...Quit comparing yourself to Ronald Reagan. To paraphrase the late Sen. Lloyd Bentsen's comments to Dan Quayle in the 1988 vice presidential debate: I knew Ronald Reagan, and you're no Ronald Reagan.
You're a media star and a great curiosity. You were plucked out of political obscurity because of the whim of presidential contender John McCain, who didn't know you and made you into an overnight sensation. You performed well for three weeks in the campaign, did better than expected against Joe Biden in the debate and then you self-destructed.
You clearly weren't ready for prime time, but neither was your running mate. After the election, you quit your day job as governor of Alaska with 18 months left in the term and went out and made a fortune making speeches and selling a book.
It was certainly your right, and you're not the first one to cash in on fame. Millions of Americans love you, and I am sure millions more hate you. Unfortunately, that's what happens in politics.
You can be a contender for the Republican nomination in 2012, but you're a long way from being the nominee. You're going to have to beat some very formidable candidates with way more experience and far superior knowledge on issues foreign and domestic. And to rate your chances today, I would put them at "possible" but not "probable." It's an all-uphill battle.
Right now, polls indicate you wouldn't carry your home state of Alaska.
And the Reagan comparisons aren't helping. You might as well compare yourself to Abraham Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt.---
Ms. Palin, serious stuff needs to be accomplished in Washington.
If you want to be a player, go to school and learn the issues. Put smart people around you and listen to them. If you want to be taken seriously, be serious. You've already got your own forum. If you want to be a serious presidential candidate, get to work. If you want to be an imitator of Ronald Reagan, go learn something about him and respect his legacy.
If you want to be a gadfly, just keep doing what you're doing.
Who will join the anti-Palin chorus tomorrow? Fingers crossed for Meghan McCain.
All kidding aside, though, here's a serious question for Townhall's resident Palinistas: Does Rollins -- a Reaganite through and through -- have sufficient conservative cred to have earned the right to criticize Sarah Palin? Or is he just indirectly shilling for Huck -- a fellow Evangelical populist who may directly compete with Palin over several key primary demographics in 2012? Scarborough's screed was ad hominem and snide. Rollins' piece adopts something of a lecturing or chastening tone at times. I'm not sure either approach accomplishes anything -- aside from emboldening Palin and infuriating her staunchest defenders.
Which brings us to a second question, which I discussed at length with Mary Katharine Ham on Hugh Hewitt's radio show last night: Is there an acceptable and/or effective way for conservatives-in-good-standing, who may not be thrilled over the prospect of a Palin presidential bid, to offer critiques of her (or even discourage her from running) without coming off as condescending jerks?