Weigel

Won’t Somebody Think About Sarah Palin?

John Dickerson reports from Iowa on a phenomenon I’ve experienced, too.

[V]oters and activists here are in a shuffle-the-cards mode. They cycle through all the candidates, even the ones far back in the polls like Rick Santorum. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has come up several times, even though he’s only rumored to be thinking about considering getting in the race. Herman Cain is getting a lot of buzz. People like that he’s not a politician, which means both that he didn’t hold a Washington job but also that he’s not a polished guy who’s always trying to pitch you something.

In all my conversations, no one brought up Palin—either as the answer to the presidential puzzle or as a question mark worth waiting for, like Perry.

I’m about to head to a screening of “The Undefeated,” the new Palin-approved documentary about her career. Its director, Steve Bannon, is adamant: If people see this movie, they will remember the Palin of late August 2008, the one they were starting to like before the media beat up on her. What he’s proposing is basically a mass de-programming exercise, the necessity of which is demonstrated by anecdotes like Dickerson’s – not even solid Republican voters can shake the bad stuff they’ve come to think about Palin. And given how little trust Republicans have in the mainstream media, that’s surprising.