Sarah Palin did not announce whether she would enter the 2012 presidential contest in a fiery and substantive speech in Iowa on Saturday, but she did make three more significant announcements that, in the long run, will potentially be more important than a potential future announcement date.
First, as part of a five point plan to revive America’s economy, Palin called for the elimination of the federal corporate income tax as a way to “break the back of crony capitalism.” Her reasons for eliminating the federal corporate income tax, though, were more important than the actual proposal because it was a way in which she drew a line to differentiate herself from not only President Barack Obama, but nearly every other GOP presidential candidate, most notably Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Second, on the three year anniversary of her vice presidential acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in 2008 when Palin, a reform minded governor who had record approval ratings, invigorated the flailing McCain campaign, Palin cast herself squarely as the anti-McCain. Palin said that she could not understand why some people referred to Tea Partiers as “hobbits,” a clear reference to McCain’s remarks that denigrated a political movement his critics claim he shamelessly, like a typical politician, used to get re-elected only to turn his back on it once he got back to his familiar Washington trappings. Palin has written on her Facebook page that America needs a “do-over” in 2012, and her speech gave more fuel to the thought that Palin believes America should get a 2008 rematch against President Obama with her name on top of the Republican ticket.
Third, her speech was significant because, should she choose to enter the presidential race, it put forth a skillfully crafted blueprint that would allow her to seamlessly run a primary and general election campaign at the same time, much like what then candidate Obama did against Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush during the 2008 election cycle.