"This film is a call to action for a campaign like 1976: Reagan vs. the establishment," Bannon told RealClearPolitics. "Let's have a good old-fashioned brouhaha."
RealClearPolitics was recently given an exclusive screening of a rough cut of the now finished film, which Bannon designed, in part, to help catapult Palin from the presidential afterthought she has become in the eyes of many pundits directly to the front lines of the 2012 GOP conversation.
The schedule of when the film will appear where is highly political:
Bannon intends to premiere the film in Iowa late next month before expanding the release to New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. After the initial rollout in the four early voting states, the filmmaker will eventually release it to somewhere between 50 and 100 markets nationwide.Bannon met recently with Palin to discuss the finished product, and details of its release schedule:
The result is a two-hour-long, sweeping epic, a rough cut of which Bannon screened privately for Sarah and Todd Palin last Wednesday in Arizona, where Alaska's most famous couple has been rumored to have purchased a new home. When it premieres in Iowa next month, the film is poised to serve as a galvanizing prelude to Palin's prospective presidential campaign -- an unconventional reintroduction to the nation that she and her political team have spent months eagerly anticipating, even as Beltway Republicans have largely concluded that she won't run.According to Conroy's article, Palin is already using themes from the film in her media appearances:
The film's coda is introduced with an on-screen caption that reads, "From here, I can see November." It is here that Mark Levin alludes to Ronald Reagan as a Palin-like insurgent who was also once distrusted by the GOP establishment.
Palin is then shown firing up a rally that occurred just last month on the steps of the state capitol in Wisconsin. "What we need is for you to stand up, GOP, and fight," Palin, in vintage campaign form, shouts to the crowd. "Maybe I should ask some of the Badger women's hockey team -- those champions -- maybe I should ask them if we should be suggesting to GOP leaders they need to learn how to fight like a girl!"
Following an extended in-your-face riff by Andrew Breitbart in which he repeatedly denounces as "eunuchs" the male Republican leaders who decline to defend Palin, the film ends with one last scene from the April rally in Madison: "Mr. President, game on!" Palin shouts before a martial drumbeat ushers in a closing quotation by Thomas Paine, which also appeared in "Going Rogue." The implication is neither subtle nor easy to dismiss.
In a telling sign of how the film's message has already resonated with her own thought process, Palin made reference to the Paine quotation during an appearance on Greta Van Susteren's Fox News show last week shortly after she viewed a rough cut of the film for the first time.
The film, and its cast of good guys - prominent Islamophobe Mark Levin, racist Andrew Breitbart, among others, will resonate with Palin's base base, but it probably won't resonate at all with a wider audience. On the other hand, apparently the director wants to paint former Wasilla Mayor John Stein as "one of the film's villains." That will be impossible to do without resorting to flat-out lies.
John Ziegler, whose 2009 Palin paean was almost universally panned, wasn't able to help Palin at all with his sycophantic rant, Media Malpractice. Bannon, who is partnering up with both former Ziegler producer David Bossie, and who has gotten - like Ziegler in the past - financial help from Citizens United, may be a more upscale version of Ziegler, but from the looks of the narrative of the film, as described by Conroy, The Undefeated will have a high probability of being the unseen.
Conroy's description of Palin as an all-but-announced 2012 presidential candidate brings up her relationship with Newscorp:
Palin will run. It is hard to see any logic in her doing that, but I've been convinced since her disastrous Madison speech last month, that she will run.
Palin has been tight-lipped about which way she is leaning in regard to running for president next year, but her team of advisers is operating under the notion that they are laying the groundwork for a future campaign, until they are told otherwise.
Palin's future presidential bid might be based in the Phoenix area -- where Bristol Palin also recently purchased a new home -- but Palin's aides have yet to reach out to potential venues for a campaign headquarters in Arizona.
Despite Palin's apparent desire to wait as long as possible before making her decision, aides acknowledge that they will soon have to establish a more campaign-like operation in order to begin a more concerted effort to raise money and take other steps that would be required -- even for a potential candidate as unconventional as Palin.
Meanwhile, the news about Palin's initial effort to commission a film project to highlight her political record is sure to put additional pressure on Fox News to demand an answer from one of their star contributors on whether she intends to run for president or continue working as a political analyst on the network that may soon find itself reporting on her campaign.
My favorite line from Conroy's article?
Even more daunting will be finding a way to explain persuasively just how it was that ethics complainers and liberal bloggers -- whom other politicians in her shoes might have largely dismissed as relatively minor nuisances -- succeeded in forcing her of office.Undefeated? Nah.