The Phoenix Network:
 
 
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
 
News Features  |  Talking Politics  |  This Just In
TheBest2011-1000x50

Sarah Palin, Inc.

The biggest brand name in conservative politics is about to enter the burgeoning right-wing marketplace — and she's perfect for it. Ka-ching!
By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  July 17, 2009

090717_palin_main1

From Jester to Esther: Sarah Palin sees self as a religious legend, not a political football. By David S. Bernstein.
When earlier this month Sarah Palin abruptly announced her intention to resign as governor of Alaska — barely midway through her four-year term — the political punditry was left puzzling over what she could possibly do next. If Palin was not in office, nor actively campaigning for election, how could she remain relevant, influential, and, of course, paid?

Those confused commenters have no clue as to the opportunities that await Palin — because few understand the extraordinary, multi-billion-dollar marketplace that has developed for movement conservatives.

The Phoenix reviewed the most recently available financial reports of some 250 conservative-advocacy groups and political-action committees; their combined gross revenues totaled more than $2 billion. And that's only the major players, in just the nonprofit portion of the industry.

No wonder the father of Palin's grandchild, Levi Johnston, told reporters that the governor is quitting "to take some of this money people had been offering."

Palin is poised to be the hottest brand to ever hit that market. And her entry is beautifully timed.

Thanks to the election of Barack Obama and a heavily Democratic Congress, the conservative industry is, despite the recession, experiencing boom times. Books declaring that Democrats are unleashing "statism" and "socialism" — by Mark R. Levin and Dick Morris, respectively — have dominated the bestseller lists. Rush Limbaugh is enjoying record listenership. Over the past three months, every one of the 10 most-watched daily programs on cable news belonged to the right-wing Fox News Channel (FNC). Political interest usually peaks during a presidential campaign year, but FNC has actually improved its ratings this year — in part by playing more directly to the right wing, by ditching Sean Hannity's liberal co-anchor, and by adding froth-mouthed Glenn Beck to its daily line-up.

"The idea that politics or the presidency is [Palin's] only aim is wrong," says Julian Zelizer, a professor at Princeton University who studies the conservative movement. "Rush Limbaugh doesn't run for office."

There are at least 10 million people who could be called true "movement conservatives" in America today — perhaps twice that number, including conservative and libertarian independents, along with "base" Republicans. They are not only reading and tuning in — they are contributing to conservative nonprofit organizations and political-action committees; they are attending conferences; they are buying paraphernalia; and they are signing up for e-mail newsletters and online publications.

But the analysts, thinking only of Palin's presidential prospects, are missing all of this. They are accustomed to paying attention to how people vote, not how they spend.

"We tend to think of the Republican conservative electorate," says Zelizer. "There's also this vibrant marketplace that's been built up over the past 30 years, and it can be quite lucrative."

Put another way, "There are people on the right who have learned how to milk the right wing for all it's worth," says Peter Montgomery, senior fellow at the liberal People for the American Way. "They have yet to find the bottom of this well of right-wing money that drives the creation of all these right-wing organizations."

1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |   next >
Related: Rise of the political bogeyman, Night of the living dead, Travels with Sarah, More more >
  Topics: Talking Politics , Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Rush Limbaugh,  More more >
| More
6 Comments / Add Comment

huntingmoose

Interesting article.

There is however 1 thing missing: could it be possible that Palin is doing this out of belief, fight against corruption, conservatism and that this is her goal? Her belief that this is her calling, not the money (hmm, did she not also say something like that?)

And now flip the coin to the other political spectrum. Is this not exactly what the elite-left is doing? Look at Al-Hypocrite Gore with his insane amount of money he is making out of the global-warming hoax. Or at Micheal Moore, jetting around as well and making gazillions. Or how did Obama get his money --from all those leftist suckers sending him money.

It looks more like this article was written to describe the hypocrite left. With Ralph Nader as the only bright and honest exception

 

Posted: July 16 2009 at 3:57 AM

Fuzzlenutter

 huntingmoose:

 

B-I-N-G-O!

