Editorial by John Ziegler

An Open E-mail to Sarah Palin




The following is an actual e-mail "Media Malpractice, How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted" Filmmaker John Ziegler sent to Sarah Palin's personal e-mail address after she announced she was not running for president.

Dear Governor Palin:

Wow. So, is this really how your political saga is going end? By letting down your remaining supporters and telling them, with a straight face, that you can do more to impact change as a Fox News Contributor than you can as President of the United States?

I was almost positive you would run because it appeared that your brand demanded it from a career maintenance perspective. I had even written a long letter blasting you for being either selfish or delusional in making a decision to run which could help President Obama get reelected. While I applaud you for making the right decision, thanks to the way you made it, I must also question your real rationale.

One of the many reasons (other than the conversation I had earlier this year with Todd about working on your campaign) I was so sure you would give it a shot was that I figured you were way too smart to go this far with a blatant tease without a legitimate exit explanation.

While you have used the “I don’t need a title to impact change” line before (to justify your politically inexplicable resignation as governor of Alaska), I never figured you would actually try to float that as a last minute reason for not pursuing the most important job in the world. It is hard to believe that even the most crazed of your fans will buy that, but I am sure at least some of the remaining lemmings will.

Of course, there is no way you actually believe it yourself. First of all, how is this “issue" new information? You mean to tell us that in the last year since you started talking openly about running for president that this never occurred to you before? If it was a decisive factor now, why wasn’t it that way several months ago before you started acting like a candidate? Why did you selfishly put your supporters through the long wait and stunt the process for the actual candidates?

Secondly, exactly what change have you impacted since resigning from office? Being generous, you raised legitimate questions about a healthcare bill which ended up passing, you may have helped energize a base that assisted in winning back the House, and you were heavily tied to three senate candidates who lost otherwise very winnable races (btw, if “titles” are so unimportant, why did you even bother trying to help those campaigns to begin with?).

Finally, what change do you think you can possibly “impact” in the future now that everyone knows there is no chance of you ever having real political power and your base of current support is sure to wither away? You do realize (as I warned you about after your resignation) that people/media will stop caring about what you say/write once they know for sure you are never going to be president, right? If you still don’t believe me, just ask any promising athlete whose career is cut down prematurely by injury (as yours was by an unfair kneecapping by the media) how they are treated once a comeback is no longer achievable.

It is certainly possible that you may not accept this premise because you are under the understandable delusion (thanks to the media’s obsession with you) that you are somehow special and not bound by the same rules which govern mere mortals. After all, if you didn’t think you deserved extraordinary consideration, you would never have had the audacity to even float the idea of a presidential run after resigning office in a way that was clearly designed to get rich and stay famous.

If this is indeed the case, you are finally in for a rude awakening.

The only reason the liberal media has been obsessing over whether you might run for president is that you would have added to the entertainment value of a Republican race with which they are already getting bored. As you recently accurately (and, given your family’s penchant for participating in such endeavors, rather ironically) observed that they see the whole thing as a “reality show” in need of a new wacky character to spice things up. Plus, they would love for you to have somehow been the nominee to insure Obama’s reelection.

The conservative media has been going along with this charade as well because they see their own ratings as more important than the cause of beating Obama and because they fear offending your fans who are some of their most important customers.

Now that you aren’t running you have made yourself almost totally irrelevant. Unlike with Chris Christie (did you notice how much more passionately the media pined for him than you?), no one with an actual chance will want your endorsement. Once the nominee and the new VP candidate are chosen you will be very old news, and with no elected office (or, thanks to you’re your incredible lack of popularlity in Alaska, even the theoretical chance of one), you will have no opportunity to alter your narrative or make any news.

My guess is that you won’t even end up speaking at the convention because you are too big for a minor slot and too dangerous for a prime one.

If the Republican ends up winning you will no longer have a purpose at all (unless you go really rogue and decide to be the chief conservative critic of the new president) and 2016 is obviously not an option, especially with no way to significantly enhance your resume. If they lose, by the time 2016 comes around a whole new wave of Republican superstars will be ready to take the plunge and you will have already shown yourself to be afraid of getting in the water even when people were still begging you to get in. By 2020 your name will be almost as remote as Dan Quayle’s and you will have been out of office for almost five times as long as you held it.

