Date of Press Release: Nov 17, 2009
With former Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s book, “Going Rogue” a best seller, University of Alaska Southeast Professor of Political Science Clive Thomas is giving several talks on the “Palin Phenomenon” at universities, conferences and group meetings. His talk October 14 at Oregon State University, Corvallis drew a largely positive response from students who attended. "Understanding how and why (Palin) is still being followed so closely even after her odd and misguided actions at times, Dr. Thomas gave us insights,” wrote one student. “Why did the Republican Party nominate her? They thought that was the best option to help win the female vote, [but] it didn't work. It reminds me of hearing about Teddy Roosevelt's entry into the presidency.”
In his talk, Thomas touches on the enigmatic fascination with Palin, the contrast between those who like her and those who do not and what she tells us about American politics.
He also introduces audiences to “Alaska in myth and reality” including some Alaska political traits—populism, anti-tax and anti-government, especially anti-federal government and how Palin fits in Alaska.
Thomas was hosted by Oregon State Political Science Chair Bill Lunch. One of his students said of the talk, "I enjoyed the lecture and thought Mr. Thomas was very knowledgeable and entertaining. The phenomenon about Palin is that people love her or hate her it seems. But people can't get enough of her. I will now watch her future career moves with an insight I didn't have before this lecture."
Thomas says his talk got a more mixed reception in Utah. At the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics in Salt Lake City, “people either loved it or hated it,” said Thomas.
Thomas made similar presentations in Brazil, Uruguay and Chile during a research trip to South America this past summer. In the next few months he will present talks on Palin at several other places including San Francisco and Chicago.
"Palin is a hot topic all over the world at the moment," Thomas said.