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Americans to Sarah Palin: We think you're OK, but ...

Turns out that a good portion of Americans kind of like Sarah Palin, the ex-Alaska governor who favors late-term abortions only for elected officials. (Get it? The partial-term governor? Har, har.) Most of us, however, don't think she should be president:

More than seven in 10 Americans think Palin is not qualified to be president, according to a new national poll.

Seventy-one percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Wednesday believe the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee is not qualified to be president, with 29% saying she does have the credentials to serve in the White House. Republicans appear split, with 52% saying she's qualified and 47 % disagreeing with that view.

Read the whole story from CNN here.

Truth be told, I believe the obsession over whether a wannabe president is qualified is a bit misplaced. From a historical perspective, the public's perception of qualification seems to be an unreliable indicator of a commander in chief's future job performance, as some of the most highly qualified presidents-to-be proceeded to bring the countryto the brink once in office. And in Palin's case specifically, it's hard for "Do you think Sarah Palin's qualified for the presidency?" to not come across as code for "Do you think Sarah Palin's smart enough to be president?"

Anyhow, this is the part that got me:

Nearly two-thirds of those questioned say Palin's not a typical politician, and feel she's a good role model for women. Fifty-six percent add that Palin cares about people, and a similar amount think she's honest and trustworthy. ...

"Sarah Palin has one advantage that many past Republican candidates have not shared -- Americans think she cares about people like them," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

To which I say: Paging Levi Johnston.

-- Paul Thornton

Comments () | Archives (34)

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Shocking a California Liberal paper would continue such lies. You people are so afraid of her because she is likeable,Honest and more in tune to what a Real American should be like and know that Marxism isn't what the majority of Americans want.Obama's days are numbered..Impeach the sucker

Carl Lindberg

Sarah Palin could be a real threat if she had some hard, road-weary, political miles. Unfortunately AK isn't going to be providing that anytime soon. A possible career as a senator, in another state, might help push that envelope.

Don Heenan

Sarah has an opinion and ad libs well. To criticize her not being as polished as Richard, Ronald, Gerald, Jimmy, George and W is not polite nor fair. New Blood would be a welcome change. We always have Congress to provide checks and balances to the Executive Branch.
Better than Sarah in office would be a thorough clean out of the House and the Senate. 4 years and you're gone replaced by New Blood.


Why is this big loser still making news? She cannot seem to "complete" any of her endeavors!! Took her SIX long years and FIVE different colleges to get a degree in journalism, worked that job for a little while, became mayor of Wasilla, quit that to become governor of Alaska and left Wasilla deeply in debt. Chose NOT to complete her governorship, as Levi said, she lost interest in her job and was keen on writing a book for the big bucks. Interesting that she named her book, "Going Rogue". Didn't one of McCain's campaign people refer to her as such? At any rate, she is NO role model for women; she proved herself to be a great embarrassment to us!!

The MediaBlog

Oh gosh you do crack me up. Late-term abortions for elected officials... Just a classic you put together there.

If there's one thing I really do really get a kick out of it's jokes that involve references to vacuuming baby's brains out of their heads. I know that image never fails to tickle me.

Got any good concentration camp zingers you'd like to send our way? Maybe something about zany people wearing human skin lampshades on their heads? I'm sure you've got some real winners there too.

Jack L. Griffis

I find it strange that the Los Angeles Times and CNN deign to judge the Republican American voter's take on Sarah Palin. Your statement, "From a historical perspective, the public's perception of qualification seems to be an unreliable indicator of a commander in chief's future job performance...". May I presume that this statement includes a very recent historical perspective? At the very least she ran a state, which is way more than our president can claim.

Jack Griffis


"Paging Levi Johnston"? Where do you get off paging that kid who couldn't keep his zipper zipped and his mouth shut and couldn't even graduate from high school? All he wants is to be in the limelight and will say and do anything to get there.


who said sp wanted to be president i havent heard it from her. as far as that goes congress has gone crazy so has president obama so i think she make a better one than any of them. maby we need common sense in office no one else is doing a good job and sarah palin is smarter than what you think shes got everyone on the run


We just elected a pres that had almost NO experience whatsoever and boy does it show. Almost every group that supported him is ticked off at him. Good presidents? These guys are politicians. They hire people who tell them what to say, how to dress, how to comb their hair, ad nauseam. The last thirty years have brought us a pathetic pack of losers, but remember, the people get exactly what they deserve. Palin can't do any worse, and probably won't do any better.


