Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Can Palin Win the 2012 GOP Nomination?

The ongoing Sarah Palin drama is almost as bad the media extravaganza for the Michael Jackson memorial (here)!

So what to make of Dan Riehl's latest essay, "Why It's Time To Move Beyond Sarah Palin"?

As a Palin fan, I wanted to re-visit this John Fund piece I previously linked after taking some time to consider the implications of what appears to be a thoughtful, balanced and fair analysis surrounding Palin's recent resignation. Given the facts, it is all but impossible to see her as a viable presidential contender in the near term. And we need a good one in 2012 in the face of Obama's ever growing agenda ....

I believe she is a fine person with much to give to and do for America and conservatism. But I hope it isn't about running for president in 2012. I simply can't judge her ready for that given everything we've seen. I wish it were possible to reach a different conslusion. Unfortunately, right now I can't.

My position all along has been that Palin will be the odds-on frontrunner in 2016, assuming that Barack Obama is reelected to a second term.

Yet, as
Chris Cillizza laid out recently, all signs are pointing to a Palin candidacy in 2012. She's the "it girl" of American politics. She continues to have a huge block of support among the conservative base of the Republican Party. But even more importantly, from Gallup's new survey: "The poll finds 70% saying their opinion of Palin has not changed as a result of her resignation" (via Memeorandum).

That's big, and it's still two and a half years before the first caucuses and primaries. Pamela Geller is pumped, "PALIN LEADS POLLS! The Coming of the Second American Revolution." And as Jennifer Rubin notes, "If the Alaska governor can learn the hard lessons of the last few months, her career may not be over."

In fact, contrary to Dan Riehl's fears, the decisions surrounding Palin's resignation may eventually be less important than how well she positions herself for a run in the primaries. Palin's two biggest goals can be summed up thus: Iowa and New Hampshire. Politically, Palin needs money. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama raised $100 million in 2007, the year leading into the primaries. The "entry fee" for the 2012 primaries will probably be twice that.

A good early indicator of Palin's donor power will be in how quickly she retires the $500,000 in legal bills she racked up defending against ethics charges. After that, let's see how well she performs in the money race. Readers should check this long comment at Conservatives for Sarah Palin, from March of this year, speculating on a Palin 2012 run for the nomination. The main suggestion at that time? Decline a second term as Alaska's governor, then, build a massive war chest for 2012:

... I believe that Sarah Palin should not run for re-election if she means to pursue the presidency in 2012.

Folks, $100m is a lot of money. I believe that SarahPAC can raise that kind of money or even more by November 2010. SarahPAC has the potential to match the $749m that Obama raised for his entire 2008 campaign.

I have no doubt that Palin can raise the $100 million, and with $200 million she'll deter a number of other second-tier candidates from throwing their hats in the ring.

But what else? If she'll have popular support, and money, what else does Sarah Palin need? Well, as Fred Barnes noted yesterday, Palin is awash in charisma and magnetism, but she needs "experience in office and enough knowledge of foreign and domestic issues to talk about them persuasively." For 2012, she's going to have to (1) develop a compelling narrative for her campaign that also works to mute criticism of her early departure from office, and (2) build up a substantial base of policy knowledge.

These are large tasks, but not insurmountable. As for the narrative, Palin should form a campaign organization right away. Someone remind her (or her advisors) that President Bill Clinton ran an effective ad campaign against the GOP in June 1995 (pushing for an assault weapons ban). And in November 1995, Clinton hammered Republicans on "Medicare and Medicaid, education, and the environment." Since Clinton, as the incumbent president, was assured the Democratic nomination, the practical effect was that the 1996 general election campaign began in the summer of 1995.

On policy knowledge, Palin needs to write her tell-all book from the 2008 campaign. She'll need to begin a wonkish speaking tour on her specialties of energy, the environment, and free-market economics. On foreign policy, she'll help herself with travel and by gaining the advice and consent of top experts in foreign relations.

But most of all, she cannot continue to be dragged into the vindictive politics of personal destruction. After she leaves office at the end of this month, she'll need to recede from the media glare on start amassing her campaing war chest. The expertise will come in time, although as much as I love her, my hunch in that she wouldn't be damaged politically be skipping the 2012 election cycle. That situtation is looking increasingly unlikely (IMHO) so she'll need to fire up some version of the strategic plan I've laid out here.

