slam poetry. The hosts of Late Night shows celebrated the return of Sarah Palin in joy.
Stephen Colbert, the host of CBS “Late Night Show” described this partnership and the comeback of Palin as follows-“While Trump admittedly has given me so much material to make jokes about, nobody compares to the original Material Girl.” James Corden of “The Late Late Show” commented-“You just know that John McCain is on his couch at home watching the TV being like, Donald – dude – this is a bad idea”- while analyzing Palin’s endorsement speech with his audience.
While it was being mocked by various television shows, the New York Times examined the speech carefully in several parts, one of which is:
“‘They stomp on our neck, and then they tell us, ‘Just chill, O.K., just relax.’ Well, look, we are mad, and we’ve been had. They need to get used to it.’-An impressive example of internal rhyme — if a tad violent, as Mrs. Palin describes the Republican establishment trying to quash the anger of the party’s rebellious base.“
As the political pundits weigh in on whether or not Palin’s support is a valuable asset to the Trump campaign, one thing is clear- the dark forces of PR have been joined! Regardless of the backlash and mass criticism, Donald Trump still leads in the polls and whether or not this coalition can get him elected President of the Unites States still remains to be seen.