You are an idiot. Qualified, Obama is so far over his head that I am frightened to pick up the paper and read about somethig else he has done. Why doesn't he stop making speaches and playing golf and do some work.


Honest? She took an oath to fulfill a term as governor and left office before her term was done. She lied to all the people who sent her money, voted and spent time on her campaign. Why? Because she was bored? Great way to tell people she values them and enjoys working with/for them. If she gets elected prez we will probably see her resign there too. Likeable? I don't see anything in her to call a redeeming quality; she is a self-centered bully and a whiner. If she is in tune with America we might as well all wear tricky-dicky masks since we will be in the same mess as was alluded to in the article...


Jerry Brown the old mayer of Oakland Ca said it best, he feels she was not crazy to step down from her office she was briliant its really paying off for her don't you think she can do whatever she wants an everyone keeps talking about her. LOVE IT ... lOVE IT......


and that's her greatest advantage. the woman's a natural, a born politician and she's undergoing a makeover.


"Paging Levi Johnston" - at least you are honest about what would constitute a reliable source for your paper.


$arah Palin has no desire to be POTUS. She's not interested in developing a constituency, she only wants to perform for a paying audience. If any of you haven't figured it out yet, $arah Palin has other priorities.

Oneton Tomato

Here is the rub. Sarah does not draw the independent vote, she draws the religious right, which many are independent. That and any Rogue political agenda is a threat to the Republican NeoCons, who are running a campaign to make herself look bad at the expense of the Dem's. The question is up about qualifications to soften the ground against popularity. FOX eviscerated her the day after the election, but she did not go away. Going Rogue is about conservative values and less established political machinery. The same machinery that chewed her up.

Big Jim Slade

I'm sorry, did Obama finish his six years in the Senate?

Why did he transfer out of Occidental? Did he even apply as an American citizen?

Who paid for his education anyway? It wasn't his family, now was it?

Why does he call himself black, when he's half white and Daddy bolted before he was even born?

More LA Times/leftist double standards. Blinders on for Obama, blinders off for Palin.

Big Jim Slade will keep you honest. Just listen.

Lisa Dorn

Was this piece some sort of a joke? Smart enough to be president when you're using late term abortion as the basis for some sort of twisted and lost attempt at humor? I believe that the real question may become, "Are some smart enough to vote for a president?" After all, many of us were hoodwinked by an Obama-Biden ticket--enough said.


What lies are they telling, they're reporting a poll. Fox (Faux) News have the ignorant so confused they can't separtate fact from fiction. I'd be happy to have her as my waffle house waitress! Extra butter please!


Sarah Palin doesn't give one whit for me and mine. We not only work for a living but we finish what we start. We tend to be fact based. We don't beleive that lying for the sake of Jesus is okay.


Ah yes, the spectacle of urban liberal journalists, devoid of accomplishment and employed by failing media outlets, trying to dismiss a woman whose very existence seems to bring them to fits of apoplexy. Some other commenters have already made these points, but let me add to their observations:

1. Joking about partial-birth abortions is crude and beneath the dignity of a real journalist.

2. Bringing up Levi Johnson at every opportunity is a curious ploy. Despite the insinuations to the contrary, Sarah Palin did not bring him into the family, her daughter did. Thus, Sarah Palin, no matter what she thought of Johnson, was forced to deal with him as the father of her grandchild. Contrast that with Barack Obama, who CHOSE to associate himself with Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayres, Terry Rezko, and a whole host of unsavory characters whose names somehow magically seem to disappear from your paper's coverage of the President and his alleged centrism and honesty.

O. B. "Ron"

I would vote for Palin. She may not be an inside-the-beltway self-thought intellectual heavyweight (hmmm... let's see, how much is our country in debt from both dems & repubs of that ilk?) but she is a capable administrator and seems to genuinely care about her constituents.

Unlike Obama, she does not lie about campaign promises (quick! Name one bill Obama has signed that has been published online before he signed it...) nor does she play golf, attend lavish dances, and appear on late-night talk shows while our soldiers DIE in Afghanistan because he is too worried about losing his constituency in next week's election should he provide necessary support for those kids in uniform.

