As the state that launches the presidential nominating process, Palin’s designation as the keynote speaker is making heads turn and adding to the speculation that she is going to make a run for the Republican nomination in 2012.
However, from the perspective of the Iowa State GOP, the decision to have Palin as their speaker is less a political sign of support and more a sign of smart fundraising.
The annual state GOP dinner, otherwise known as its Lincoln Day Dinner, is one of the prime fundraising events for state republican organizations. But such affairs offer little to attract people to pay the price tag that comes with the ticket. In this case a $100 dollars. Certainly, the rubber chicken platters are not enough of a draw alone. So having a dynamic and popular speaker is usually the big draw. And Iowa struck oil when it secured Palin as their speaker.
Wherever there exists more than a handful of conservative Americans, Palin is popular. Even some moderates have begun to take a liking to her anti-Washington message. So having her headline this Iowa fundraiser helps to insure that this event is a success, success in two ways. First, it will indeed sell many tickets and raise a substantial amount of money. Second, Palin’s speech is sure to inspire the Iowa conservative as they embark upon the closing weeks of the midterm elections in a state that is defending a U.S. Senate seat, and trying to elect a Republican Governor. As the chairman of the state Party put it, “I know Iowa Republicans will be energized and motivated by Governor Palin to stand up and fight for these principles all the way to Election Day and beyond,”.
So I for one would not put much weight in this speaking engagement being a sign that Palin is running on 2012. The arrangement certainly won’t hurt if she does but it doesn’t make it a sure thing. If Palin was close to making a decision about 2012, she would have been to the Iowa State Affair and she sure would have been in the state far more than her one time in December when she attended her own book signing in the Hawkeye State.
No matter what though, when you consider the fact that Palin is so popular that just about every Republican organization would want to use her to attract money intheir war chests with, signals that if Palin wants to run, in Iowa she will be the one beat.
- Palin returns to Iowa for GOP’s biggest fundraiser (sfgate.com)
- Palin to Headline Ronald Reagan Dinner in Iowa (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Sarah Palin to Iowa in September — a Hint About 2012? (politicsdaily.com)
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