Palin: Forbesian, Buchananite...or Paulian?

The answer may depend on the presidential cycle in question.

Published September 1, 2008 1:24PM (EDT)

Ben Smith of the Politico reports that Sarah Palin was a supporter of Steve Forbes, not Pat Buchanan, in 1996. Earlier, Chris Hayes of the Nation dug up some evidence suggesting that Palin was a backer of Pat Buchanan in 2000.

Assuming for a moment that both accounts are true, there are (at least) two possible interpretations here. The more charitable one is that Palin had reached some level of disgust with the politics and policies of mainstream, Washington Republicanism. The less charitable view is that her ideological moorings tend toward nutjobbery.

Palin has even exhibited secessionist tendencies.

I realize Alaska politics are a bit unusual, but a Forbesian-Buchananite with secessionist leanings? Yikes. You know which 2008 “Republican” candidate most approximates this combination of isolationism and crazy tax ideas?

You got it: Ron Paul.

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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