If you listen to the Beltway pundits, anyone who isn’t a sure thing shouldn’t run for president.
By this same ridiculous logic, we should do away with March Madness, the Super Bowl, and all athletic competition. Just take a poll, and the team experts agree is the “best” prior to the playoffs will be crowned champion – without all the hassle of actually competing. It’s a time saver, would you not agree? (Of course, the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers would never have made the cut given they were a wild card team that didn’t even win their own division.)
So, Palin is now polling at 13% among “registered” Republican voters, and she has lost too much support to ever consider a presidential bid, right?
If you ask me, the fact Palin has any support at all is a miracle given the slander and libel she’s endured the last two and a half years, growing even more nasty in anticpation of her presidential bid. (We’re now eagerly waiting for the Blamestream Media to start accusing her of inspiring today’s terrorist bombing in Jerusalem.) The fact she is still routinely in the top two or three in contention for the GOP nomination is nothing short of heroic. How many people who are falsely accused of inspiring mass murder can claim to be within striking distance of perennial sure thing Mitt Romney?
And the thing about the Beltway, their pre-ordination rules really only apply to Sarah Palin, don’t ya know? Tim Pawlenty consistently polls poorly but hardly anyone bothers to write scathing articles about his so-called lack of qualifications or his impossible chances of becoming president.
Moreover, this selective belittling of Palin and her potential candidacy strikes me as singularly unjust. To single out the only viable woman on the GOP side and openly discourage her from running for president is deplorable. The only other female GOP candidate in recent presidential history, Elizabeth Dole, would have killed to be at 13% of the GOP electorate prior to the 2000 primary. I don’t recall anyone discouraging Elizabeth from running for president, do you?
If the GOP wants to continue to alienate open-minded women, then by all means, purge Palin from the ranks. Relegate her to cheerleader at your peril. There’s a reason the GOP has routinely trailed the Democrats in female support. In 2010, they pulled even (49-49), thanks to a record number of conservative women candidates, inspired by and supported by Sarah Palin. The GOP has an opportunity to shatter the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America, deal a death blow to the Democrats’ claims of being the party for women … or they can blow it, and women who might have “Gone Republican” in 2012 will be happy to sit on the sidelines.
The truth is, the sure thing is never the sure thing … it only looks that way in hindsight. That’s why we have a primary season – to separate the contenders from the pretenders.
I’ll leave you with this excellent write-up about Reagan’s difficult path to the presidency by Lance Anderson at the Low Down Central blog: (h/t HernetheHunter)
In hindsight, all victories look inevitable. But for the participants, it is much more as the Duke of Wellington described his triumph over Napoleon at Waterloo: “the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.” The truth is that no one can foretell the outcome of any contest. Yet many pretend prognosticators, who would gladly have us believe that Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980 was preordained, are already telling us that Sarah Palin is unelectable in 2012. Such revisionism and fortune-telling are mutually refuting.
Ronald Reagan challenged Republican President Gerald Ford for the GOP nomination in 1976 and lost. Ford subsequently lost to Carter, who was the Democrat in the oval office in 1980. Reagan was a favorite of conservatives, but his nomination was far from certain.
The mainstream media, which operated in 1980 without the counterbalancing conservative views of Fox News and talk radio, portrayed Reagan as too simplistic and too extreme for the presidency. New Republic called him “an ignoramus, a conscious and persistent falsifier of fact, a deceiver of the electorate.” Atlantic Monthly dismissed him as a “casting office Goldwater.” The New Yorker predicted that if “Reagan is the Republican nominee, the election of a Democrat is certain.” These same condemnations have been applied to Palin since her debut on the national scene.
The point is that at no time was the nomination of Ronald Reagan certain. In fact, a more common theme, even as Reagan won primary after primary, was the impossibility of a Reagan presidency. This view was held by the media, the opposition, and many in his own party.
Sarah Palin faces the same doubts and predictions of failure. Like Reagan, she is plainspoken and unapologetic in her beliefs–American exceptionalism, energy independence, traditional morals and individual freedom. She has also been called too simplistic and too extreme, and in terms much harsher than those applied to Ronald Reagan. But she has not wavered in her principles, and her positions which seemed extreme at first–opposing Obamacare, tapping America’s energy resources, keeping faith with our allies and standing up to our enemies–resonate with an increasing number of Americans.
Ronald Reagan’s election and eight year presidency altered the direction and fate of this country in profound ways no one could have predicted. Sarah Palin has at least the potential to do the same. Those who dismiss or discount her have either forgotten their history, or wish they could.
Read the whole piece, it’s a good reminder that the only way to win is to run.
And lest we forget, Reagan didn’t declare until November 13th, lost Iowa, was declared “dead” and still won the nomination. Amazing, huh?