The Republican presidential field for 2012 is beginning to take shape in a period of intensive upheaval set off by the rise of the Tea Party movement, expanding the roster of potential candidates but presenting a more complicated road to the nomination.Watch Palin's speech, c/o Right Scoop:
The opportunities and pitfalls were on full display Friday — in some ways a kickoff to the Republican contest — as no fewer than six possible contenders made appearances in Washington and, in one especially closely watched case, here in Iowa, the first stop on the path to the White House. At least as many more Republicans already are taking steps to test candidacies of their own.
At a gathering of conservative activists in the capital, Mitt Romney hewed closely to the issues of small government and low taxes that have driven Tea Party activists this year, suggesting the Obama administration’s economic policies are “one reason they will serve only one term.” Mr. Romney, who has assiduously courted conservative support since his unsuccessful campaign in 2008, mocked those who once declared Republicans an “endangered species.”
But the political spotlight on Friday truly belonged to former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, whose keynote speech at the party’s annual Ronald Reagan dinner here set off a new round of “will-she-won’t-she” speculation that has made it hard for other potential candidates to find their place in the growing field.
She was coy about her intentions, jokingly recalling that her husband, Todd, urged her to skip an afternoon jog to avoid headlines like, “Palin in Iowa, decides to run.” She did not mention her political future, but delivered a sharp critique of party leaders who have been skeptical of some winning Tea Party candidates.
“We can’t blow it, G.O.P., but we won’t wait for that political playbook to be handed to us from on high from the political elites. We won’t do that,” Ms. Palin said, speaking over applause. She added, “It may take some renegades to get us there. It may take folks shaping things up to get us there.”
Friday, September 17, 2010
At New York Times:
RELATED: At Big Government, "Dem Congresswoman’s Supporters Participate in ‘Palin-As-Hitler’ Rally" (via Memeorandum).