2012: Heeeeeeere's Sarah

I don't often agree with Tony Blankley, but he's right that Sarah Palin is far from "washed up" despite her resignation as Alaska's governor (she actually got a boost among Republicans by quitting). While it's doubtful she will be the Republican standard bearer in 2012, with the inevitable talk show on Fox or CNN, a huge campaign chest, and hundreds of grateful GOP candidates from U.S. Senators to dog-catchers, she may be in position by then to determine who is.

From here, it's difficult to see how Palin has hurt herself, except with people who already disdain her. No longer "part of the problem" as an incumbent politico, she'll be free to scurry from fund-raiser to fund-raiser piling up truck-loads of dough as she rails against big government. Conservative candidates at every level will be indebted for the cash and attention she'll win them in 2010. In 2012, well-funded and with a hard-core following, she will be key to the success of the eventual nominee -- whether it's Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee or, as I fear, despite his high negatives, Newt Gingrich -- who will have to court her if he wants to hold on to the base. None of the other GOP presidential wannabes connects with the paranoid Right with the intensity of Sarah Palin. They adore her. As a result, she may more than influence the final outcome of the GOP competition; she may be the kingmaker.

For the nonce, a Rasmussen poll finds Palin in a virtual tie for Republican affections with Romney and Huckabee  (although her negatives are much higher than theirs). Romney is fully up to the job of sacrificial lamb, the next Walter Mondale or Bob Dole, but even though, currently, he seems to offend the fewest members of his party, it's difficult to picture him as the GOP standard bearer, if, as seems likely, the party appears to have a real shot at winning. Barring some unforeseen scandal, I think it will come down to Huckabee vs Gingrich; the former Arkansas governor wouldn't gain much from adding Palin to his ticket, but the slick ex-speaker sure would. And Palin's most likely path to the Oval Office is still through Number One Observatory Circle.

Gingrich-Palin 2012.* You read it here first.

Haven't had enough?: Part 2 of Sarah Palin's resignation press conference.

Update: another non-obituary of Sarah Palin -- She Broke the G.O.P. and Now She Owns It by Frank Rich (NYTimes).

Update: fortunately for us, we have Conan O'Brian and William Shatner to decipher Palin's speech:

* As a prophylactic, I thought I might register some urls. Guess what. Gingrich-Palin.com, GingrichPalin.com, GingrichPalin2012.com, and a host of other combinations are being husbanded by entrepreneurial types (or, possibly, political cranks)  in places like Tampa and Scottsdale. You've been warned.

1 comment:

carolyn said...

And was that Sarah Palin I saw on the cover of Time Magazine? Definitely not washed up.

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