As historians are aware, Palin would go on to make a great many mistakes. Her name would become so synonymous with political misstatements and miscalculations, in fact, that her party would eventually come to treat her like political kryptonite.
But back in 2008, the former governor of Alaska — and the then-Republican vice-presidential candidate — was still a pretty big deal. Conservatives swooned over her. Pundits sang her praises. She was arguably more popular than the Republican presidential nominee, John McCain.
Some Democratic Party smart alecks poked fun at her, however, and Palin didn’t like it so much. The Democrats ribbed Palin for her apparent lack of experience, particularly as a small-town mayor in Alaska. So Palin struck back.
At the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn., to thunderous applause, Palin said: “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer. Except that you have actual responsibilities.”
This was a swipe at the employment history of Barack Obama, of course, and the GOP crowd loved it. Obama was soon forced to defend the period in which he had worked as a community organizer in Chicago in the late 1980s.
As the above-noted historians will remind us, the insult didn’t really work so well, did it? Obama — a young black man, the son of a single mom and, yes, a community organizer — would go on to be president of the United States of America.