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Does This Black Republican Understand Sarah Palin's Appeal? You Betcha!

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This was the post that started it:

"Many of you know I'm a Republican. Before I give you my thoughts, however, I'm curious to know what you guys REALLY think of former Alaska Governor and GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin?"

Who could have imagined that this question would elicit such an avalanche of insightful, hilarious, disturbing, and outrageous comments from many of my African American Facebook friends?

I certainly couldn't. But I completely understand why the controversial political vixen is "Going Rogue"... all the way to the bank.

Having been on Facebook now for almost two years, I have NEVER had 55 comments on anything I posted. The closest was when I asked my over 1,900 friends to use one word to describe me. That garnered about 31 replies. Even cajoling folks to recall how we met only snagged 29 willing participants. Take for example this comment:

"I thinks she's a "back asswards," intellectually "dithering," bobblehead whose absolutely dangerous in her willful and purposeful stupidity and ignorance."

So for the moose-hunting darling of the GOP to have this many folks bag, dis, clown and essentially give no dap to a "Richard Nixon in lipstick" tells me there is something extra special about this MILF of five and grandmother to a boy whose daddy is big on armpit hair.

And Sarah Palin is "all sorts of pissed about it." No, not just about the recent Newsweek cover featuring her looking quite fetching in a sexy jogger number that amply shows off her gams. Those liberal media news outlets are all on her doo-doo list -- particularly that porn collage called Playgirl featuring the suddenly ubiquitous and perennial thorn in her side Levi Johnston.

It's that righteous indignation that Palin has down to a science that have some on the political left and moderates on the right regularly experiencing Schadenfreude whenever the 45-year-old is knocked down a peg.

And yet everyone who gets on board the SS Sarah Smile strikes gold. Katie Couric effortlessly makes Palin look mentally numb and voila, her ratings and reputation for being a stellar journalist suddenly reappear. SNL's Tina Fey portrays a spot-on caricature of presidential candidate John McCain's unusual vice-president choice and walks away with an Emmy.

Oprah invites Palin on her show for a gabfest and reinforces, during November sweeps and the announced ending of her syndicated talker no less, why Winfrey's the queen of daytime. Associated Press reporters must really love her. With 11 reporters assigned to fact-check Palin's HarperCollins tome Going Rogue during the midst of company layoffs, I'm sure few are complaining at AP, particularly when the alternative would be job hunting during a sustained economic downturn.

We won't even talk about the book publishing world that is thanking God-Almighty for delivering a tectonic wonder woman capable of moving 1.6 million books with lightening speed off the shelves to salvage what has otherwise been a disastrous year for many New York literary companies.

Yet despite Sarah Palin's success as a wife, a mother, politician, opinion leader and now author, large numbers of black people just are not feeling her. Another comment echoed the sentiments of many:

Sarah Palin perfectly represents the backwards-thinking types in this country who are, more often than not, uneducated and not exposed to people of different cultures. I dislike her, not because she's a Republican, but because she stirs up so much moronic rhetoric. She does nothing to push forward an intelligent discussion. I am not even a Democrat, I'm an Independent. Although my father and several close friends are Republicans, I have serious doubts about the intelligence of anyone who seriously supports Palin.

While my Facebook compadres pale to Palin's 1 million plus supporters, another person who I attended college with years ago went much deeper:

As I watched the opening ceremony of this year's RNC convention as I do every four years, I was taken aback by her nasty and snarky comments. Her divisive behavior continued on the campaign trail. As a Christian, I was struck by her dishonesty and outright unchristian-like behavior. Sarah Palin is part and parcel of the problem that has created this frenzy in the extreme right wing fringe of the Republican party. This is the same group who is now selling t-shirts using scripture to abdicate the assassination of the President of the United States.

Palin is far from stupid, but certainly media hungry and a political scab willing to cut down anyone to further her own agenda. Another LIAR in the political arena, but too slow to cover her own story.

While I wish to never hear from Sarah Palin again, she will never go away as long as she can draw the lines she gets in conservative states like Michigan. She is divisive to the country and the Republican party as a whole. What a can of worms McCain opened when he selected her. He had several excellent choices to pick as a viable female running mate, and now we will have her hanging around our neck for years.

Me, I totally get why Blacks can't stand her. When you see the overwhelmingly white men and women rabid over the barracuda from Wasilla, quite a few look like a mix of trailer park dwellers, KKK recruiters, and backwoods hillbillies. Progressive African Americans are not letting the "yahoos" back into the mix without a verbal beatdown, and thus the sometimes shrill but no less robotic, Pavlovian response whenever Palin's name is even whispered.

But I also understand why middle America, the hockey moms, NASCAR fans, Ann Coulter and small business owners are sprung. They are among those 4 million viewers that Fox News regularly caters to. Sarah Palin is hands down the most attractive Republican candidate since Ronald Reagan stepped on the scene to die-hard, GOP enthusiasts waiting with open arms. And while people joked about how stupid and how much of a light-weight the B-movie actor was, Reagan knew how to work a camera and television screen.

Also a former governor, Reagan (who had enough sense to finish out his term before making a White House run) was a blue-ribbon superstar in that he was able to raise money and get people to buy into his bigger than life persona, all the while maintaining his common man touch. Possessing charisma and charm the likes of which had not been seen before, Ronald Reagan had the "it" factor, something no other Republican leader has had since he exited stage left.

Until Sarah Palin!

Now do I believe she is qualified to be president? Absolutely not. I had already decided that I was casting my vote for then Senator Barack Obama even before Palin came on the scene. After her debut, I was even more convinced that the my party was going down in flames. Palin was a cynical choice, based on having a limited pedigree that perfectly fit all the necessary boxes: good looking, pro-gun, pro-life, pro-military, driven, and a fresh face that would fire up the base without McCain looking like he was being upstaged.

As for a woman being used to trump the historical significance of an African-American ascending to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue once Hillary Clinton was pummeled in the Democratic primary, well, that goes without saying.

On so many levels, however, Sarah Palin has exemplified the same intangible attributes our current president possesses. There is something special about Barack Hussein Obama. Despite over-promising and under-delivering, Obama has the ability to captivate and mesmerize. He has tapped into the country's change zeitgeist, even if the results are mixed at best.

That in itself is no small feat. It requires a tactical, resilient individual who not only understands her brand, but recognizes that it's more potent than lightning in a bottle. At least during her 15 minutes of fame.

This is why so many people unknowingly embolden Sarah Palin every time they relegate her to being a clueless tool for those who ultimately want Obama to fail and fail miserably.

Yet, these are the same citizens baffled as to why demagogue Rush Limbaugh is more popular than ever, while CNN continues to rearrange the Titanic deck chairs when it comes to their dismal ratings and dwindling influence in the hardball political journalism arena.

Is Palin academically challenged? Duh! And here is where any comparisons to President Obama end. As Oprah was very fond of saying, "He's brilliant!" Palin, well... not so much.

That notwithstanding, do Sarah Palin's other assets more than make up for her lacking of intellectual rigor? Can a audacious gal who's easy on the eyes, carries herself a certain way, has her own message of hope and who demonstrates a tenacious work ethic get over in this country (i.e. get paid and be a potential king maker) without running for president in 2012?

Res ipsa loquitur. That's Latin Sarah, for the fact speaks for itself.

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