17 comments:

LeMonton said...

dream on dude, dream on

Anonymous said...

I love the girl. her character is beyond question.

is she the best the gop has?
god, i hope not.

still, I look at barack, and tend to figure she would have an infinitely better understanding of the economy than he.

so 2012...
replace a guy who wasn't up to speed, with conservative who isn't up to speed? I concede, on many issues, the same could have been said of w.

Still, if you put obama, w, and palin in a room to study capitals of the world, palin would be done before obama could finish his second cigarette. Don't know who would finish second, but I wouldn't bet on the guy who doesn't know how many states there are.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Douglas: OK, time for a public service announcement:

All you big Palin fans have a chance to help her by going to the Alaska Trust Fund This is a fund set up to repay Palin's fees for fighting the phony ethics charges against her. The site has an instructive FAQ, but briefly:

1. Donors must be American citizens, no foreigners, nor corporations, labor unions, or PACS.
2. Donations are not tax deductible.
2. Limit on donations: $150 per person.
3. Donations can not be used for political campaigning, but only to defray legal costs of fighting the phony ethics charges.
4. Should the fund have money left over when the suits are dismissed, the fund trustee, Kristan Cole, will choose a charity (501c(3)) to donate the surplus.
5. SP will not benefit from this fund, except by having her legal costs reimbursed.

What are all you Palinistas waiting for? Just because she's going to resign doesn't mean the legal bills stop. Hardly. They will drag on for some time.

That said, it is silly to imagine SP as nominee, ever. I shriek at what you take so lightly, viz, SP being the 2016 nominee, thereby implying that The One will be Prez for 7.5 more years. Good God! Should he be canned in 2012, it will be by a GOPer. If SP decides to pay back the villainous GOP establishment, the squamous Frums, Brooks's, and any McCain 2008 staffer, by starting a splinter party, she'll condemn herself and the nation to failure. It is one thing to back Congressional and state candidates in 2010 as "Tea Party" Republicans who are bent on shrinking government. It is another to start a new party. SP is no Theodore Roosevelt, the man who came closest to success in starting a new party, and fell miles short.

As for the polls a) the polls in the spring of 1991 said GHW Bush, the fresh victor of Gulf War I was invincible. Two years later Billyboy was in office. The country is still paying for that episode, and b) in the summer of 2007, the polls said McCain was dead and being carried into the dissecting chamber of the morgue. Two years later we are still paying for THAT episode, not least because McC offered SP the #2 slot in a bad year, propelling her out onto the stage at a bad time, and giving her far more grief than what needed to be. I can't see SP running for governor again and winning. Move to another state? Same problems as running in Alaska, with the carpetbagger issue added. Run for the Alaska Senate seat in 2010? Possible, if you want to destroy SP. The Senate does not take kindly to ambitious frosh Senators with big followings. The One got away with it because of his skin color and a worshipful press, and having the establishment tickets. SP has none of these qualities, and the press would be after her all the time. More, what could the Senate offer her? SP is executive, the Senate is legislative. To be sure, the Senate is the greatest graduate school in the world, particularly in foreign affairs, but the Senate establishment, GOP and Democrat, aren't about to bow down to SP's requests. To the contrary, they will be busy painting bull's eyes on every square inch of her clothing.

I reiterate that SP is done electorally, though she still may have a role nationally. Such a role means abandoning Alaska, giving up a sizable hunk of her base. Let her stumble, and even that role will be gone e.g. the candidates she backs in 2010 go down in flames. It's tough being The Woman Who Might Have Been, but I don't see SP as any more than that. That's a shame. The nation will pay a price for that.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

JBW said...

Good God, don't you people have anything else? Did the man say that there were 57 states several times, or even more than once?

Look, I'm willing to concede that Palin doesn't actually think that Africa is a country and that she just misspoke during debate practice. Can't you guys honestly do the same or do your partisan leanings go so deep that they preclude acknowledging actual intelligence?

And just to be brutally honest: Imagine putting all three of them on stage for "Political Celebrity Jeopardy" and watching the results. Now I'm not saying that Obama is a certified genius (I think I could take him thusly) but I'd put good money on his black ass in that contest. Koster's protestations aside, any takers?

