Sarah Palin accuses Barack and Michelle Obama of being unpatriotic
Sarah Palin has accused Barack and Michelle Obama of being unpatriotic and suggested that they were racist.
By Alex Spillius, Washington 6:26PM GMT 19 Nov 2010
The attack is likely to deepen the impression that the former Alaska governor is too divisive a figure to win the presidency.
In leaked extracts of her new book, Mrs Palin delves into the minefield of racial politics, arguing that the first African American US president is among those who regarded the conservative tea party movement as racially prejudiced and who thinks that “America is a fundamentally unjust and unequal country”.
As proof, she dredged up a quote from a 2008 campaign speech in which Mrs Obama said “for the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country”.
Mrs Palin went on to say: “I guess this shouldn’t surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church listening to his rants against America and white people.”
Mr Obama remains personally popular despite his Democratic Party allies being heavily beaten in the recent midterm elections. His wife moreover is according to numerous polls the best-liked the political figure in the country, thanks to her support for military families and campaign against childhood obesity.
In America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag, which is published next week, Mrs Palin was choosing a line of attack against the First Lady that most other opponents of the president have abandoned long ago.
She characterised the First Lady as only being proud “when her husband started winning elections”. In full context, Mrs Obama’s meaning was that she felt a surge of pride at the way young people were finding hope in the country’s future.
The former vice-presidential candidate’s second book is regarded as a launch pad for a bid for the 2012 Republican nomination, which Mrs Palin this week admitted she was “seriously considering”.
Many Democrats think the president’s chances of winning re-election would improve vastly if Mrs Palin was his opponent.
Vice-President Joe Biden had to stifle laughs when asked about the possibility of an Obama-Palin matchup on morning television yesterday.
“I don’t think she could beat President Obama,” he said, “but she’s always underestimated, so I don’t think I should say any more”.
Early reviewers have described Mrs Palin’s new book as mostly a fairly predictable paean to conservative American values.
But it also contains a withering put-down of talent show contestants, particularly those on American Idol, and the “cult of self-esteem”, which she blames partly on Mr Obama.
“No one they have encountered in their lives – from their parents to their teachers to their President – wanted them to feel bad by hearing the truth. So they grew up convinced that they could become big pop stars like Michael Jackson.”
Her observations came without apparent irony, despite the fact that her own daughter Bristol is competing so ineptly in Dancing with the Stars that there are strong suspicions she has only stayed in contention because of the support of her mother’s fans voting from home.
Mrs Palin herself has also begun broadcasting her own reality show about her family life and her home state.