What Will It Mean To The Existing Field?
What Role Will She Play?
On Tuesday it was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who dispelled any rumors about his running for President and now on Wednesday, in what can only be called a week that finally allowed the Republican presidential nomination process to focus on the real, not the imagined candidates, former Alaska Governor and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin put an an end to speculation about her own run for President.
She revealed her decision on Mark Levin’s popular radio talk show. You can listen to the entire interview here.
In an open letter on her SarahPAC website, Governor Palin tells supporters that she decided not to run because she feels that she can be more effective in playing a decisive role in the election of others who defend the conservative values that she has come to represent. She also promised to;
“continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets, including in the race for President where our candidates must embrace immediate action toward energy independence through domestic resource developments of conventional energy sources, along with renewables. We must reduce tax burdens and onerous regulations that kill American industry, and our candidates must always push to minimize government to strengthen the economy and allow the private sector to create jobs.”
Palin’s announcement now forces a fickle Republican electorate to choose from among the existing field of assembled candidates. As of yesterday, a Quinnipiac poll of Republican primary voters indicated that Mitt Romney had a majority of support, while Herman Cain was
quickly rising and Texas Governor Rick Perry was dropping fast. The next important name and number to appear in the poll was Sarah Palin, who before the news that she was not running, came in fourth place with with 9%.
(Numbers in parentheses indicate previous poll results)
- Romney – 22% (18)
- Cain – 17% (5)
- Perry – 14% (24)
- Palin – 9% (11)
- Gingrich – 8% (3)
- Paul – 6% (9)
- Bachmann – 3% (10)
- Santorum – 3% (1)
- Huntsman – 1% (1)
Now, combining the significant number of Republican voters hoping Palin would run with the existing 17% who are already undecided, the total percentage of the G.O.P. electorate that is up for grabs is 26% or more than 1/4th of the G.O.P. electorate.
This in many ways keeps this a wide open race. That is especially the case considering that many more voters who have stated support for one candidate or another have also indicated that their support is soft, and can easily be won over by one of the other Republicans in the field.
At the moment, it looks like the name that has the most to gain from Palin’s announcement is Herman Cain. As indicated in a WH12 post by IkeFriday, Palin’s social conservative and TEA movement support is now likely to go Cain’s way. Palin’s announcement that she is not running happened at the most opportune time for Cain. With the tide shifting his way ever since the Florida Straw Poll, the voters left hanging by Palin can easily be swept up in that tide.
As for Palin herself, her decision was most definitely the right one for her. Palin has been thriving as a cheerleader for the anti-establishment wing of the conservative electorate. She has raised and made money and advanced the cause. By keeping herself out of the race, she allows herself to remain a force to contend with. As we have seen with Rick Perry and others, once one becomes a candidate, maintaining their superstar image is much harder to do. Palin though has the opportunity to keep her star burning brighter for another day.
Meanwhile, much of Palin’s fan base is still trying to digest the decision and absorb what obvious disappointment they feel. While many of the pro-Palin websites and blogs have not yet even released statements, one leading site, Conservatives 4 Palin, did have a post from Adrienne Ross who wrote;
“The Governor Palin I have supported these past three years, the one I’ve been privileged to come to know, is indeed the real deal, and so for tonight I will leave it at this: I continue to stand with Governor Palin.”
While many Palin supporters will undoubtedly be disappointed with the decision, it does not look like they will be disappointed by her. As such, her role in the 2012 election could be critical to who the G.O.P. nominates. But Palin supporters can not give up the hope that we can win back the White House and to do so with a candidate who represents all the values which Sarah does. Depressed Palin supporters must now engage the existing candidates. They must make sure that all the candidates are talking the issues we want and proposing the solutions we want. If we aggressively engage them in such a way, they will have no choice to be run on our agenda. And once they are there, we will have the opportunity to decide which one can advance our values and our cause successfully. That is what elections are for. Now that we know we have no more players in the game, we must play with the hand we have been dealt. It is time for voters to stop focussing on who it could have been and start focussing on who it will be.