 

This writer just did describe the hypocritical Left to an absolute Tee (except there is nothing attractive or sexy on that side).  It also shows the public two things they do have (among a thousand other negatives); projection and petty jealously...

Posted: July 16 2009 at 7:05 AM

JAY123

 The Dems won 53% with everything breaking their way.  With Sarah's help the Republicans will retake the Congress in 2010 and the WH in 2012. 

Posted: July 16 2009 at 8:01 AM

JAY123

 The Dems won 53% with everything breaking their way.  With Sarah's help the Republicans will retake the Congress in 2010 and the WH in 2012. 

Posted: July 16 2009 at 8:01 AM

DMac8889

Good informative article.   I agree with most of what was written.  However, Sarah will offset the appearance of making millions, by going into large cities and with her religious background begin to connect with conservatives of African Americans and Latinos.  Many of their cutural issues are similar to hers and the Republican base is no where to be found on these issues and their communities.  Her life experience and her most cherished issues clearly cross boundries, it just cannot be seen right now with Obama having recently grabbed that vote.  This will change as Obama continues to reveal himself as a radical socialist.  They will be willing to give her a listen to. She will continue to draw ever larger more exciteable crowds in Urban settings. This is her path to the Presidency.  If she is seen skimming off votes from the recently voted Left, the Republican base will fall in line.  They want victory in November 2012.  Whoever will give them that they'll follow.  If anyone is looking for the key moment of whether Sarah Palin will have a successful run for the Repulican nomination, look for the large overnight Republican registrations just before the primaries.  There are many Conservatives out there not registered Republican.  If this happens within weeks of the primaries that is a sign they are all going to vote for Sarah Palin.  If they are not registered she can't win.

Posted: July 25 2009 at 2:26 AM

DMac8889

asd

Posted: July 25 2009 at 2:31 AM
Add Comment
HTML Prohibited

 Friends' Activity   Popular   Most Viewed 
[ 02/07 ]   Gang of Four + Hollerado  @ Paradise Rock Club
[ 02/07 ]   "New England Poetry Club: Love Poems Reading"  @ Harvard Yenching Library
[ 02/07 ]   Robb Waters: "Strange Faces"  @ Zuzu
ARTICLES BY DAVID S. BERNSTEIN
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE GOP'S TOP DOG? IT'S T-PAW, NOT MITT.  |  February 05, 2011
    Whatever the reason, the field of Republican presidential candidates is failing to form, just a year away now Iowa and New Hampshire voting in the nation's first presidential caucus and primary.
  •   STRANGE BEDFELLOWS: THE RIGHT AND LEFT TEAM UP ON CRIMINAL-JUSTICE REFORM  |  January 26, 2011
    The practical result of the new spirit of political civility is still an open question, but there is one area where small-government conservatives and do-gooder liberals might really be moving toward significant policy agreement, compromise, and action: criminal-justice reform.
  •   DESERT STORM: HOW THE GOP AND THE SUNSET STATE NURTURE THE LUNATIC FRINGE  |  January 12, 2011
    Two days before Saturday's horrific shooting in Tucson, Arizona, which gravely wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and left six people dead, a woman disrupted the reading of the US Constitution on the floor of the US House of Representatives by loudly appealing to Jesus to intercede against the foreign-born usurper of the presidency, Barack Obama.
  •   BERNSTEIN BROTHERS HANDICAP GOP 2012  |  January 07, 2011
    Bernstein & Bernstein on Rudy Giuliani, Sarah Palin, and the rest of the 2012 gang.
  •   THE ROAD TO 2012: THE NEW NEW HAMPSHIRE  |  December 29, 2010
    For Mitt Romney and other likely presidential contenders, 2011 will be a busy year of campaigning and preparation for the first caucuses and primaries of the nominating process in early 2012.

 See all articles by: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN

MOST POPULAR
RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 



  |  Sign In  |  Register
 
thePhoenix.com:
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
TODAY'S FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Copyright © 2011 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group