Whether she knows it or not, Sarah Palin penned her own political obituary during the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines on Jan. 24.
For 35 minutes, the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate — and perennial fundraising darling for the Republican Party — meandered from one incoherent topic to another, often resorting to the playground taunts and fortune cookie wisdom that are her bread and butter.
Her gems included comparing Obama to a spoiled little boy who never learned that "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit" and a tangent about critics of the film American Sniper, during which she shouted "screw the left in Hollywood." At one point, she even resorted to "I'm rubber, you're glue" tactics: When the left points at Republicans about sexism and racism, Palin said, there are three times as many fingers pointing back at them.
But she saved perhaps the most vapid of her stream-of-consciousness critiques for Hillary Clinton: "The press asks, 'Can anyone stop Hillary?' Again, this is to forego a conclusion, right? It's to scare us off, to convince us that a pantsuit can crush patriots."
In the aftermath of Palin's bizarre linguistic jaunt, some news outlets reported that her teleprompter froze, which forced her to ad-lib much of the speech. It's a defense Palin has used before, and it remains just as ridiculous today as ever. Anybody who has ever worked with a teleprompter can tell you that you should always keep a copy of the text in front of you. A speaker should never cast their fate to a piece of equipment that is out of their control. But suppose, for the sake of argument, that Palin made that rookie mistake, which led to her plethora of cringe-worthy tangents. What kind of speaker is so unfamiliar with their prepared speech that if the teleprompter breaks, Plan B is to channel their inner James Joyce?
Once the poor teleprompter is cleared of blame, all that remains is the fact that Palin delivered the speech she intended to deliver, which is a frightening thought considering the job Sen. John McCain had in mind for her in 2008. He should thank his lucky stars every day the people of the United States and the world never had to pay for that colossal lapse in judgment.