Sunday Conservatives for Palin linked to an article in the Des Moines Register called Iowans weigh a possible Palin run.
Strategists here said she’s an attractive candidate for many reasons: big name, big charisma, big self-confidence, instant media access, loyal base, socially conservative, tea party sympathizer — and she strikes fear in the hearts of other Republicans, who don’t want to be attacked by her.
Although I’ve made no secret of what I think of Sarah Palin or a Palin candidacy I think there are disadvantages in a run in 2012 and advantages in staying out of the race that should be soberly considered:
1. The GOP field:
Contrary to the MSM narrative we actually have a rather strong GOP field. From the weakest to the strongest from the worst to the best; The current crop all are able to beat Obama and would be an improvement over him.
2. Diluting the Tea:
Governor Palin’s entry would be an imperative if we didn’t have good Tea Party candidates already in the field but: Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, McCotter, Paul, Perry, Roemer, Santorum are all Tea Party friendly candidates. (My issues with Ron Paul are not fiscal). The division of the Tea Party strength by another entry give new life to the “Better than Obama but that’s not saying much” establishment wing of Huntsman, Johnson and Romney. This is a bad thing.
3. Sour Grapes supporters: (the Dede gambit)
For many months now people have come into the field and made commitments, volunteers have tirelessly advocated for their people putting time sweat and money into campaigns. Many of these people might have gone with Palin if she had entered early but a late Palin’s entry (though sensible for many reasons) would suck the air out of some smaller campaigns and will leave some bad feelings among the grass roots supporters. Expect the Romney Campaign and its allies to do their best to use this as a wedge to divide the Tea Party.
4. Keeping the Field Honest:
If Governor Palin chooses not to run the dynamic of the field changes from: “How do we attack her without upsetting her supporters?” (Romney of course has the establishment to do it for him) to “How do we keep her supporters happy” and/or “How do we get her to endorse our campaign?”. Suddenly she becomes the single most courted voter in the race. That allows her to advance the positions that she has championed throughout the last 3 years.
5. Short Circuit the media re-direct operation
The media with their desire to re-elect President Obama at all costs will spend a lot of time in a crowded campaign trying to force other campaigns to pick fights with Governor Palin or to comment on her. Naturally since all are competing for the same office it is necessary for them to draw distinctions between you and them. Every time a GOP candidate is hitting Sarah Palin is a time they are NOT hitting President Obama or the democrats and I can guarantee that it will be those clips, not ones attacking the administration that will get the most air time.
6. The Fleet in Being gambit:
If Governor Palin doesn’t run in 2012 she remains a potential candidate for yet another election cycle. Like a fleet in being this forces a Democratic administration and/or media to disaster plan every time she reacts while keeping a GOP president or congress honest if they decide to go soft.
7. Riding to the sound of the guns:
A chief executive has to deal with every problem on the plate at the same time. As a non-candidate or non-president she can continue to use facebook to as a direct portal to mobilize her followers and quickly react to events to drive coverage and opinion but can devote her full energy to the most important fights as they show up.
8. The ultimate campaign asset:
Outside of the White House she remains a powerful fundraising and campaigning draw that can be utilized in support of conservative candidates and campaigns on the state and federal level without the complications of office. If elected to office as the head of the GOP she is to some degree obliged to support any member of the party as a member of the party.
9. Time is on our side:
Governor Palin at 47 is a year younger than me. in 2016 she will be 52, in 2020 she will be 56, in 2024 she will be 60 that is one year younger than Hillery Clinton was on Election day 2008. Governor Palin could conceivably run anytime between now and 2032 without age being an issue. Meanwhile while age is less a foe for the pol it is devastating for the MSM host hoping to attract an audience on cable. She will still be a viable presidential candidate when Katie Couric is regulated to a once a quarter appearance on a Sunday show panel.
None of these points mean that Sarah Palin should not run and would not win in 2012. I believe she can beat Obama this year and would make a fine president and an even finer leader of the free world. My support for Sarah Palin is predicated on what I think is best for the long-term interest of our country. That being the case the ultimate goal must be the most effective use of the Governor’s considerable political and leadership talents to that end. Therefore it is necessary to soberly look at the pros and cons of any such decision.
If we don’t then how are we different from the unthinking throngs who treated Obama’s election to the presidency as the next best thing to the second coming of the Lord?