(The Hill) — Longtime political columnist and commentator George Will quipped that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is “ready to be 1/435th of the House of Representatives,” adding that if she won election to the House it “doesn’t really matter much.”
Will made the remarks in response to a question from NewsNation host Ashleigh Banfield on Tuesday during Nexstar Media Group’s corporate management meeting in Dallas. Banfield asked Will if Palin, who recently announced a run for Congress in her home state, was ready for another job in government.
“Ready to be 1/435th of the House of Representatives? Sure,” Will said. “Because in the grand scheme of things, that doesn’t really matter much.”
Palin announced her candidacy for the seat vacated with the passing of the late Alaska Rep. Don Young (R) just 45 minutes before the filing deadline for the race.
She was endorsed by former President Trump earlier this month, who called her “tough and smart” in his statement backing her.
Will said he would not be surprised to see Trump endorse candidates who are likely to win House and Senate races during this year’s midterms, as an effort to shore up his “prognosticator” brand and build support while mulling a potential run for the White House again in 2024.
“You notice he’s not saying anything about the Senate race in Ohio,” he noted.
Will, during separate remarks, proposed a new way of creating better, less polarizing candidates for president, including “disqualifying anyone who has served as a senator,” from running for the White House.
“It would improve the Senate remarkably,” Will said. “You wouldn’t have all those people just biding their time there. Second, it would improve our pool of presidential candidates. We used to get our presidents from governors, who have run something larger than a Senate office, who have been accountable for more than 1/100th of a legislative body.”
The Senate, Will argued, “has become a purely performative stage where people strike poses, issue statements, and make gestures — but it’s not involved in serious government.”
Part of the ambition seen in modern politicians dovetails with an increasingly partisan cable news landscape, Will suggested.
“We’re suffering from an epidemic of confirmation bias … and an addiction to synthetic anger … People don’t watch cable news for information, but for ratification of their beliefs,” he said.
A columnist at The Washington Post for years, Will was hired by Nexstar Media Group in January to serve as a senior contributor to cable outlet NewsNation’s nightly news program. Nexstar Media Group purchased The Hill last fall.