Another bad sign for Democrats: Sarah Palin is popular in liberal San Francisco

Sarah Palin

Image via Wikipedia

In San Francisco, I haven’t seen too many bumper stickers saying “Palin for Prez in 2012,” but if you’re looking for a gauge of America’s current political temperature, look no farther than liberal San Francisco, where Sarah Palin – yes, that Sarah Palin – has a widespread fan base. In the city that begat the Summer of Love and jump-started the counter-culture movement, the conservative ex-governor of Alaska has become a much-admired figure – among both women and men.

Let me name some names. Nancy Workman. Steve Rodriguez. Shevon O’Rourke Dieterich. Mark Silverman. Roy Azem. Maureen Ennor. All of them are connected to San Francisco, and all of them admire Palin in a public way. How public? Workman, Rodriguez, Dieterich, Silverman, Azem, and Ennor spotlight their support for Palin on Facebook, which is the place to go these days and advertise your allegiances.

Rodriguez told me that Palin “is a leader who could bring this country true change,” adding that, “Sarah Palin is a perfect example of a strong-minded and strong-willed woman who can be an extremely positive role model for women who don’t have to abandon their values in order to achieve a high professional status. She is not afraid to stand up for her beliefs.”

Rodriguez supports the Republican Party, but he and other San Francisco fans of Palin are no fringe group. Rodriguez enjoys the Sopranos, listens to Marvin Gaye, and is a fan of a tattoo site that shows off celebrities (Rihanna, Eminem, et al.) and their fashionable markings. Silverman, a producer for a San Francisco radio station, is into stand-up and improv comedy. Workman, who works for a consulting firm, admires the heroic airline pilot Sulley Sullenberger and comic Dennis Miller. Azem watches South Park, and listens to Bon Jovi, Van Halen, and Michael Jackson. Ennor also likes Michael Jackson – along with Johnny Depp and Johnny Cash. Dieterich is a Facebook fan of a company that makes gourmet alcohol.

In the last week, there’s been lots of handwringing about the Democrats’ loss of Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat. Yesterday, New York Times columnist Frank Rich weighed in, writing that Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts is “a dire omen for the White House” – that President Obama has shown too little backbone in taking on the U.S. banking system and pushing through healthcare reform, while jobs continue to evaporate. Into this void came Scott Brown, who credited his victory to Massachussets’ “independent majority,” then warned Obama and his fellow Democrats: “For them it is just the beginning of an election year filled with surprises. They will be challenged again and again across this country. When there’s trouble in Massachusetts, there’s trouble everywhere – and now they know it.”

Yes, they do. So does Palin, who hopes the Democrats’ troubles continue until 2012, when the Iowa caucus will be held. Political columnist Walter Shapiro has outlined a scenario where Palin could win the GOP’s 2012 presidential nomination. For the legions of anti-Palinates out there, the idea of a Palin presidency is more than sickening. It’s absurd. But Palin – unlike Obama – has seen her poll numbers go up of late. I once called Palin “the Wicked Wink of the West,” but she could have the last laugh if former Democratic seats continue to go into the Republican column. Talking to Rodriguez online has given me a greater sense of Palin’s power to attract voters looking for a giant change of pace.

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21 Responses to Another bad sign for Democrats: Sarah Palin is popular in liberal San Francisco

  1. savio says:

    I love how you proved these folks aren’t part of any fringe group. For sure, anyone who likes “The Sopranos” and/or outfits that make gourmet alcohol can’t be termed fringe.

    I guess we’re stuck with the conclusion that San Francisco isn’t such a liberal place after all. I think that’s where logic takes us.

    • San Francisco has changed a lot in the last 10-15 years. I grew up in San Francisco during the height of its liberal culture. That culture is still there, but receding. By pointing out some of the other likes of Palin’s fans, I was trying to “humanize” them, as much as I disagree with their political choice.

  2. beerzie says:

    There re dumbshits everywhere, including SF? Hardly a revelation.

  3. annlindenmuth says:

    Talking to Rodriguez online has given me a greater sense of Palin’s power to attract voters looking for a giant change of pace.

    As a registered Independent who not only voted for Obama in 2008 but also campaigned for him I can say that the reason I did that for the first time in my LIFE (and my lifetime is now on the downhill side of 56) was because I was a “voter looking for a giant change of pace.” That said, I am also one of those voters who is very disappointed in the total lack of change since he took office. However, as I have just finished reading ‘Going Rouge’ (NOT the coloring book) I have had more than one nightmare, waking up in a cold sweat, when I even consider the possibility of Palin as president. Until I read your post I could not believe there was anyone in the US with intelligence, savvy, and a decent sense of humor who would even talk about her, let alone ‘friend’ her on their facebook page.

    Thank you for pointing out the dire situation that we liberals could find ourselves in the first Wednesday in November of 2012. And after I drink myself Palinesque (silly) I will sober up and get back to work doing whatever I can to see that that particular nightmare does NOT come true!

    • I share your pain, as it were. Realizing that San Francisco has Palin fans should wake up anyone who thinks liberal Democrats have momentum on their side. 2012 is just around the corner.

  4. Fran Johns says:

    Uh oh. A red blot on my lovely hometown. But we are nothing if not tolerant here; I will only smile my best, sad, patronizing smile if I spot a Palin button wearer walking the waterfront.

  5. Perhaps Palin’s SF popularity has something to do with — for a change — having an adult on the scene…

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  7. bluesman says:

    They are all probably fans of Paris Hilton and reality TV shows too…. sigh.

  8. jasonprice says:

    even in a political climate much more dire than our current, i can’t imagine the set of circumstances necessary for a palin victory on a presidential ticket.

    • Reading Walter Shapiro’s analysis of a possible Paliin nomination in 2012 (http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/11/16/walter/) is enough to make one realize that Palin just might have a chance. There’d have to be a perfect political storm — the storm of the millennium — but I’m sure Palin’s supporters are thinking how to achieve that.

      • annlindenmuth says:

        You mean kind of like the ‘hanging chad’ incident in the 2000 presidential election? Maybe whatever polar bears are left in the ANWR by then could be given ‘names’ and allowed to vote. Ooh, maybe I shouldn’t say that — it might give the twit[terer] ideas!

  9. michelemg says:

    This is the most surprising thing I’ve read in a while. I’m a fifth-generation San Franciscan (or I was until I moved to LA) who spent most of my ’60s & ’70s childhood hanging out on Hippie Hill with my parents.

    I like the thought that San Francisco is becoming more open minded.

    • I’m a second-generation San Franciscan who’s also very familiar with Hippie Hill. It’s true that there is more political (and cultural) diversity here than people realize. I covered City Hall for the San Francisco Chronicle back in 2000, and I met a lot of conservative voters. They’ve always been there — just not always in the news.

  10. clairejansz says:

    ***but he and other San Francisco fans of Palin are no fringe group. Rodriguez enjoys the Sopranos, listens to Marvin Gaye, and is a fan of a tattoo site that shows off celebrities (Rihanna, Eminem, et al.) and their fashionable markings.****

    I bet Palin likes the Sopranos, Marvin Gaye and might even have a tatoo on her ass. Did your head just explode?

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