Even some conservatives (not Ronald Reagan conservatives) don't get Sarah Palin because they fail to grasp just how influential the 40th U.S. president was in shaping Gov. Palin's conservative world view. To say that Ronald Reagan is her hero is to underestimate how important his conservative principles and his fighting spirit remain to her even though nearly a decade has passed since his death and more than two decades have elapsed since he left the White House. The Ronald Reagan Factor helps to explain why Gov. Palin endorsed Sen. Orin Hatch earlier this week:
The two people least surprised by Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Senator Orrin Hatch this week are Palin and Hatch. In the Twitter and Facebook era, they became political allies the old-fashioned way: through handwritten letters and personal phone calls.The Reagan Factor also helps to understand why Sarah Palin made no secret of the fact that she voted for Newt Gingrich in the Alaska GOP presidential primary this year. Gingrich was the only candidate running in the 2012 primaries who had a direct connection to Ronald Reagan. Those who backed Rick Santorum just didn't get why Sarah Palin, even though she gave the former Pennsylvania Senator his due, never endorsed or threw her support behind his candidacy. It is not enough for Sarah Palin when a candidate simply pays lip service to Ronald Reagan. Those who worked with Reagan and fought by his side will always have her respect.
It’s an unlikely, politics-fueled friendship that’s fit for a Robert Caro book. Hatch, a soft-spoken grandfather, is one of Palin’s top outside mentors. He encourages her and cheers her. They share family stories, they discuss history, and they talk about legislation.
“It’s true,” Palin tells National Review Online. “He’s a warrior.” She respects his record, especially his work on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where Hatch has frequently been an influential figure during contentious Supreme Court confirmations.
Even though she is 30 years his junior, Palin has grown to appreciate Hatch’s historical perspective on Congress, the presidency, and the conservative movement. “I respect public servants who benefited from and grew under the tutelage of Ronald Reagan,” she says.
Further, The Reagan Factor helps us understand why Mark Levin is backing Hatch and why Gov. Palin and Levin share such a deep mutual respect. We see evidence of that respect in Levin's comments made following her endorsement of Hatch. When trying to figure out Sarah Palin, never discount the Reagan factor.
h/t: Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin