A Palin Presidential Play? Pundits Ponder

There is one surefire way to get the ‘gotcha’ media to come running if you are a former losing vice-presidential candidate, have Jeff Jorgensen say you are running for president. Whats that? Who’s Jeff Jorgensen? Why he is only the single most important member of the Republican party in Pottawattamie County, Iowa. He has no ties with the Palin camp, but this did not stop the New York Times from running his quote as proof she is gearing up to run. When asked if the former half-governor was running he responded, “All indications are that she will be in – her supporters have an intuition about it.”

This quote was enough to set off a firestorm of media attention speculating a run. Here is why she isn’t running anytime soon.

Sarah Palin has a 3 year contract with Fox News worth $1 million a year that was signed in January 2010, so Sarah is under contract at Fox News until 2013. Other GOP hopefuls, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, had their contracts with Fox News suspended by the network for expressing their interest in running for president in March of this year. In contrast with that move, Executive V.P. of programming Bill Shine said last week in response to her upcoming bus tour, “We are not changing Sarah Palin’s status.” Clearly the network knows something we do not. Executive vice president of legal and business affairs, Dianne Brandi, told the L.A. Times regarding Palin, “She has not shown a serious intention to form an exploratory committee,” and stated that when Palin did show serious interest, “the network would take the same action,” as they did with Gingrich and Santorum. Absence of any action on the networks part clearly demonstrates at this point there is no serious attempt by Palin to form an exploratory committee and thus a run for the presidency.

Another indicator that points to Sarah not running, is the lack of planning and organizing in primary states. States like Iowa and South Carolina are two states that Palin would figure to have broad support from Tea party members. One South Carolina Strategist said, “There has been zero outreach, zero effort.” In the same article an unnamed Iowa operative said Palin, “was not doing any outreach there and if there was any it was completely under the radar and without the typical activists crowd.” According to The Daily Caller’s Alex Pappa, “Palin does not have any campaign infrastructure of staff in place in the early primary states.” This does not resemble a well oiled campaign machine needed to win a primary battle. Palin has not even visited Iowa or South Carolina in 2011.

The decision of Michele Bachmann in June will have some affect on any decision Palin makes to run. Bachmann founded the Tea party caucus in the House of Representatives and gave the Tea party response to the State of The Union address this year. With Bachmann in the race, this would take away some of the support for Palin and make a late entry into the race difficult to win.

If Palin were to run, she would be entering a hostile race for the Republican nomination. Just ask Mitt Romney. She would most certainly be attacked for her role in raising taxes on oil companies while Alaska was running a budget surplus. According to Bloomberg reporter Alison Fitzgerald, “Palin proposed the tax increase September 4, 2007 and called a special session to pass it.” Her tax raising position would be exploited by opponents seeking to discredit the former Alaska Governor as a true conservative. Opponents could use her resignation from office half way through her term to pursue lucrative book deals and television contracts instead of fulfilling her contract with voters, as a reason she is not fit for the nomination. This certainly would have a negative affect on the Palin brand she has built since her failed v.p. run in 2008 which would translate into less appeal and thus less money for speaking engagements and business deals.

Did we learn nothing during the Donald Trump media infatuation a few months ago? This current coverage seems a bit like deja vu with a different star. Palin has many reasons to avoid becoming a candidate, but she can still play an important role during primary season. Republican candidates would certainly welcome a Palin endorsement during the primary season as they know her fans are loyal and this would bring some success in early primary states.

Palin could play a significant role in determining the GOP nominee and this has some of the party elite nervous. I for one would like to see Palin take the reigns of history and direct them toward a more lasting change. One that slays the two-party monopoly that currently engulfs our political system. Her star power may just be enough to bring about a third party should she choose to go that route. She could forever be the individual that brings an end to an inefficient system of two party divisive politics and change our system for the better, but for her to do that she would actually have to get in the game. At this point, all signs point to her remaining a sought after endorsement and not an actual player.

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