Of course Donald Trump endorsed Sarah Palin

So it makes perfect sense that the former president endorsed the former Alaska governor’s House bid on Sunday night.
“Sarah surprised a lot of people when she endorsed me in early 2016 and we won big.” Trump said in a statement announcing his endorsement of Palin for the seat held by the late Rep. Don Young. “Now is my turn.”

Palin was one of the first and most high-profile Republican figures to endorse Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. She threw her support behind him before the Iowa caucuses that year, which Trump lost to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. .

“Are you ready for the leader to make America great again?” Palin said at a rally in Ames, Iowa, in January of that year. “Are you ready to support Trump? I am here to support the next President of the United States: Donald Trump.”
On the face of it, Trump’s endorsement is returning the favor. Palin was with him when hardly anyone thought she could actually win, so she will now support her in a crowd of 50 candidates! — House race special election.

But the connection between Palin and Trump goes much deeper than just an endorsement.

Consider how Palin positioned herself as governor of Alaska and as John McCain’s running mate in 2008. She ran expressly against the Republican establishment. She lashed out at the press and positioned the mainstream media to catch her. She regularly strayed from political norms—”going wild” she called it—and she touted her willingness to do so as evidence that no one owned her.

Sounds familiar?

Palin planted and maintained the seeds of Trumpism. She was, in many ways, Trump before Trump.

Palin nodded to those similarities in her endorsement in 2016. “He’s gone rogue left and right,” she said of Trump at the time. “That’s why he’s doing so well. He’s been able to tear the veil off this idea of ​​the system.”

What Palin did was prepare the bomb for Trump. Ultimately, he lost his bid to beat the party system, but in doing so, he prepared many voters for the external message that Trump touted during the 2016 presidential race.

Trump drew that specific link in his endorsement. “Sarah brought McCain’s presidential campaign out of the dumps even though she had to put up with some very mean, stupid and jealous people within the campaign itself.” he said. “They wanted to destroy her, but she didn’t let that happen.”

There is a tendency to see Trump and his successful 2016 campaign as sui generis. Which built a movement based on anti-establishment rhetoric and unconventional political tactics where it never existed before.

That just isn’t accurate. Nearly a decade before Trump’s candidacy, Palin was setting in motion the elements — mistrust of the media, indictment against the Republican establishment — that were at the core of Trump’s candidacy and his appeal to Republican voters.

What Palin clearly hopes now is that the ground she once carved out for Trump will remain fertile enough for her to be elected to the House. Having Trump on board with her should take her a long way toward that goal.

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