About the only way you could retain any semblance of political potency is to become the conservative Ralph Nader, constantly threatening a third party run. This would be roughly the “fall from grace” equivalent of Tiger Woods being reduced to doing a dating reality show for attention.

Now, if you realize all of this, then I praise you for making a selfless decision for the betterment of the cause. There was a time not long ago when I truly believed you when you said you were letting your principles guide you and, “If I die politically, I die.” You are now, clearly, about as politically dead as someone of your celebrity could possibly be.

However, based on my personal experience, I have lost my faith in your ability to correctly perceive reality or to be totally honest with yourself and the public. Therefore, I question whether this realization was truly the motivation for your decision not to run.

For instance, on several occasions you have gone out of your way to boldly state, in the face of a mountain if evidence, that you could beat Obama. Pretending for a moment that you actually think that is true, then why in the world would you not even give it a try when the stakes for the country are so high and you claim to have the fire in the belly? Given that your family has already been through far more unfair scrutiny than any other in American history, there wouldn’t seem to be anything left to lose on that front.

The funny thing is that since I told you both personally and publicly that you can’t possibly beat Obama, just about everything you could have possibly asked for has happened. Obama’s approval ratings have dropped dramatically and the economy has stagnated. Michele Bachmann has faded and Rick Perry appears to be following that same path. Chris Christie has made it clear he isn’t going to get in.

And yet you still decided to disappoint your supporters and give up perhaps your last chance to show the American public that the media was wrong about both you and Obama during the 2008 election.

It seems to me you made this decision because you are more than smart enough to realize that, despite the wind blowing strongly at your back and field opening up perfectly, you really can’t win either the nomination or the general election. The facts show that you simply don’t have following that the media has projected, and it seems you don’t want that to be exposed. 

The documentary about your resignation you essentially commissioned grossed a shockingly meager $116,000 despite unbelievable free publicity from both ends of the media spectrum desperate for you to get in the race to help their own bottom line. Your PAC’s fundraising numbers have never been spectacular and just before your decision they put out a fundraising letter all but asking supporters to show how much they want you in the race (now that you have decided not to run, are you going to return the money?). Evidently, the response was not nearly what you had hoped or expected.

Finally, your poll numbers (when you say polls are “for strippers” it makes me nervous that you really don’t believe in science) are anemic even among Republicans and you consistently do worse against Obama than almost any other candidate. You also have to know that your two biggest weaknesses (organization and electability) are also the two most important qualities in a protracted nomination battle, the only type of contest you could have even theoretically won in such a crowded field.

The bottom line is that it seems to me that you have made the right moral decision for all the wrong reasons. Ironically, you think you are preserving your political career by not exposing yourself to a potentially embarrassing loss, but in reality you are ending it. This is the exact conclusion for which the seeds were sown during your resignation. As you recall, my warnings about such an inevitability began a rift between us that ultimately resulted in the end of over two years of colorful and consequential contact.

As someone who attended your spectacular convention speech and who put their fortune, career and reputation on the line in your defense, this is a very sad day for me. There is no doubt that you were dealt a horrible hand by a media determined to destroy you because you were once a threat to Obama. You made choices in dealing with your situation which have secured your family’s financial future and insured that you will always have a gig on television, but these decisions have also extinguished a flame which had the potential to light the conservative path for a generation. I still believe that had you stuck it out and remained as governor of Alaska things could have been very different today.

I certainly never could have imagined that things would have turned out this way when we met at your house for the most extensive interview you have ever done about the 2008 election. While I don’t regret my efforts to set the record straight about what happened to you, I do wish I had never taken up your cause and made the mistake of thinking you wanted honest and truthful counsel.

While I have made many mistakes and suffered greatly during this finally ending “Palin chapter” of my life, but at least I sleep well knowing my intentions were always pure. You once stated that in politics you are either eating well or sleeping well. Given the state of your life I wonder if your nights are nearly as restful.


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