28 May 2011

Palin is Running

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Byron York quotes political professionals who are sure that Sarah Palin isn’t really running.

The bottom line is Sarah Palin is not going to run for president,” says a Republican adviser close to front-runner Mitt Romney. “She’s making money, she’s moved on, she’s kind of an entertainer rather than a politician. She still has some sway with the grass roots, but she is not going to run.”

“I don’t think she’s going to run,” says a Republican close to Tim Pawlenty. “She has faded a lot in the last few months. I look at what she’s doing now and say that she’s found a way to get back in the story.”

Maybe these representatives of rival campaigns are just spinning. But the fact is, some of the most serious people in the 2012 Republican race don’t believe Palin will run. While the press looks at the former Alaska governor’s publicity operation, political pros look at her campaign operation, or, more accurately, her lack of a campaign operation.

“Watch what she has done,” says the Republican close to Romney. “Has she contacted one major donor across the country about putting together an organization? Has she talked to one member of the Republican National Committee about working for a campaign, or one governor, or one former governor about working for a campaign? The answer is no.”

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I think her impending bus tour and soon-to-be-released biopic provide strong counter-evidence.

And, as Rodger notes, Palin running will polarize the race and intensify the debate, and those are good things.

I do know not all of you share my enthusiasm for a Palin presidential campaign. But you should be happy as hell that she’ll try, for this reason.

Win or lose, Sarah Palin will define the issues that the 2012 election will hinge on. What the GOP is offering as we speak are the traditional clusterfluck of b-s artists and, you know, McCains. Yeah, a few, well maybe just one, Herman Cain, can electrify a room, but the rest are yawners. Sarah Palin will come out swinging; talking stuff that milquetoasts would never hazard. She, better than any of them, will operate in the firestorm of media hostility with no flapping. Sarah Palin will ignite things. It may be that the GOP still has enough punch left to knock her out, or the anticipated multi-billion dollar (in kind) media attack campaign will succeed, but the man left standing will have embraced her ideas. And that’s a good thing.

Sarah Palin would not be my first choice for GOP nominee.

I think she would have the disadvantage as a candidate of actually helping Obama by intensively mobilizing the community of fashion to come out against her and turning the election into a class warfare contest in which a certain kind of aspirational person would vote against Sarah Palin simply as a way of affirming his class identity.

Her past performances have been sufficiently uneven that the prospect of the Alaskan equivalent of a cockney flower girl attempting to debate the glib Obama is not something one necessarily looks forward to with comfort and assurance.

Yet… Sarah Palin has definite star power, and more importantly she has genuine conservative principles, and she has also distinguished herself by simply refusing to be crushed or dismissed by the most determined efforts of the establishment media. Palin has guts, and as Marine Corps sergeants are wont to observe, guts can be enough. She may quite possibly be able to pull it off.

Palin may not be my first choice for GOP nominee, but I’m not worried about my class credentials. I can vote for her.

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SDD

We need a candidate who does not need to hedge. One that can frame the arguments head on without having to worry about what the media will do to him/her. That’s Palin’s strength. There’s nothing much else they can do to demean her, so they’ll eventually have to confront the issues. In contrast, some like Romney will spend much of the campaign splitting hairs — well, I’m really against some types of government controlled health care, but not all types. This is the year for a Thatcher-esque candidate, not a traditional politician. And Chris Christie isn’t running.



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