In twist of fate, just as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has launched her much-discussed Twitter account (What hashtags will she use? Will she embrace the art of the “selfie?“), Mama Grizzly Sarah Palin has popped back up on the political commentary scene. Coincidence? Maybe, but Palin rarely leaves anything to chance. Now that Hillary is warming up her social media self, how could Palin miss a chance to get some of that ‘women in politics’ spotlight?
After being dismissed from Fox News just a few months ago, Palin is back on Fox , with bigger hair, bigger opinions, and, I suspect, bigger hopes to be Hillary’s political foil. Exhibit A on why Palin might feel personally threatened by the former Madam Secretary — a poll earlier this year indicated that if Hillary decides to run, that in a Clinton/Palin 2016 presidential race (yes, mere fantasy, but bear with me) — 53% of Alaskans would vote for Clinton, while only 37% would vote for Palin (and 10% were undecided). Admittedly, it’s unlikely we’d see that match up in 2016, but what that polling result says is that even those who were her constituents are done with the maverick-y Palin. And good old Sarah doesn’t take to that kind of rejection lightly.
While I don’t believe any bookmaker would take odds that Palin will actually run for president in 2016, Hillary Clinton’s recent move to grab a little social media spotlight are exactly why Palin is back — she is the perfect attack grizzly on all things Democratic, especially as the GOP looks around to see who can come close to Clinton’s poll numbers.
So will Hillary go rogue on Twitter to catch up to Palin’s numbers — 515,000+ vs. 924,000+? So far, her handful of Tweets have been pretty tame, while Palin is doing her usual thing — “Clapper lied. Government spied” (her spin on the story about government domestic surveillance), and “Rule of Law? More like ‘In Your Face.’ Obama sends $1.3 billion to Muslim Brotherhood after lawmakers tell him he can’t. Does it anyway” (referencing a story about U.S. aid to the Egyptian government, not the Muslim Brotherhood). Hillary is still merely dipping her toes in the Twitter stream with this recent tweet — “.
@2SmalltoFail is my new effort w/ @nextgen_usa to help our kids in their crucial early years.” Her daughter Chelsea is encouraging her mom to put herself out there, relax and have a little fun. Perhaps some Bill vs. Hill 140 character smack-downs would be amusing and grab some more followers?
One thing is certain, though. There will come a point in the not too distant future when Palin won’t be able to help herself, and she’ll take over a Twitter conversation on Hillary’s account. Now THAT should be some good political social media fun!
Joanne Bamberger is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Broad Side. She was formerly known around these internet parts as PunditMom, but now she is trying to be herself. She is the author of Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America (an Amazon.com bestseller and now available in E-book form!). She was recently awarded the Campaigns & Elections Magazine/CampaignTech 2013 Advocacy Innovator Award for her research and writing on the power and influence of women online. She makes no secret of the fact that she hopes Hillary Clinton will be the next POTUS.