Podhoretz: “Better Palin Than Obama”

Posted On April 15 , 2010
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“I would rather have Sarah Palin sitting in the Oval Office than Barack Obama.”

With those words, Norman Podhoretz has fired a shot-heard-round-the-blogosphere at those conservative intellectuals who have looked askance at Gov. Sarah Palin.

Writing on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal on March 29, Podhoretz not only broke with many fellow-conservatives regarding Palin, but also gave a huge boost to Palin’s supporters within the American Jewish community.

In his essay, Podhoretz compared the response of some conservative intellectuals to the rise of Sarah Palin to the response of some conservatives to the 1980 presidential candidacy of Ronald Reagan.

“It’s hard to imagine now, but 31 years ago, when I first announced that I was supporting Reagan in his bid for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination, I was routinely asked by friends on the right how I could possibly associate myself with this ‘airhead,’ this B movie star, who was not only stupid but incompetent,” Podhoretz wrote.

While conservative intellectuals acknowledged that Reagan’s views were much closer to their own than those of President Jimmy Carter, they cringed at what they saw as “the embarrassing primitivism with which he expressed them.”

Podhoretz quoted Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol as pointing out that Gov. Palin’s views, too, “are much closer to those of her conservative opponents” than to isolationist or “moderate” Republicans.

Podhoretz noted that on foreign policy, for example, Gov. Palin may have had less direct experience than her vice presidential rival, Senator Joseph Biden, but Biden “was wrong on almost every major [foreign policy] issue that arose in the 30 years he spent in the Senate.” And “what she does know–and in this respect, she does resemble Reagan–is that the United States has been a force for good in the world, which is more than Barack Obama…has yet to learn.”

What then, accounts for some conservative intellectuals’ dislike of Gov. Palin? “Class bias,” according to Podhoretz. They are personally uncomfortable with the “Tea Party rabble.” They do not really feel any sense of personal kinship with the ordinary conservatives “who see [Gov. Palin] as one of them, only better able and better positioned to stand up against the contempt and condescension of the liberal elites…”

After more than a year of watching the Obama White House “in action,” Podhoretz wrote, “I hereby declare that I would rather be ruled by the Tea Party than by the Democratic Party, and I would rather have Sarah Palin sitting in the Oval Office than Barack Obama. .”

As editor of Commentary magazine for more than three decades and the author of numerous critically acclaimed books and essays, Podhoretz, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom,
is widely regarded one of the leading Jewish intellectuals of our era.

Under Podhoretz’s leadership, Commentary emerged as of the most influential intellectual journals in the United States. His publication of Jeane Kirkpatrick’s landmark essay “Dictatorships and Double Standards” in 1979 led directly to the choice of Kirkpatrick to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Reagan.

Comments (One Response)

  1. elle says:

    There is nothing wrong with the Tea Party movement.While the Conservative Intellectuals could not see thru the “Obama Acorn organization, J. Wright, B. Ayers Rabble, we. the ORDINARY Tea Party members could see the fine print writings on the walls, and we, the people, for the people, were working hard to influence the voters to vote for the McCain/Palin ticket.I am happy to see more and more members of my american-jewish community joining us and proudly flying the Israeli flag in our rallies. I am very happy to see Sarah Palin utilizing every opportunity to stand up against the contempt of the liberal media. Obama could talk pretty but many people did not understand the real meaning of his words. What did anybody expected. Obama was hired after his college graduation to be a community organizer in Chicago’s South side by the Alinsky (communist/marxist left-wing jew). I also rather be ruled by the Tea Party rather than the democrats and have Joe, the plumber instead of Pelosi/Reid duo and Sarah Palin as our President. We need to go in full force to vote in upcoming elections and take our country back. Remember Sarah is a friend of Israel. Barack Hussein Obama is not. Consider to join and support Tea Party in your States. thank you from a concerned citizen.