Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Why Sarah Palin Won't Be RNC Chair Why Sarah Palin Won't Be RNC Chair

NEXT :
This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation

 

Politics

Why Sarah Palin Won't Be RNC Chair

+

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks at the Republican National Committee Final 2010 Victory fundraising rally Oct. 23, 2010 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.(Matt Stroshane/Getty Images)

What's more, they don't believe anyone understands the situations in their states. They want the RNC chairman to hand out money and leave the states to spend it as they see fit. They are suspicious that an outsider would want to run everything from the RNC. Many members on the national committee believed incumbent chairman Michael Steele was too much of an outsider when he ran -- and he'd been chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, and thus a member of the RNC, until late 2004!

4) She's too loud. For evidence that Palin is perhaps the most influential media figure in American politics today, just wait until she tweets again and cable news covers it like a national news event. Palin has the widest reach of any Republican, and arguably of any American outside of President Obama. That's great for Palin. It would be a disaster for the RNC.

If there's anything RNC members have learned after two years of Steele, it's that the national committee only becomes news when the chairman makes an error. Palin is a lightening rod, for the huge number of Republicans who love her and the equal, if not greater, number of Democrats who hate her. RNC members want media attention to focus elsewhere, and Palin's not the person to deflect attention away from herself, or from any organization with which she's associated.

5) She doesn't want to be made obscure. Palin's ability to tweet and reach the world, or go on Fox News to advocate for her causes, would have an instant shelf life as RNC chairman. For one thing, the job of the RNC chairman isn't to keep the party pure, or hold aloft the righteous flame of conservatism. It's to raise money and win elections. It's up to the House and Senate Republican leaders to make policy, not the committee chairman -- a lesson Steele learned the hard way.

In a presidential election cycle, the chairman has another job: To shut up and get out of the way. Shortly after John McCain won the 2008 Republican nomination, the RNC effectively handed control of operations over to his campaign, and the chairman at the time became little more than a figurehead. Palin is not the type, nor does she have the incentive, to shrink away -- especially when she could be the one calling those shots.

6) She's making too much money. Palin's book debuted as the second-best seller in America when it came out (It would have been first had not George W. Bush done such a good job marketing his own book). She's got a reality show on TLC that paid her more than $1 million per episode. And her paid speeches rake in six-figure sums. All told, she has made well into the eight figure range since leaving the Alaska governor's mansion (Her earnings were estimated at $12 million by New York Magazine in April, a figure that's well out of date by now).

So why would she want to go to work for an organization that promised to pay her just over $220,000 a year? The position doesn't lend itself to paid speeches or book tours, as Steele found out earlier this year. If Palin truly couldn't afford to be governor of Alaska, serving as RNC chairman will not lend itself to the comfort to which she has become accustomed.

DON'T MISS TODAY'S TOP STORIES

Chock full of usable information on today's issues."

Michael, Executive Director

Concise coverage of everything I wish I had hours to read about."

Chuck, Graduate Student

The day's action in one quick read."

Stacy , Director of Communications

Great way to keep up with Washington"

Ray, Professor of Economics

Sign up form for the newsletter
MORE FROM NATIONAL JOURNAL