Sarah Palin Defends Miss California Carrie Prejean--Why?

Why choose this issue on which to speak out?

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By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

The weighty issue of Sarah Palin's position on Carrie Prejean has finally been resolved: Alaska's most famous beauty queen approves of California's. Not a surprise in and of itself, but I still wonder, why weigh in?

Through her leadership PAC, Palin released a four-paragraph statement excoriating the usual suspects:

The liberal onslaught of malicious attacks against Carrie Prejean for expressing her opinion is despicable. Carrie and I spoke soon after the attacks started; I can relate as a liberal target myself. What I find so remarkable is that these politically-motivated attacks fail to show that what Carrie and I believe is also what President Obama and Secretary Clinton believe—marriage is between a man and a woman. I applaud Donald Trump for standing with Carrie during this time. And I respect Carrie for standing strong and staying true to herself, and for not letting those who disagree with her deny her protection under the nation's First Amendment Rights. Our Constitution protects us all—not just those who agree with the far left.

(h/t GOP 12)

Set aside the hilarity potential of a Palin-Trump alliance. (Or not: One can easily imagine a 2012 flop leading, down the road, to a has-been appearance on Celebrity Apprentice—perhaps competing against Carrie Prejean.) And give her credit for seizing on the clever GOP wedge-attack that Prejean's position is no different than President Obama's (which was first written on in this space, by the way). And again ask: Why issue this statement? Did I miss the great hue and cry for Palin's take on this?

Obviously Prejean has become a darling of the conservative right. But is she polling that well? (One rough answer: Over the last month, "Palin" is being outsearched on Google by "Prejean" by a factor of 17-5.) Did Palin or her advisers see a need to latch her star onto Prejean's? That would seem a bit of a stretch. Palin is presumably still the more important figure, and Miss California will presumably be forgotten by the time the 2012 race gets started on Nov. 3, 2010. Palin, as Chris Cillizza points out, has "struggled to balance her current job with ambitions on the national stage." So why choose this issue on which to raise her national profile?

What do you think? Weigh in below, and in the meantime ponder this dream ticket: Palin-Prejean '12.

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