I was debating whether or not to blog about this. I like Family Research Council and never really had an issue with Tony Perkins, but his statement reported by Ben Smith of Politico about Governor Sarah Palin after the Voter Values Summit ticked me off and I decided he needs a moment behind the woodshed.
"I think she’s a great spokesman," Perkins said, adding that "she says what a lot of people think."
"But you know a lot of people sometimes realize we shouldn’t say everything we think," he continued. "Maybe it is that she is more of a cheerleader and one who rallies conservatives together as opposed maybe to being their top choice for president."
Now Mr. Perkins is obviously entitled to his opinion, but I wonder… did he mean to come across as a pompous ass? Did he even stop to consider that his comment may sound even remotely sexist? I doubt it, and if he took two seconds to think about what he was saying he probably wouldn’t have phrased it the way he did. Whether he likes her as a presidential candidate or not is irrelevant to me. It would seem he should take his own advice that “sometimes we shouldn’t say everything we think.” He could have left it at the first sentence and that would have been fine. He could have said she rallies conservatives… that was fine.
But to call her a “cheerleader”? When is the last time he has called a male political figure a “cheerleader.”? She is the former Governor of Alaska with policy and executive experience and she can rally the base. So while I understand he was trying to analyze his straw poll that is essentially meaningless (the nominee has never won); please don’t interpret it to reflect the conservative electorate. He did acknowledge (which Smith didn’t mention) people who don’t speak don’t tend to do well. I would say that is likely the reason she was only 5th. I’m not saying she’s a shoo-in to win the GOP nomination (heck, I can’t even say she’s running), but I can tell you she’ll garner a *little* more than 7% if she does.
It seems to me that he’s irritated she didn’t make an appearance so he decided to make a snotty comment. Again, he’s free to do that, but it seems to demonstrate he’s been working in the Beltway too long.