Palin in Israel and India: What it means for her presidential intentions.

From Wasilla to Washington.
March 23 2011 6:47 PM

Sarah Palin's Spring Break

Did her trip to India and Israel signal anything about her intention to run in 2012?

It's been a busy few days for Sarah Palin. After the New York Times ran an unflattering article about her Alaskan energy legacy late last week, Palin struck back on Facebook with an extensive note. ("The New York Times just can't seem to get much of anything right lately. No wonder they're facing economic and reputation woes.") Her energy bona fides would be a major part of any Palin presidential campaign, and so her quickness to defend them seems telling. Then again, maybe media criticism will be a greater part of her evolving future role at Fox News.

More importantly, there was Palin's big trip abroad. In India, the first stop, she warned of the looming Chinese threat and took President Obama to task for "dithering" on Libya, with talking points that came across as stump-speech warm-ups (even if they could use a bit more burnishing). Palin also said that it's time for a woman to become president; it's doubtful she means frenemy (at least in our imagination) Michele Bachmann, who might be trying to steal Palin's thunder.

Israel is the destination that most strongly signals she's shoring up support among evangelicals and looking for a quick pump of foreign policy cred. While touring the Western Wall, Palin said she thinks Israel is too conciliatory toward Arab nations—a hawkish, whistle-to-the-base stance indeed. Even though she kept her visit as private as possible, reporters still caught her in a minor blunder: Her team scheduled a trip to Bethlehem, but had to turn back literally at the checkpoint after they realized they'd failed to make the necessary formal request for permission to visit the holy sites, a move that doesn't exactly reflect well on the organization's execution skills. More crucially, her visit to Israel—unlike the visit of nearly every other Republican politician—was not organized through the Republican Jewish Committee, an influential behind-the-scenes group that raises tons of money, notes Salon's Alex Pareene. (Palin doesn't like David Frum, among other RJC members.)

Stateside, there was another bump on the potential road to the White House for Palin. We've known for a while the conservatives intellectuals have abandoned Palin, but William Kristol was more blunt than ever on the topic of Palin at Vanderbilt University: "I think she's unlikely to be the Republican nominee, and to be honest I think she probably shouldn't be the Republican nominee for president," he said, adding that he thinks she's "unlikely" to run. And so the Palin Meter ticks ever-so-slightly down to 53 percent; even Palin's best efforts abroad expose the obstacles to her nomination at home. 

Previous Palin Meter Readings

Friday, March 18, 2011: 55   percent

Wednesday, March 16, 2011: 55 percent



Thursday, March 10, 2011: 48 percent

Tuesday, March 8, 2011: 35 percent

Monday, March 7, 2011: 40 percent 

Friday, March 3, 2011: 45 percent

Tuesday, March 1, 2011: 51 percent

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.