COMMENTARY | Former Alaska governor and most undecided nonpresidential candidate ever Sarah Palin said she was "game" to a future political office run on Fox Business -- and started a firestorm of speculation about brokered conventions and her possible role in making the Republican Party a strong presidential contender in 2012. Some have pushed the idea of her taking the vice presidential slot again. But speculation aside, when did Palin become the Republican Party's idea of the cavalry?
Palin said she would help America any way she could. If it meant "running for office at some point in the future, I'm game," she said.
Bernie Quigley at The Hill offered a possible Palin nomination at the Republican National Convention to offset a possible Jeb Bush nomination. He makes it sound like an East vs. West, establishment vs. mavericks kind of matchup.
The problem with a Palin/Rick Perry ticket (Quigley's dream team) is that it would appeal to few independent voters, something seen as necessary to win in November. A moderate Republican/very conservative Republican might form a better duo, thus allowing a place for Palin in either slot -- but most likely the vice presidential berth.
Even Newt Gingrich floated the idea in December that choosing Palin was within his consideration parameters.
But is that what the Republican Party needs? Will the four remaining presidential candidates be so desperate for a base infusion by the time of the RNC in Tampa, Fla., in August in August that it will consider such a polarizing force as their running mate?
Will the candidates have shredded each other in debates and political ads to the point they won't consider their fellow contenders as vice presidential choices -- or entertain the idea for themselves? And given Palin's ultra-conservative positions, how strategically viable would she be as the running mate of, say, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich? Would that then place the ticket too far right for electability in the general election?
Then there's Mitt Romney. How would Palin's record (half-term governor, ethics violator, reality show host, hard right polarizer) help him in reaching the presidency? Would she not hurt his chances more than help?
Actually, could that not be asked of any of the candidates should they secure enough delegates to win nomination in August?
So how is it Palin is seen as some sort of rescuing force by some in the Republican Party?
The short answer is: She isn't. Well, perhaps in her own mind (and in the minds of her avid supporters). Sure, the governor who quit in her third year governing America's largest state by area to engage in more lucrative pursuits is popular -- even powerful -- among the conservative base. But her draw is almost completely far-right conservatives. Polls indicated throughout the early campaign months that she should not run for president, so why would vice president -- the heartbeat-away position -- be seen as that much different?
If Republicans find their current crop of candidates is lacking (and it is apparent they do), Palin isn't the cavalry that will save the day -- no matter how much her true believer supporters tout her and how much she says she wants to help America. She's what happens politically when you don't pay attention to all the warning signs and let her lead (or co-lead).
More like the 7th Cavalry at the Little Bighorn.
- Sarah Palin
- the Republican Party