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Weighing her options: a career-counseling guide for Sarah Palin
Question of the Day
Pros: The radio talk market is dominated by outspoken political conservatives lobbing verbal grenades at big government, silly liberals, backstabbing Republicans-in-name-only, the lamestream media and the pathetic sheeple who blindly follow all of the preceding. Sound familiar?
Cons: From Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck to Mark Levin, the field is crowded and competitive.
Odds: 10-1. Hosting a daily show is a preparation-intensive grind, and Mrs. Palin likely could earn as much money for less effort by focusing on public speaking. “Because of her need to replace the money she will no longer be getting from Fox, I anticipate a number of paid speaking engagements to socially conservative groups around the country,” said Richard Goedkoop, a recently retired LaSalle University communications professor and broadcasting expert.
Pros:Mrs. Palin earned a journalism degree from the University of Idaho and once worked as a sports anchor for an Alaska television station. Also, she’s handy with catchphrases. And knows a bit about hockey.
Cons: Sports broadcasting juggernaut ESPN once hired Mr. Limbaugh to appear on an NFL pre-game show. Mr. Limbaugh promptly said that Pro Bowl (and black) quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because “the media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well.” Things did not end well.
Odds: 500-1. The only thing sports fans hate more than mixing games and politics are broadcast blackouts.
Pros:Mrs. Palin already has governing experience, money, national name recognition, charisma, a populist touch and a large group of loyal supporters, some of whom went to Iowa as unpaid volunteers to build the infrastructure for a 2012 presidential bid that never materialized.
Cons:Mrs. Palin is a polarizing figure, even within Republican ranks; her premature abdication of Alaska’s governorship raised questions about her commitment to holding political office; after getting roughed up by pundits, late-night comedians and “Saturday Night Live’s” Tina Fey during the 2008 campaign, she may not want to run again.
Odds: 5-1. Much depends on the future direction of the GOP. “David Brooks of the New York Times recently suggested that it might be time for the Republican Party to become the functional equivalent of two parties,” Mr. Goedkoop said. “One representing the few moderates still in place in the Northeast, Midwest, and West Coast and a more conservative wing anchored primarily in the South and Mountain States. I have a feeling that Mrs. Palin could win the presidential nomination of that conservative, tea party group if she had the desire to do so.”
Pros: Fox News head Roger Ailes said in 2011 that he hired Mrs. Palin because “she was hot and got ratings.” Mrs. Palin’s star may have cooled since 2008, but she remains a national figure and is now a free agent. Perhaps CNN — in the middle of a major on-air talent shake-up under new chief Jeff Zucker — will bring Mrs. Palin aboard.
Cons: If conservative-friendly Fox News didn’t want Mrs. Palin, that might be a bad sign.
Odds: Even. Mrs. Palin may not sign an exclusive deal with a particular network, but it’s hard to imagine she won’t be a regular talking head. Mrs. Palin hinted as much in a recent interview with Breitbart.com, stating, “We can’t just preach to the choir I know the country needs more truth-telling in the media, and I’m willing to do that.”
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