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Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Kingmaker

About a week ago the unsinkable woman from Wasilla, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, announced on Mark Levin's radio show that she would not be seeking the Republican nomination for the 2012 Presidential election. She clarified further that she would not be entering the race as an independent candidate either. 

The reasons she cited were understandable - she felt she had more power and influence when working behind the scenes. She also has enjoyed the freedom she has to say what she likes when she likes and to whom she likes when she is not attempting to maintain a particular image as a candidate.

There were those who were terribly disappointed to hear this news, actor Michael Moriarty probably chief among them. There were also those who were simply disappointed that she didn't make the announcement a little earlier. Personally, I was hoping that she would wait just a few days longer. As I posted last night, I had the privilege of attending the "Defending the Republic" tour which featured both Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. It would have been exciting to have her make her final announcement live in St. Louis... (But I guess I will have to be content with a massive win for the Cardinals last night.)

There were probably a few lefty journalists who were salivating at the thought of a Palin Presidential campaign. The media, in the time since John McCain announced the relative unknown from Alaska as his 2008 running mate, has done a fairly thorough job of crucifying her in the court of public opinion. I took a Politics and Media class a year ago, (I signed up for the course as a joke to see how many liberals I could annoy, and look where THAT got me...) and of the twelve people in the class, nine were certain that Ms. Palin had made the following statement: "I can see Russia from my back porch." When I pointed out that the quote in question was actually attributed to Tina Fey from a Saturday Night Live sketch, their response was simply, "Well, she's still stupid." Having seen her speak live once and off-the-cuff in several television interviews, I would say it is fairly obvious that stupid is one thing she is most certainly not. But after three years of being skewered by the mainstream media, the general public doesn't know that.

And her intelligence is made even more obvious by her decision to stay away from the Presidential race in 2012. She knows that if she were to jump into the race, she couldn't hope to be anything more than a sacrifice fly. She would not win the Presidency. Odds are she would not even win the Republican nomination. The most she could hope to do is drive the debate, and she can do that just as well from outside the race. In fact, she can probably do it better. Without her own candidacy to worry about, she can focus on kingmaking. The 2010 election was proof positive that she has endorsement power. Nearly every candidate she threw her weight behind ended up with a ticket to Washington in November of 2010. Barack Obama, in contrast, couldn't get his people elected by accident. 

So Sarah is out of the race. The next question is obvious: who will she choose as the next President of the United States? Because whoever she chooses ought to start packing his things now.

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