Sarah Palin, ending months of speculation, said Wednesday she will not run for president, either as a Republican or third-party candidate.
Back last June, a particularly astute commentator observed:
It is too soon to decide whether the Republican Party ought to choose Sarah Palin as its nominee next year. She has not made it clear, so far, whether she actually intends to seek its nomination.
Were she to try to run, I think she has exhibited both potential major strengths and weaknesses that give one hope for her possible success, but leave one also uncertain of her ability to succeed. If Sarah Palin fails to convince most of us that she can perform consistently at a higher level of eloquence, I’d say that she ought not to be the nominee.
Palin has already carved out for herself a useful, practically effective, and very prominent role as a political commentator. It is possible that remaining free to be herself and operating in that capacity would be more congenial to her and more compatible with her talents and inclinations than campaigning for the presidency.
Deciding not to run at this time, I think, speaks very, very positively for Sarah Palin’s good judgment. I think this decision, in fact, proves that she is highly intelligent and is operating politically at a level worthy of respect and admiration.
It is obvious enough why she isn’t running.
She clearly has concluded that running in the second position of a losing ticket does not really give one an automatic ticket to the GOP’s nomination and a firm claim on the presidency.
She undoubtedly recognizes that her resume was impaired by her decision to resign the Alaska governorship and write a book and cash in, in order to avoid her family winding up in bankruptcy as a result of the enormous legal expenses piling up as the result of a endless series of left-wing “ethics” attacks.
Sarah Palin is wise enough to realize that she sometimes appeared inarticulate and unprepared during her previous national campaign, and she has concluded that, before running again nationally, she needs to prove herself. She is only 47 years old, and she has plenty of time to run for the presidency.
Since leaving elected office, Sarah Palin has carved out for herself an extremely useful and highy influential role as national spokesperson for conservatism. She was already, in that role, able to have a real impact on the national debate, and she was, in fact, more effective most of the time than any member of Congress or any governor.
There are a lot of people who have doubts about whether she possesses sufficient knowledge and ability to express herself to serve as president. Serving for years as a national leader of the conservative cause, fighting the good fight in the national political wars, is actually the best way to establish anyone as a credible leader and inevitable candidate. Palin isn’t running for president this year, instead she is proposing to occupy the same national role formerly held in years gone by Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater.
Looking on, I find myself wondering why on earth that particular role has been vacant for so long. The reflection is inevitable that, if Newt Gingrich had done, some years ago, what Sarah Palin is doing now, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry would not be the front runners.
You often hear people talk about how bright Newt Gingrich is, and how dumb Sarah Palin is. I think all this proves that exactly the reverse is true. Palin has made the right decision, and there is a pretty good likelihood that she will keep on doing the right thing, and will one day go on to greater things.