John Fund says Sarah Palin isn’t running for the 2012 Presidential nomination and lays out his reasons why. Personally, I agree with Mr. Fund, but for another reason. I think Mrs. Palin can make a bigger impact supporting truly Conservative candidates for state and national political office. She can be a “King maker” much like Senator Jim DeMint was during the 2010 election cycle. Here’s what Fund says;
Sarah Palin will swoop into Iowa and New Hampshire to speak at tea party rallies this Labor Day weekend, whipping up talk she will announce her candidacy for president. After all, this coming Saturday will mark the third anniversary of her acceptance speech for vice president at the Republican National Convention – a speech which established her as both a conservative icon and a magnet for criticism.
Her supporters are certainly encouraging talk she will be a 2012 candidate. Peter Singleton, her Iowa political organizer, told National Review’s Robert Costa last month: “I believe she will run. Labor Day will kick off the Republican campaign for the nomination. She is going to make a major, major speech.”
But Team Palin is extremely sensitive about anyone else who speculates about what she’s up to. Karl Rove, President Bush’s political strategist, told Fox News last month he thought Palin’s schedule in Iowa meant she would announce her candidacy this coming weekend. That prompted this riposte from Team Palin on the website of her PAC:
“Any professional pundit claiming to have ‘inside information’ regarding Governor Palin’s personal decision is not only wrong but their comments are specifically intended to mislead the American public.”
At the risk of being accused of misleading people, let me state that Sarah Palin isn’t running for president.
No, I don’t have “inside information,” other than that Sarah Palin has had the time of her life playing the media and political class like a fiddle by making them respond to her every Twitter twitch. She has gotten a platform for her views at places ranging from Iowa to the World Economic Forum in South Korea next month. For someone who will use her Tea Party speeches this weekend to express her disdain for how the media and the political class have let this country down, the consternation she’s caused is sweet revenge.
But her ability to make reporters and pundits dance to her tune is ending. She clearly isn’t prepared to announce this weekend. When asked recently in Iowa if she would be ready to join the race by Labor Day, Palin said “I doubt it.”
So if Sarah Palin isn’t running for president, what will she do in 2012? Even as a non-candidate she has the potential to shake up the GOP race. In a recent slickly-produced video producer by Team Palin that chronicles her bus tour of Iowa, Palin shakes hands with a girl in an “Americans for Rick Perry” T-shirt and then poses for a photo with the girl and her fellow Perry supporters.
“Given the elaborate editing that went into this production, is it likely that Palin would have approved a visual nod to Perry as a mere coincidence?” asks blogger Robert Stacy McCain, a keen-eyed Palin watcher. “I don’t think so.”