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The Company She'll Join

Consider this list:

Lloyd Bentsen
John W. Brickler
Charles W. Bryan
Nicholas Murray Butler
Charles Curtis
Bob Dole
John Edwards
Charles W. Fairbanks
Geraldine Ferraro
Hiram Johnson
Estes Kefauver
Jack Kemp
John Worth Kern
Frank Knox
Curtis LeMay
Joe Lieberman
Henry Cabot Lodge
Charles McNary
William Miller
Walter Mondale
Edmund Muskie
Dan Quayle
Joseph Taylor Robinson
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Sargent Shriver
John Sparkman

While there are a few esteemed names on the list, there is only one—Franklin Roosevelt—who had a major and lasting impact on U.S. politics. Sarah Palin is likely to join this list on November 4th. It is the list of losing Vice Presidential candidates for the past hundred years, including the major third-party candidates. Of these twenty-six names, exactly one went on to great success after the V.P. defeat. A couple of them did win the Vice Presidency before they lost it, and a couple became their party's Presidential nominees, with less than stellar results.

ABC television has broadcast excerpts from a Palin interview that will air tonight (October 30th), in which she says she expects to win the Vice Presidency on Tuesday, but that even if she doesn't, she expects to stay on the national political stage. Well, looking at the VP loser list, and at current polling data, the probability that she'll accomplish either of those expectations is about the same: four percent.

And does anyone think Sarah Palin is the equal of Franklin Roosevelt? When we hear of Sarah Palin a decade from now, it will be in the way we now hear about Dan Quayle or William Miller.

A year from now, no one will take her seriously. Even those Republicans who don't blame her for McCain's defeat will not be eager to turn to her again. Most women will compare her to the expansive list of brilliant, competent women in the political world, and choose other champions. Conservatives will look for new voices, capable of re-framing conservatism for the political realities of the next decade or longer. Joe Six-Packs will choose more commodious drinking buddies. Even Alaskans may turn to other political inspiration. Perhaps she can keep her moose-hunting constituency.

Say goodnight, Sarah.


copyright © 2010, J. C. Adamson