Stewart starts to skewer Palin around the 5 minutes mark.
What The Guardian has to say:
Several Republican operatives in Iowa, where voters will have the first say on nominating the 2016 presidential candidates at the state caucuses in a year’s time, were doubtful on Monday that Palin would enter the race. She declined to join the less crowded Republican primary field in 2012 after a protracted flirtation with doing so.
“My impression is that she will not run,” said Drew Ivers, the chairman of former congressman Ron Paul’s 2012 Iowa campaign. “The field is awfully crowded, with a lot of heavyweights”. Ivers said Palin would be more effective taking an “activist position” on the sidelines.
Wes Enos, the deputy campaign manager for former congresswoman Michelle Bachmann’s Iowa bid in 2012, described Palin as a “minor blip” and said the speech was merely an attempt to reverse waning public interest and possibly secure another book or television deal. “People have mostly stopped talking about Sarah Palin,” he said. “I think she just doesn’t want to be out of the conversation”.
Enos was among Iowa Republicans who said they would prefer Palin not to run. “I frankly think that her time has passed, and I think there are much better candidates out there with a lot more substance, a lot more ability and a lot more drive,” he said.
Craig Schoenfeld, a veteran Iowa operative who ran former president George W Bush’s Iowa campaign in 2000, said Palin could be a welcome addition to the race. However, he said reaction to her speech on Saturday was “mixed” and that she needed to build a grassroots infrastructure and raise money to be taken seriously as a prospective candidate.
Over the weekend, Sarah Palin spoke at the Iowa Freedom Summit, a place for Republican presidential candidates to preen and pose for Iowa voters. The Palin speech was supposed to inspire the media to wonder about a possible Palin 2016 presidential run, but it did not do that. To put it lightly, Palin delivered an incredibly disjointed speech. More to the point, it was the kind of speech that made me wonder if Palin is suffering from some sort of debilitating ailment. Palin can’t seem to form a coherent sentence anymore. Or could she ever? In any case, this speech crosses the line from funny to sad very quickly.
The Guardian again…
Case in point: at the Iowa Freedom Summit on Saturday, Palin delivered the most unhinged speech of her career. Reportedly, her teleprompter conked out, inadvertently taking thousands of fresh “Obama Teleprompter” jokes with it, so she ad libbed, ultimately going 10 minutes over her allotted time while hurling out rewarmed zingers and bewildering anecdotes. At 35 minutes, watching it was bizarre and exhausting, but its real tone leaps off the printed page in CSPAN’s all-caps transcript: it reads like a Zodiac letter.
Then she told reporters that she might run for president. Twice.
Even by Palin’s heroic standards, it was a disaster: you could watch journalists on social media openly speculating whether she had gone to a bar for lunch and said, “Gimme the Noah’s ark: round up two of everything”. The response was brutal even from the right: conservative writer and curator-of-your-comp-lit-professor’s-1995-haircut Byron York described it as “at times barely coherent”, while no less than Michelle Bachmann’s former campaign manager dismissed Palin as less substantial than other candidates
I hope she never goes away: she is the reddest of the red meat served with the lowest-hanging fruit, and every appearance is some new sublime Schadenfreude-steeped catastrophe. But my amusement should be a problem for movement conservatism.
The decline of Sarah Palin’s political fortunes was fully evident at last weekend’s Iowa Freedom Summit. As the C-SPAN camera intermittently swung around to take in the audience, it captured a crowd that seemed at first intrigued, then puzzled and, at last, exhausted. When the former vice-presidential candidate built to her finale, a few people lumbered to their feet. The rest just stared on in silence…
When populism is reduced to rhetorical flourish, as it was in Palin’s Iowa speech, it becomes paranoid and crass. Thus Palin’s speech was peppered with references better suited to talk radio: countless anecdotes about her family’s run-ins with the press, a slew of references to the president eating dog meat in Indonesia, and a clumsily suggestive metaphor claiming “the man can only ride you when your back is bent.” At National Review, John Fund tagged her one of the losers of the event, writing, “She will always be an entertaining speaker at conservative events, but she clearly lacks the discipline for a full-fledged campaign.” The rambling Iowa speech showed she even lacks the discipline even to be an entertaining speaker.