Tonight at 11 pm eastern time Sarah Palin will give the keynote address at Young America’s Foundation’s celebration of the centenary of Reagan’s birth. Surely she will address events in Egypt. So where on the fragmented Republican foreign policy spectrum will Palin position herself?
Neo-cons like Elliott Abrams have come out for Mubarak’s ouster, despite a traditional inclination to put Israel’s security first in the region. John Bolton, who used to describe himself to me in his days at the State Department under Colin Powell as a “paleo-con”, has said the alternative to Mubarak may be worse and that the U.S. should stay silent on developments.
Palin is unlikely to do that. But two central themes of her public career are at odds here: the bear-hug embrace of freedom (very neo-con) vs. the locked-and-loaded shouldering of security (very paleo-con). Palin has met this dichotomy before and embraced security, on Ft. Hood, WikiLeaks, domestic eavesdropping, refudiation of the so-called ground zero mosque and other traditional civil liberties vs. security issues.
But Egypt is new ground because it’s a foreign policy issue as much as it is a national security one. My bet is she comes down mostly on the paleo-con side, with a healthy side serving of Obama-bashing around the administration’s creeping inclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood in talks to form a post-Mubarak government.