A good Facebook friend of mine, and an otherwise staunch conservative, complains: "Sarah Palin's endorsement of Christine O' Donnell cost the GOP that Senate seat and her endorsement of Sharron Angle didn't work out either. Harry Reid was very beatable. Sarah Palin needs to fade away. She's not needed any further." I heartily disagree, and for several reasons.
Mrs. Palin isn't some sort of witch who blows into town on a broomstick, casts a spell on local Republicans, and by her fiat alone causes them to vote for candidates who can't win a general election. Republicans in Delaware and Nevada used their own free judgment to nominate the people who really animated them and inspired in them more trust and confidence than the "establishment" candidates. Let those candidates, and the party leaders who back them, stop whining about Sarah Palin and do a better job of selling their brand to the rank and file. Are Republican voters somehow too gullible to be trusted with control of their own party? Is the party to be run exclusively by top-level operatives who choose its candidates in back rooms according to what they think would best advance the organization's interests (which might or might not coincide with the country's)? Obviously, frustration with the RINO "elite" played a big part in Delaware, Nevada, and many other primary races, and in the general election helped propel many true conservatives into national and state office. Palin-sparked Tea Party enthusiasm may have "cost" the Republican Party some seats here and there, but I wouldn't trade that dynamic force on a nationwide basis for anything right now. It's what is providing the energy, leadership, and vision pulling "independents" and heretofore apathetic or non-political people in the right direction.
In any case, as CBS News points out, "most of the candidates Sarah Palin endorsed chalked up victories Tuesday." She backed 43 candidates for the House of Representatives and at least 30 of them won, while she endorsed 12 Senate candidates and seven of them won. Among the winners Palin endorsed were Nikki Haley for governor of South Carolina, Pat Toomey for Senate in Pennsylvania, and John Boozman for the Senate, in Arkansas. "My observation of Sarah Palin," says CBS News political analyst Nicolle Wallace, "is that she is one of the shrewdest political figures in our country at this moment. She's also one of the most electric." Without question, Mrs. Palin carries the torch and brings home the bacon better than anyone else in the GOP or the conservative movement generally.
To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln's famous 1862 endorsement of the then-widely-criticized Ulysses S. Grant, "We can't spare this woman--she fights."