Black Redneck said...

he has an uphill battle but she has a good start- star power and a loyal base. She has 3 years to build the rest. I love when the "smart" guys start rambling about Jindal, Pawlenty, Romney. The first two most voters don't know and Romney failed to connect. They all start behind Palin.

I also find it interesting that people are so quick to relegate Palin to the scullery maid position. She's not good enough to be president but she can work hard, use her charisma and star power to raise money for others unknown. If these unknown candidates are so much better than Palin, what do they need her for? So the "smart" decision would be for Palin to work her butt off for the same GOP that continues to trash her anonymously. She gets nothing but the "honor" of helping more deserving republicans elected to office. Wow, she'd have to be as stupid as the leftards claim she is to take that deal.

smitty1e said...

The chief systemic flaws I perceive in arguments against Sarah in 2012 are an under-appreciation of technology and an over-confidence in Obama.
Under Appreciation
While BHO got there the "fuhstest with the mostest" using the internet during the '08, the internet is going to continue to level the playing field.
It is also going to make every month seem a full quarter. Barely six months into this administration, I'm more deeply in tune with its domestic and foreign policy disasters than any previous generation.
Over Confidence
I, for one, hope we "enjoy" a full four years of this "instruction", as I don't think anything other than extended pain is going to break the rose-colored glasses of the utopian nitwits that voted for the good POTUS.

Is Sara Palin "packin' the gear"? I think so. In another year, I expect we shall have seen an American Margaret Thatcher come into bloom.
The napalm shower granted by the left, too, is a feature. As she weathers that, sharpens her (hopefully straight-stick Constitutional, screw the Progressive crap) policies, I foresee an American rebirth. Of the Left: ODERINT DUM METUANT.

EDGE said...

Palin's GOP nominations really depends on Obama. Just how bad off will America be in 2010 or 2012 remains to be seen (Personally I don't think we've seen anything yet).

Can the GOP win back the House and Senate in 2010? And if so, what will they do for the next two years after that? These are the questions I've been asking.

Anonymous said...

"Good God, don't you people have anything else? Did the man say that there were 57 states several times, or even more than once?"

ok...how does one NOT know what a P/E ration is?

obama not saying it more than once...even I think he can be corrected after a mistake. The p/e ratio is common knowledge for people who follow their money. Since he has had no need to follow his money, I'll excuse his ignorance, but question his basic understanding of business.

I'm not of the "Palin is a genius school", but there is NOTHING that has been offered to demonstrate obama's intelligence.

If they can prepackage a presidncy to make the guy look smart, the task should be equivalently as easy for palin.

To answer your question edge:
the gop has a solid chance of winning the house back. The senate? gop might squeak out a +3, but they won't get near the majority.

If they did win the senate, it would be a product of how bad the dems were doing, and not palin supporters.

Anonymous said...

one other point jbw,

have you noticed how many press conferences obama has held? scritped prearanged questions.

town halls? scripted and prearranged, with questions coming EXCLUSIVELY from loyalists. It would be as if bush was ONLY answering questions from Jeff Gannon.

when the wh rolls out a teleprompter, which is combination of hi-tech, and low visiblity,
it would seem that an emphasis has been made on keeping obama tethered.

beyond 57 states?

"net spending cut"/3rd debate. even the media didn't take him seriously on this. He said it, and was either lying or didn't know what he was talking about, or he believed his debate preppers.

which of the three causes is the least innocuous?

it doesn't matter, becuase any of the three defenses provide that he had no idea what he was talking about/or he is a liar.

sharprightturn said...

What is great about Sarah Palin is she is playing by her own rules....I get sick of hearing talking heads on both sides of the aisle nitpick every move Sarah Palin makes and compare it to something that was done 20 years....tactically speaking.
Perhaps a fresh perspective is in order?

Also, in so much commentary and the comments here, people are assuming the status quo on what is needed in Washington.

Sure, intelligence is required and Sarah Palin is smart.
What is really needed in 2010 and 2012 are people who understand conservatism, our Constitution, honesty, integrity, and connection with average Americans. Also needed is courage, new perspective, and willingness to risk it all for the doing the right thing for America.

Sarah Palin is currently ALL of those things.

Perhaps we should embrace a little of the REAL "change" in Washington.

Bring her on!

Anonymous said...

