Power brokers who could lead all-out "Stop Trump" push have either held back (Club, Chamber, Xroads) or gone other way (Fox, Rush, Falwell)
— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) January 18, 2016
Olivia Nuzzi, at the Daily Beast, “Sarah Palin Backs Donald Trump, Murders Irony”:
… Dressed in a black overcoat and blue tie, the GOP frontrunner walked onstage at Iowa State University and gripped the lectern stamped with his name. “Wow, look at the press out there! They must think that a big event’s gonna happen today,” he said. “Wow! That’s a lot—it’s like the Academy Awards!”…
Trump persists because he defies parody. He, like Palin, is in on the joke that is his public persona. The difference is he’s better at telling it than any lowly scribe or comedian. And he tells it not with a device as obvious as self-deprecation but with subtlety in his every decision, minor or Yuge, in his official capacity as The Frontrunner for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Which is where Palin comes in…
As surreal as Tuesday’s performance felt at times, it was guided by a certain logic. Even Palin, who flailed her sequined arms in the air for the crowd, equal parts pep and menace in her voice, sounded a nuanced battle cry. “You ready for a commander and chief who will do their job and go kick ISIS ass?” she screamed at one point.
But then she explained her plight, and the plight of all Trump true believers.
“Trump’s candidacy: It has exposed not just that tragic ramifications of that betrayal of the transformation of our country, but too, he has exposed the complicity on both sides of the aisle that has enabled it, OK?” she said. “He’s been able to tear the veil off this idea of the system, how the system really works.”…
“Funny, haha—not funny,” she said, seemingly out of nowhere. “But now what they’re doing is whaling on Trump and his Trumpeters, ‘Well, they’re not conservative enough’—Oh my goodness gracious, what the heck would the establishment know about conservatism?”
She said she, Trump, and those like them were “right-winging, bitter-clinging, proud clingers of our guns, our god, and our religions, and our Constitution.”
“Doggone right we’re angry,” she said. “Justifiably so!”…
Palin's PAC fundraising off her Trump endorsement: "In order to get Sarah to political events…we need your help to fundraise for her travel"
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) January 20, 2016
Ed Kilgore, in NYMag, explains “The Inevitability of Palin’s Endorsement of Trump”:
Notwithstanding the howls of pain and rage from supporters of Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin’s decision to endorse Donald Trump for president makes perfect sense when you think about what she has distinctively represented in the Republican Party. Yes, she’s a “conservative” in the sense of standing for maximum confrontation with Democrats and constantly accusing the party Establishment of acts of betrayal. But no, there’s nothing particularly ideological — or, for that matter, intellectual — about her approach to politics or issues. She represents almost perfectly the passion and resentment of grassroots cultural-issues activists…
… In a very real sense, she was the authentic representative of those local right-to-life activists — disproportionately women — who had staffed countless GOP campaigns and gotten little in return (this was before the 2010 midterm elections began to produce serious anti-choice gains in the states) other than the thinly disguised contempt of Beltway Republicans. And after 2008 she generated a sort of perpetual motion machine in which her fans loved her precisely for the mockery she so reliably inspired…
…[I]n many respects, the Trump campaign is the presidential campaign Palin herself might have aspired to run if she had the money and energy to do so. Her famous disregard for wonky facts and historical context is but a shadow of Trump’s. His facility with the big and effective lie can’t quite match Palin’s, who after all convinced many millions of people in a Facebook post that the Affordable Care Act authorized “death panels.” And both of them, of course, exemplify the demagogue’s zest for flouting standards of respectable discourse and playing the table-turning triumphant victim/conqueror of privileged elites.
Conservatism for both Trump and Palin simply supplies the raw material of politics and a preassembled group of aggrieved white people ready to follow anyone purporting to protect hard-earned threatened privileges, whether it’s Social Security and Medicare benefits or religious hegemony. So it’s natural Palin would gravitate to Trump rather than Cruz, who’s a professional ideologue but a mere amateur demagogue. The endorser and the endorsee were meant for each other.
Why the Trump-Palin pairing is perfect, from "All the Truth Is Out." pic.twitter.com/7iCIxqpW9q
— Matt Bai (@mattbai) January 20, 2016
And yet… there’s another famous GOP Lady Icon also just endorsed Der Trumpenfuhrer…
Palin got all the attention, but another conservative woman who endorsed Trump might actually move more Iowa votes https://t.co/kr80fQogOl
— Jon Ward (@jonward11) January 20, 2016
… [Veteran Iowa political organizer Steve Scheffler] said that it was the support for Trump from 91-year-old conservative organizer Phyllis Schlafly that is “the one that has kind of turned some heads.”
For older conservative caucus-goers, it was Schlafly’s glowing praise for Trump that signaled to those who have followed her over the last few decades that “maybe it’s safe for them to go ahead and support Trump.”
“It gives them a comfort level,” Scheffler said…
Raise your hands, all who weren’t sure the old battleaxe was still alive, or at least still as compos mentis as she’s ever been.