Making Palin “Disappear”

Steve Kornacki has a suggestion:

In other words, those who just want her to go away should consider a Palin presidential campaign an investment: You’d have to deal with a few weeks (or maybe even months) of saturation coverage, but there’d be a good chance it would all end with Palin’s presence in our lives severely and permanently diminished.

This is because, in his view, her campaign would be an “epic, humiliating defeat, the sort of disaster that might once and for all convince the political and media worlds that the empress has no clothes.”

That all may be true.  But here’s another way to make Palin disappear: have a presidential election in which she is not a candidate.  The surest way to sideline any prominent Republican politician between now and November 2012 is for them not to enter the race.  Indeed, even those that do enter the race will be sidelined by not winning.  The candidates, and then the ultimate nominee, will suck up virtually all of the oxygen.

As far as Palin goes, that process is already underway, according to Google Trends:

Palin is in blue, Romney in orange, Bachmann in red, and Perry in green.  In terms of search volume, Bachmann and Perry are spiking.  In terms of news reference volume, Bachmann, Perry, and Romney all outpace Palin now.

If you’re a potential presidential candidate and want to be consistently in the news when a presidential campaign is underway, you have to be a candidate.

[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]

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John Sides

John Sides is an associate professor of political science at George Washington University.