Sarah Palin is either running for President or she should be.
That’s the take away from the “The Undefeated,” the new movie about Palin’s life and leadership set to hit theaters next month. Billed as a documentary–though told in a fast-paced and dramatic style–the two-hour movie is an unabashed defense of the former Alaska governor that leaves the distinct impression her presidential candidacy not only is possible, but inevitable.
Stephen Bannon, the movie’s creator, took on the project after Palin’s aides approached him late last year about making a series of videos on Palin. He proposed a movie instead, and he bankrolled it himself. The final product, which I saw last week in a screening for a few reporters, gives Palin the introduction she never really had when the Hockey mom from Wasilla became John McCain’s running mate in 2008.
By tracing her political rise in Alaska, her battles with Big Oil and the Republican establishment, and her accomplishments as governor, the movie argues one overriding point: Sarah Palin is a seasoned executive who is more than qualified to be President.
It also adds context to her bus tour of historic sites and patriotic events, which she says she undertook to remind people about the principles America was founded on and the importance of the Constitution. Critics have questioned whether the tour is, in fact, just a big publicity stunt, but The Undefeated shows video of a young Palin echoing some of those same themes 20 years ago, when she was a rookie on the stump campaigning for office.
That’s one of the things I found most striking about the movie. Since Palin burst on the national scene in 2008, critics have portrayed her as an unformed and uninformed political thinker, suggesting someone just crammed her head with these ideas unleashed her on America.
But The Undefeated goes a long way toward debunking that tired narrative. It shows an unbroken line in her thinking over the past two decades. The things she’s saying on her bus tour about freedom, free markets, fiscal responsibility and the proper role of government are the same things she’s been saying ever since she entered into politics.