Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

Josh Painter: Did Team Palin Uncover an October Surprise in September?

Our friend Josh Painter over at Texans for Sarah Palin has written an excellent piece today speculating on what might have changed Gov. Palin’s mind about a run. He lays out a good case given all the facts we know about her serious deliberations into a presidential run.

[…] Gov. Palin announced on October 5 that she had decided not to run for president … The words "at this time" from her official statement have been cited by some of her supporters as a clue that Sarah Palin, her family and her close advisors saw some new wrinkle in the political landscape that may have caused her to postpone her run, perhaps until 2016 or 2020.

You do not produce quality campaign ads like "One Nation" and "Together" simply to raise money for your leadership PAC or to build your image for public relations purposes. You don’t cancel the southern leg of a bus tour that was to have included the early primary state of South Carolina because of family considerations, either. You don’t have your lawyers make calls to early primary states to verify presidential filing deadlines unless you are still seriously considering a run. Likewise, you don’t convene a round table with your closest advisors to map out strategy for a presidential run, unconventional as it may have been, if your aim is just to string people along.

No, something happened. We think Gov. Palin and her advisors sensed "a great disturbance" in the political force, probably at some point in September, that caused them to put on the brakes. Could it have been that they concluded that the fix is in for Mitt Romney? Consider Stacy McCain’s bombshell Thursday that Cesar Conda, Sen. Marco Rubio’s top staffer and a Romney loyalist, was instrumental in the Florida GOP’s decision to move their state’s primary up to January. The earlier states schedule their primaries, the more it helps Romney and hurts other candidates like Herman Cain. This revelation taken together with the GOP establishment’s strategy to co-opt Sarah Palin’s allies in the TEA Party, make it difficult to believe that such political factors as these were not involved at least to some degree in her decision not to run.


Sarah Palin is not for sale and neither are her core supporters. In his follow-up piece for The American Spectator, Stacy attributes the increase in Cain’s poll numbers largely to Palin supporters jumping on board the Cain train following the governor’s announcement that she would not run. But if you look carefully at the polling data, it’s clear that Cain’s rise is almost directly proportional to Rick Perry’s decline. What Stacy seems to have missed is the fact that Sarah Palin’s strongest supporters are in no hurry to jump to any other candidate’s ship. Indeed, her own ship is not sinking. It has only lowered its sails "at this time." Make no mistake: when a favorable breeze is felt, the canvas will again be hoisted. No one GOP presidential candidate even comes close to offering the complete package Gov. Palin’s supporters still see in her. A few of her fair weather "fans" may go with the flow (or "flavor of the month"), but her serious supporters know that only dead fish do that, as the governor has often said. No, it will take quite a lot for any other candidate to win the allegiance of the Paliniste. So far, we’re not seeing it from any one of them.

Read the whole thing here.

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