Dear JBW: Good heavens. You are putting "good money on his black ass" thereby proving what we've said all along: The One is a whore. Now we know who the pimp is...

To anonymous's catalog of The One's idiocies, let me add The One's assertion that his grampa helped liberate the Nazi death camps that were in the Soviet zone. So far as letting bygones be bygones, you can't deliver the press, which is too busy repeating Andrew Sullivan's slurs about Trig Palin's birth to do any checking about The One's fables.

Get with it Mac! The presidency is hardly about "Political Celebrity Jeopardy" The One may know the names of all the attaches in every embassy in the world (largely because they contributed money to his campaign under the name "John F. Kennedy") What's his vision for the nation?:

a) Spend like water while bawling that it's all Geo. W's fault
b) decline to "interfere" in the internal affairs of other nations unless i) it's Israel or ii)butt buddy Hugo sez, get rid of Honduras for me Barry
c) cut missile defense budgets while shrieking that a full response will be made to North Korea when it fires missiles in Hawaii's direction. This is The One's clever scheme to pay back all those who didn't grovel to him in his stoner days in Hawaii.
d) claim to be open and transparent even while signing your tax cheating henchmen up for sponsored "salons" for closed-to-the-public off-the-record dinners.

There's lots more where that came from. You want a winner of Political Jeopardy? You can have Jimmy Carter. We're still paying for his imbecilities.

Smitty, smitty, your assertion that SP is going to be a new version of Margaret Thatcher is grotesque. If there was one thing MT had, it was persistence under fire. SP's resignation has called that very quality into question. Unlike SP, MT was a genuine pioneer. She took a lot of savage beatings from a hostile press as the 1978-79 "hoarding" scandal showed. The press showed itself just as willing to manufacture lies about MT as Sullivan does about SP. MT came through. She won the 1979 election. Then she faced an even more hostile press and Tory party in 1980-82, when her policies were hurting but had not had time to heal. You may be right about SP's future, but the odds, based on her conduct so far, are hugely against you. Be careful, or JBW will take his hand off black asses and try to bet with you.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

Robohobo said...

It is time to
"Throw The Bums Out In 2010 & 2012 - Reboot Congress"

Vote against the incumbent. It is long past time that we get rid of the professional politicians and replace them with citizen public servants. Get term limits for Congress passed NOW! The professional political DC elite are the ones who have gotten the country in this mess of BOTH parties.

Perhaps, and I hope it comes to pass, Sarah Palin will be the spark that ignites a new political party in the US. One based on time honored small government conservatism, libertarian principles and true classical liberalism.

Tim said...

One thing we can count on if Palin ever did become president is that she will quit mid-term. So, that means whoever is her VP is the one we on the left have to be weary of!

Palin will be a half-termer.

(I sincerely believe that a) she won't run and b) America is not that dumb. Only one of these has to be true.)

Darrell said...

Great Article Donald. I have always thought the biggest problem that Sarah Palin had was the perception that she was nominated by John McCain because of her gender. The fact that McCain only met her once prior to her being named VP candidate lends credence to that perception. If she indeed does have intentions on the 2012 campaign she will still have to overcome those perceptions from 2008. The best thing for her and the GOP would be a long and strong list of candidates... That is the only way that she can demonstrate that she is indeed the best person to lead the GOP back to where it belongs.

smitty1e said...

@Tim:
Your option b) is certainly proven false by the last election, but not in diamonds, hearts, or clubs.

Stogie said...

Can Palin win the 2012 or 2016 nomination isn't at all certain. Three and a half years, not mention seven and a half, is an eternity in politics. Many things can happen, including the emergence of a new and fresher face (perhaps Jim DeMint). People like new faces, it seems.

It's not impossible. Nixon came back after everyone thought he was through; so did John McCain. Palin will have to work hard for the GOP, give speeches, lead rallies, write articles and show herself to be knowledgeable and a leader. She will have to build a large war chest and a strong supporting organization.

It's difficult but not impossible. Still, you can't predict 2012 based on today's polls. Too many things can change.

Tim said...

Nixon, Reagan, McCain all came back, sure...but none of them came back from the brink of being perceived as as a complete fracking idiot. I personally don't care about gender or race or anything else for that matter. Just no more cult-of-the- idiot in the White House again, please.