Palin might be an ordinary girl-next-door but at least she is not a CRIMINAL for letting our soldiers DIE for political gain.

I don't agree with a lot of her views. But it would be sweet poetic justice to see the heartland people of this country elect her in 2012 just to spite Letterman and all the other losers who have nothing more to do than personally tear someone down because they're afraid of them!



I think Sara Palin would be a great White House Press secretary, She is easy on the eyes and can read a prepared speech very well, but I don't think she could win the presidency.

Jon Healey

@Ron -- Every bill signed by every president since Clinton (starting approx. in his second term) has been available online for all to read, typically for days or even weeks before it was signed. Try the Library of Congress's Thomas service (http://thomas.loc.gov) or GPO Access. You can credit Newt Gingrich for that, BTW. Thomas was his brainchild.

And if Obama is a criminal for having U.S. soldiers die on his watch, so, too, would be most if not all of his predecessors. Or is the crime, in your opinion, Obama's appearance on a talk show while we're at war? If so, how about identifying which part of the U.S. criminal code that violated?

Jon Strum

"Experience" may be over-rated as a requirement for the Presidency, but intelligence is not. This country has just endured 8 years of an administration headed by someone who barely got through college, receiving "gentleman's C's" and partying his pre-rehab butt off.

The difference between the thoughtfulness on issues demonstrated by the current administration versus the last is clear -- and to our country's advantage. Let's not serioiusly consider another candidate whom we'd "like to have a beer with." Instead, have a beer with Sarah and leave the responsibility of governing our nation to those individuals who have a clue.


Talk about scary for Halloween. I know some have thought we are "dumbing down" America - the vote in the last election worked to confirm it. For those who think Palin has the intellectual heft to be President, you will never be accused of being one of those "elites".

Fritz Mehrtens

"Truth be told, I believe the obsession over whether a wannabe president is qualified is a bit misplaced." Huh? Qualifications don't matter? As Mike points out above, we now suffer because we've elected a president who doesn't have the qualifications, in terms of experience, for the job. Sarah Palin falls into exactly the same category.


Sarah Palin is certainly more viable than the socialist leader of the free(?) world who's massive tax schemes inhibit job creation.
America will continue to suffer the job losses associated with the liberal democrats currently in power, with a chicago thug calling the shots.

Sarah Palin is a breath of fresh air, who is smart and yes, likeable, and who will take the correct path to job creation in America.
Obama tells us that we should feel good about more taxes, and small business continues to hemorrhage job loss because of his socialist agenda.
America cannot tax its way to prosperity.


Palin is very, very good at marketing Sarah Palin and dividing her party. She was not good as mayor, she was worse as a Governor, and if people would do a little research and stop listening to her tales about her abilities, they would find out that she is narcissistic, opinionated, and will throw anyone under the bus who disagrees with her. This is not the person we need leading anything. She makes headlines, but can you seriously see her debating with another world leader, or talking Congressmen of another belief, and her coming away with a changed attitude? I think she will be around, I think she is going to run for President, and I think the other Republican candidates will take care of her in the first debate in 2012.


I am amazed that anyone would think that Palin cares about them. She has not shown that she cares about anyone except herself. The ones that are suffering the most from her narcissism are her children and it is incredibly sad. Some people just shouldn't be allowed to breed, such as Sarah.


I agree. Sarah Palin's like a breath of air. . . in China. Heavily polluted, downright deadly, anything but fresh. I'm thankful for the thought that if she does run in '12, she'll be bashed in the debates. Whew! Extremely frightening tho't of her as president.

Robert Beaumont

I am an independent, and I voted for Obama. However, I know many independents including myself who are keeping an open mind as to whether Sarah Palin is qualified to be president. Remember Reagan? What were his qualifications? An actor who became a governor? Nobody gave him a chance. The rest is history.

tom smit

sarah is nothing more than hollywood stunt. don't tell me that sarah is running for the interest of the citizen. She is out there for her own rich and famous. I still don't understand why people still buy her. She is nothing more than a super high class stunt.


Hmmmm...."president Palin" scary but not altogether impossible, remember W. Bush was elected AND re-elected President of the USA, if enough people are fooled and scared by the GOP, the Wonder of Wasilla could be the next leader of the free world



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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

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