Alaska Dispatch: ‘Without Sarah Palin, Wild GOP Race Has Become a Circus’

Scott Woodham of the Alaska Dispatch has written an interesting article:

We’re not sure if it’s just a coincidence, but ever since Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee and former governor of Alaska, finally said she’d decided not to run, things have gotten pretty wild. News reporters turned their attention to the declared candidates. When they started shaking trees, all manner of fruit and nuts started falling down. The polls have been all over the place as your party’s voters narrow in on their choice. And it seems that every week there’s some new poll showing a new challenger to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s consistent string of top showings.

A few strong contenders have lost significant promise after peaking, and one of them has dropped out completely. Herman Cain, the former pizza magnate and one-time Georgia senatorial candidate, captivated people with his extremely simple plan for the economy and his candid admission that foreign policy was not his strong suit. Ron Paul, the longtime Texas congressman, keeps winning now and then, and his supporters are passionate, but he’s not considered a serious choice for the nomination by a wide segment of the party establishment.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry had been charging ahead, but after a series of bizarre gaffes, including one cringe-worthy New Hampshire speech that went viral and caused some pundits to speculate that he was intoxicated, he hasn’t returned to the top. Yet he went nuclear this week in a bid to regain standing ahead of the Iowa caucus by releasing a controversial new TV ad aimed at religious conservatives and bedecked with red meat for the base.

Lately, former Speaker of the U.S. House Newt Gingrich is presenting the most credible challenge yet to Romney, who doesn’t excite the party’s base anymore than John McCain did in 2008. But with ascension to the top tier comes a brighter spotlight. And despite the absolute genius of Gingrich’s ability to position himself as anti-establishment after a lucrative career in the establishment, the proclaimed leader of the last Republican revolution, in 1994, has been raising eyebrows with his criticism of child labor laws and his struggle to explain lucrative political consulting¬†with an array of scandalized business interests. And many political pundits wonder at his ability to run a nationwide campaign with so few "boots on the ground" in states beyond the early contests.

There is much more to the article here.

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