Guest Submission by Ron Devito
Over a week ago, a rumor began that Gov. Palin was actively reconsidering her decision to not seek the GOP nomination in 2012. The whys, wherefores and “he said/she said” associated with the rumor are not important now. No one except Gov. Palin, her husband Todd, and God know for sure whether the rumor is true. But, reasonable people can agree that she could reconsider or could already have taken one or more steps in that direction.
On November 3, Nate Silver of the New York Times outlined a scenario in which Gov. Palin could mount a late unconventional campaign if she so chose. Silver also said the probability of this scenario occurring was “low.”
On November 8, Glynnis MacNicol of the Business Insider suggested that Silver’s scenario could be more probable in “IT’S COME TO THIS: Could Sarah Palin Get Back in the Race?.” MacNicol opened the synopsis stating that many Republicans are displeased with the possibility that Romney could be their only viable choice and this displeasure has led to the reconsideration rumors.
On November 10, Bernie Quigley, who writes for The Hill, concluded his Pundit’s Blog, thus:
Possibly she created “the vacuum on the right” when she got off the bus and took it back to Alaska. As per last night it is safe to say there is still time to get in simply because nothing else is working. And the failure of the other contenders works positively in her favor.
A late entry into the 2012 race was advantageous for Gov. Palin, because simple passage of time permitted the remaining candidates to succeed or fail on their own merits without her having to lift a finger, spend one penny, or be the lightning rod. The foregoing three articles speak to that. Simply put, time was her best friend. At some point, the equation will reverse and time will become Gov. Palin’s worst enemy in the 2012 race. Could December 11 be that date in which this reversal occurs? I honestly don’t know.
Living in New York, my primary is April 24, 2012. Absent a reconsidered Palin run, I have over six months to pick a declared candidate and vote in the primary. I also have over six months to work in a New York ground game on a reconsidered run. If Gov. Palin were to enter today, my Iowan colleagues would have only six weeks to re-effectuate their ground game. If we use December 10, that time compresses to a mere three weeks. While Friday’s Bret Baer show did not feature the promised interview with Gov. Palin, it did provide a solid education on the mechanics of the Iowa caucuses, their history and their importance. Iowa could likely be critical to a successful reconsidered run.
Consideration of Reconsideration
Conservatives4Palin is considering a reconsideration ad campaign. Since the original discussion on it, the idea has developed via an open thread and a dedicated article. I expressed my support of the idea in commentary on the original article. While I was never enamored with the idea of mail-bombing Gov. Palin “earthquake” postcards and letters, this project is far different. Properly worded, these ads could very publicly show that we are here for Gov. Palin and we are ready to help her get elected if she chooses to run. Furthermore, these ads are intended to be seen in mainstream media and generic conservative outlets. Their purpose is to gin up buzz around reconsideration, not be an “earthquake movement” in ad form. As Lazaran noted, it could help Gov. Palin’s political viability now or if she chooses to run in 2016. I agree with this strategy.
As publisher of US for Palin, I have held that that we should respect Gov. Palin’s decision, defer to her leadership and support whatever she does moving forward. I maintain this position. I also believe Conservatives4Palin‘s proposed ad campaign, does not conflict with this position.
We should not have illusions about ourselves vis-á-vis our effect on Gov. Palin’s reconsideration. Her original decision was never premised on lack of popular support for her running.
Gov. Palin is the owner and final arbiter of any reconsideration process. Because her decision was driven by factors other than popular support for running, I do not think she is going to reconsider and run because she saw the umpteenth post card or read a reconsider ad. In my opinion, any project premised on changing Gov. Palin’s mind is a conscious choice to ignore reality and disregards the root cause of her decision. But, I think an ad campaign that says “we support Gov. Palin and we are prepared to do useful work if she does choose a reconsidered run” can be productive and is worthy of our financial support.
In my opinion, any reconsideration process Gov. Palin undertakes would be based at least in part on her assessment of the political landscape and how it has changed since she made her announcement on October 5. I think she would revisit the factor(s) that weighed against her running on October 5 and determine if they have mitigated sufficiently to justify a run, or have become inoperative. I think as a woman of faith, she would pray over this – perhaps even more so than the original consideration! I think she would not proceed without the approval of those in her immediate family who are old enough to have a say and who would be affected by her decision.
Be Careful What You Wish For…
You just may get it….meaning if Gov. Palin reconsiders with the outcome being her entry into the race, the stakes will be very much higher. This would not merely be an unconventional campaign, but a very risky one. By publicly supporting reconsideration, we are asking Gov. Palin to stick her neck – and her family’s necks – out for us. Are we ready, willing and able to make the sacrifices and do the work required to help her win? Extraordinary though she may be, she cannot do this on her own or in a vacuum. Do we have the wherewithal to conduct a successful write-in for those states whose filing deadlines have come and gone – if those states permit it? Can we mount a truly effective ground game in a compressed time span?
Work means canvassing precincts – when it’s hot, or cold; your feet are sore or even blistered; you are tired, hungry, and thirsty; and you’ve had doors slammed in your face. Work is doing street visibility, making phone calls, stuffing envelopes, and installing signs. Goofing off on Facebook, engaging in flame wars, and jockeying for non-existent positions does not count as work. If you are not truly ready to put your 125% effort via useful work into a Palin win; if you do not understand and accept the aggravated risk associated with a campaign that would give new meaning to “unconventional,” best to vote for a declared candidate and forget reconsideration.
Gov. Palin has enormous potential yet to be unlocked. A reconsidered 2012 POTUS run could be the key that unlocks her highest potential. Or, some other endeavor could unlock that potential even she has yet to see. I support whatever propels Gov. Palin to summit – to self-actualize – POTUS run or not.
But some part of me still feels she has been summoned.