Sarah Palin has faced something of a backlash from conservative circles for mocking Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign. First, the Washington Post noted last week that Palin’s comments were rebuked by Mike Huckabee (a potential 2012 primary rival, to be sure), and put her at odds with recent comments from the likes of Haley Barbour and Rick Santorum.
Now, via Ben Smith I see that the former Alaska Governor was chastised today by the Journal‘s reliably conservative editorial page. The Journal also notes that Palin’s comments put her at odds with one other leading Republican–herself:
No one hates the nanny state more than we do, but Mrs. Obama isn’t exactly ordering up Lenin’s Young Pioneers. Adults do have an obligation to teach children how to live, and that includes adults who are role models by dint of their national prominence. JFK asked kids to do chinups for the Presidential Fitness Award, and Nancy Reagan asked them to “just say no” to drugs.
A National Bureau of Economic Research study released in October puts the annual cost of treating obesity and related preventable chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and orthopedic issues at $168 billion, or 16.5% of all U.S. spending on medical care. Nearly one out of three children are overweight or obese. Many of these costs are transferred to taxpayers via Medicare, other entitlements and soon ObamaCare.
“Health-care reform on an individual basis is often just this simple: We could save a lot of money and a lot of grief by making smarter choices,” Mrs. Obama said recently. “It starts by ending destructive habits and beginning healthy habits in eating and exercise.”
Sorry, our mistake—that was actually Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, in her 2009 State of the State address. Mrs. Obama’s campaign is grounded in similar sentiments, and in that sense is unusual for this White House in emphasizing personal responsibility. The first lady has also so far eschewed the coercion of the public health lobby, like junk food regulation and taxes and advertising restrictions.
Mrs. Palin would be more effective if she made some distinctions among the Obama policies that really are worth opposing….
Throw in Charles Krauthammer’s prediction that Palin has “no chance of winning a general election” in 2012 and it’s clear that her battle with the east coast conservative establishment has just begun.