As many people who follow the career of former governor, former vice presidential candidate, and current most powerful female politician on the planet Sarah Palin recall, she seriously considered running for president in 2012. She made appearances in early primary and caucus states such as Iowa and even released a semi-campaign commercial called “Iowa Passion” that highlighted her trip to 2011’s Iowa state fair, ending with a grizzly bear rampant. The hint, which a presidential campaign was about to start, could not have been clearer.
In the history we lived in, Palin allowed the cup of a presidential campaign to pass from her lips, for reasons that are unclear and can only be surmised. While it is not our purpose to speculate why she declined to run at the last minute, it might be useful to wonder what would have happened had she announced her candidacy and run in earnest for the presidency.
The announcement would have met with considerable eye rolling from the punditry class, including some conservatives. Palin’s poll numbers were low and the media had developed a “black legend” of the former governor as a bimbo, contradicted by her performance as chief executive of Alaska and her effectiveness in getting tea party conservatives elected in the 2010 midterms, taking back the House in the process.
Palin’s candidacy would have solved one nagging problem that blighted the 2012 election, that being the lack of viable conservative candidates. Governor of Texas Rick Perry was ill, and it showed on the stump and during debates. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, although brilliant and an outside the box thinker, has had difficulty governing himself not to mention a country. Herman Cain was trying for the presidency from the private sector and, politely speaking, was plagued by “bimbo eruptions.” Palin had her share of baggage, much of it more imagined than real, such as how she was obliged to resign as governor of Alaska. She would also not have much success fund raising from big money donors though modern crowd funding techniques using the Internet would have likely made up for it. All in all, Palin would have been far more viable than those candidates who would have won and would have been positioned to go head to head against Mitt Romney once the rest of the field started to drop out.
Palin would have shined in the debates, as she did against Joe Biden in 2008 and before when she ran for governor of Alaska. Most people who were paying attention would have to concede that the woman on the debate stage looked nothing like the one being depicted in the media. He poll numbers would start to rise, and some of the pundits would start to notice this development.
On January 2, 2012, Palin wins the Iowa Caucus. The state, being rural, is perfectly fitted for her brand of grassroots campaigning. Depending on the size of her win, some of the lower tier candidates such as Michele Bachman. Herman Cain and Jon Huntsman begin to drop out.
Romney wins the New Hampshire primary, as he did in the history we live in, but Palin places a strong second. Since she was not expected to do well in any New England state, this development really causes people to take notice.
When Palin wins South Carolina, the rest of the conservative part of the field begins to drop out. By Super Tuesday, March 6, the only three candidates who are left are Palin, Romney, and Ron Paul, who would be running on the fervent enthusiasm of his small band of followers.
On March 10, the infamous movie “Game Change” premiers on HBO. As most know, the film, which starred Julianna Moore as Palin, was as infamous a calumny as anything put to digital medium. The lies and half-truths depicted as historical facts in the film could barely be counted. They could, however, be easily refuted, as they were in the history we live in.
It can be surmised that the Hollywood left created “Game Change,” with a cartoon depiction of Palin as a psycho bimbo, as a vehicle for derailing her run for the presidency. It can also be predicted that, given Palin’s combative nature, the gambit would have backfired. Clearly, Palin would assert, “Game Change” is part of Obama’s war on women, aided and abetted by the president’s minions in the entertainment industry. Her popularity soars and she cleans up most of the rest of the primaries. By May, Romney concedes, leaving Palin as the undoubted 2012 Republican nominee.
In a future piece, the rest of the Palin for President 2012 campaign will be covered,