National Catholic Reporter

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Palin Misunderstands Her Strength

In Wyoming last night, state Auditor Rita Meyer lost a close primary race for the Republican nomination for governor to former U.S. Attorney Matthew Mead.

Sarah Palin has endorsed Meyer who know joins the growing list of Palin-endorsed candidates to lose a GOP primary.

I think I know what Palin’s problem is, and it is not only her problem. She over-values endorsements. She gets a zillion hits on Facebook. She always draws a loud and boisterous crowd. She is easily the most exciting, and arguably popular, Republican in the country. But, people do not like being told who to vote for. During the Democratic primaries in 2008, much was made of the endorsement of Barack Obama by Sen. Ted Kennedy. It was a touching moment to behold, a passing of the torch from one generation to the next. But, despite predictions, Kennedy’s long-standing popularity with distinct groups of the Democratic primary electorate, such as Latinos, did not translate into Obama wins in some of the contests where it was thought it would be decisive or at least helpful.

In Wyoming, Mead raised far more money than the other Republican contenders. If Palin wants to really help certain candidates, she should be raising money for them. If you are a Republican fundraiser and you want to fill the room, there is no better keynoter than Palin. You will bring in a large haul. The way for her to be racking up chits now is to be raising money for the candidates she wants to support. A Facebook endorsement, or a recorded Robocall, is not enough.

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