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Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Palin Power’

Palin to rally conservative online army

In Sarah Palin, Smart Power on June 5, 2012 at 7:40 am

PALIN TO RALLY CONSERVATIVE ONLINE ARMY

The former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee has committed to delivering the keynote address at Right Online, the annual gathering of conservative bloggers and online activists organized by the Koch-backed non-profit group Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

This year’s meeting is focused on higher-level tactics and strategies than past year’s editions of Right Online, which sometimes had the feel of a crash course on blogging 101. The Vegas conference features training on video exposes to be conducted by guerrilla video journalist James O’Keefe, a session on polling featuring conservative’s favorite pollster Scott Rasmussen and a session moderated by columnist Michelle Malkin entitled “How to Use Facebook & Twitter to Win,” which will include instruction on using social media to drive narratives.

It’s an area in which Palin can rightly be considered a pioneer, having mastered a high-impact, communication style that almost completely circumvents a traditional media from which she’s sometimes gotten rough treatment.

In addition to her regular, paid appearances on Fox News, Palin tapped social media such as Facebook and Twitter, combined with her own star power, to deliver endorsements of allies and cutting attacks on opponents that sometimes drove the political debate for days. While her impact had diminished somewhat after she announced that she wouldn’t seek the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, she’s increasingly carved out a place for herself in recent months as a Triple-A level political kingmaker and conservative movement figure.

“Sarah Palin is an expert at harnessing social media technology and tactics to shape the narrative,” Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity Foundation, said in a statement announcing Palin’s Right Online keynote address. “Few others have demonstrated Palin’s prowess at breaking the rules of the Old Guard Media.”

The conference is going to be heavy on Breitbart hagiography, with Palin scheduled to introduce the team behind Breitbart’s network of conservative websites to toast his memory at a June 15 tribute.

After Breitbart died unexpectedly of heart failure in March, Palin wrote in a piece published on his Big Government website that “the conservative movement didn’t just lose a General — we lost an entire Special Forces Division.”

Palin will introduce the premieres of two Breitbart-related movies at Right Online. “Hating Breitbart” is a documentary two years in the making that chronicles Breitbart’s rise, the controversies he helped spur, and his impact on conservative and mainstream media alike. “Occupy Unmasked,” which features interviews with Breitbart, is billed as an exposé of the Occupy Wall Street protests that “will rock the crazed Left to the core,” according to David Bossie, president of the conservative group Citizens United, which produced the movie.

Americans for Prosperity wouldn’t comment on how much it’s paying Palin to speak. But she commands speaking fees ranging into the low six-figures. And in 2010, AFP spent $253,000 on honoraria, including a $128,000 payment to the speakers’ bureau that represents Palin, with whom AFP had contracted to speak at its Defending the American Dream Summit in Clarkston, Mich., in May 2010.   (More)

The Palin Effect: Tea Party Flexes Muscle

In Sarah Palin on May 15, 2012 at 4:46 am

The conventional wisdom among the mainstream media is that the Republican establishment would strike back during the 2012 election, thereby blunting the influence of the conservative Tea Party movement that propelled the party to historic gains in the 2010 midterm elections. Implied in this chatter is that the power and influence of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, seen by many as the figure who can best mobilize the Tea Party movement into action, would fade as well.

But recent events in Indiana, Nebraska, and Texas have shown that this conventional wisdom is false. On May 8, six-term establishment Republican Senator Richard Lugar lost his primary in Indiana to Richard Mourdock, who had been backed by various Tea Party groups and organizations. Mourdock trounced Lugar, receiving 60 percent of the vote to Lugar’s 40.

Mourdock had backing from the grassroots, but it was Palin’s endorsement days before the primary that effectively administered the coup de grace  to Lugar and the GOP establishment. Four hours after Palin’s endorsement, the establishment Republican group, American Action Network, which had pledged to spend nearly $600,000 for Lugar in the last days of the election, saw the writing on the wall and abruptly pulled out of Indiana.

Last Wednesday in Nebraska, Palin endorsed state Senator Deb Fischer in the Nebraska GOP Senate primary over establishment Republican Jon Bruning and Don Stenberg. Fischer had the support of various grassroots conservative groups statewide but many national conservative groups, such as FreedomWorks, the Club for Growth, and the Senate Conservatives Fund, had spent millions of dollars supporting Stenberg. Many of these groups, especially FreedomWorks, found a potential Bruning nomination to be abhorrent.

Just days after Palin’s endorsement, which gave the Fischer campaign the statewide name identification it craved, Fischer surged in the polls, taking votes from Bruning and Stenberg, and is now within the margin of error before Tuesday’s primary.  Palin’s endorsement seems to have coalesced the anti-establishment and anti-Bruning forces around Fischer.

And in Texas, in the Senate primary between the moderate and establishment Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and the conservative former Solicitor General Ted Cruz, Cruz had been steadily gaining momentum from the many conservative politicians and organizations that had endorsed him, dating back to last year. Groups such as FreedomWorks and Senators like Jim DeMint, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Pat Toomey have implored conservatives to get behind Cruz’s candidacy.

But even though he had cut Dewhurst’s lead in the polls in half over the course of the year, Cruz still trailed him by 12 points in the most recent poll conducted.

Then, last Thursday, Palin endorsed Cruz and gave the campaign more statewide  buzz and name identification. Cruz’s Campaign Manager John Drogin told Breitbart News that the difference in intensity before and after Palin’s endorsement is like the difference in the temperature of Venus and the Sun, respectively.

“Phones are ringing off the hook, volunteers are signing up, and social networks are buzzing,” Drogin said.

Based on the boost Mourdock and Fischer received immediately after Palin’s endorsement, Cruz will probably get a similar surge in his poll numbers as Texas begins its early voting period today leading up to the May 31st primary.

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