With only three months to go before the primaries and caucuses begin in earnest, there is much to be done by both the candidates and the voters. The candidates now have no reason to hold back any strategies that would have been used if Christie or Palin ran. They are now free to run their campaigns based on what we know, not what we don’t know. In other words, it is time for the candidates to start acting presidential. Now we need the Republican candidates to show the nation that beyond being the Party of limited government, we are also the Party of ideas. And our candidates must begin to release bold new ideas to solve our old problems. The candidate that can do that, will give the anti-establishment and TEA movement wings of the G.O.P., a reason for them to at least be willing to look at the candidacies of others such as Romney, Santorum and Gingrich.
Now that the Barnum & Bailey’s Three Ring Circus of candidates has closed up the tent, and last two candidates have pulled out of that mini sized clown car that was crowded with as many as 12 or more other candidates , we can get to business. The real business, not this business of waiting on someone to get fired up for the job, or have a need to kiss The Donald’s ring. Now is the time for each candidate to prove they have solid plans for expanding our economy by unleashing the free market and reining in big government. We need candidates who will offer plans that seek to cut spending, reform government, and do away with the arcane American tax system that is turning our nation into a consumer economy that buys from outside of our borders and sells very little outside of borders.
In addition to a leader who will unleash the American entrepreneurial spirit, one who will be a world leader. A leader who can take back the title of leader of the free world from the man who has held it since 2009, It was in September of 2009 that both President Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Uniter Nations. After those two speeches, it became clear that Netanyahu was the true free leader of the world, not our American President. In light of that, our nation requires a firm hand, articulate mouth, and open ear. They will need that articulate mouth to make clear what is right and what is wrong, who are friends, who are foes, and how we can all try to all come be friends. They need ears that will listen to the responses to such dialogue and when necessary, use their firm hand to slap down those who seek to abridge the rights of others and jeopardize the lives of the innocent. We need a clear American foreign policy that starts at securing our international borders and then stands side by side with our friends in Canada, Israel, Great Britain, Spain, Italy,Poland, Australia, and many other true allies of peace.
Truth be told, if given the chance, anyone of a number of existing candidates have the capacity to be such leaders. There’s Perry, Romney, Gingrich, Cain, Santorum and possibly even Michele Bachmann. We just need to give them a chance. All of them.
Important at this juncture though is Sarah Palin. While Mitt Romney has been a soft but steady frontrunner for the nomination, his appeal among TEA movement and anti-establishment types, has been dismal. It has been a major reason for his inability to cinch the nomination as early as he could have. TEA movement voters are too leery of Romney for what they see as an indication of a big government mentality demonstrated by his creation and passage of RomneyCare in Massachusetts. If Sarah Palin happened to throw her support behind Mitt, she could help him at least break the ice with those voters. If not, Herman Cain could go much further than many expect.
No matter what, the first week of October, 2011 will become the official start of the presidential election. We now know who we have to choose from and it it is time for all of us to focus on the big picture here. Do the candidates want to play it safe so that they can simply sail on by and defeat a badly wounded President Obama? Or is there a candidate who is willing to step forward with bold changes and bold visions and take risks, thereby demonstrating that if elected, they will be more than just some caretaker of the White House. No, they must prove themselves to be a leader who reforms government, restores power to the states, get our fiscal house in order, and ensure our national security and doesn’t do business as usual.
Many of us Palin supporters believe that Sarah would have been that bold leader, but with her out, the mantle seems to be passing in to the hands of Herman Cain. The only way for Mitt Romney to prevent that from happening is if he starts thinking outside of the Washington, D.C. political box he lives in and demonstrates that instead of playing by the rules of the old political game, he intends to rewrite them and to do so in every way from our tax code, to the way Washington does business.
In the meantime, each of the declared candidates have better be on their A games. For with Sarah Palin and Chris Christie out there as free agents, none of the candidates’ running for the nomination can afford to be on the wrong side of their endorsements.
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