I get a certain queasiness when I find myself agreeing with Obama but upon reflection I've decided to give the ISIS founder his due.
“I see a straight line from the announcement of Sarah Palin as the vice-presidential nominee to what we see today in Donald Trump, the emergence of the Freedom Caucus, the tea party, and the shift in the center of gravity for the Republican Party,” the president told New York Magazine.
He is absolutely right. Palin came out of the North in 2008 like a Viking warrior and for the first time in recent memory became a politician that people actually wanted to hear. Like Trump she could pack a venue while she gave life to a lackluster McCain campaign. Hundreds of thousands turned out to hear an Alaskan housewife vouch for the credibility of an American war hero. It was Sarah people came to see. A rally just outside of St.Loui's drew 17,000. At St Petersburg the estimates ranged from 25,000 to 60,000. In 2010 she drew 10,000 to Searchlight, NV, a town too small to appear on most maps but the birthplace of Harry Reid who would be hard pressed to draw a tenth of that. Her message to Harry Reid? "You're fired."
In 2010 Palin became a rock star in the fledgling Tea Party movement. She was instrumental in the rout that saw the Democrats lose 63 House seats 6 Senate seats and over 700 state legislator seats. In 2011 while on the "One Nation" Bus Tour Palin received an invitation to join Donald and Melania Trump at Trump Tower.
Judging from life style and backgrounds it's hard to imagine Palin and Trump in the same universe but they share many of the same values and differ on many more. The common trait both have is the ability to project authenticity. Both when they are right and when they are wrong the voters know they are getting the real deal. The dissatisfaction voters felt in 2008 with the banks and later the auto make bailouts has not abated. Knowing that one's fate and the fate of millions of other Americans is determined by political connections has produced deep cynicism and distrust of the political class. Trust in the old order went South with the jobs.
Sarah started the fire and trump will keep it blazing.