September Is Critically Important to the Republican Presidential Hopefuls

Bookmark and Share  The month of September will be a critical launch pad for the Republican presidential field. With most Americans settling in for business as usual after the accelerated recreational pace of the Summer months, more attention will be paid to the ever evolving G.O.P. nomination contest. Up to now, much of what has been going on has been more inside baseball than settled public opinion. In a few weeks, few will ever even remember that Tim Pawlenty was running for practically a year and then  dropped out of the race after the Iowa Straw Poll.

In many ways, as September unfolds, we are dealing with a totally different election than we saw during the Summer. A few months ago, President Obama was announcing the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden and many were thinking he locked in his reelection. On the Republican side, Mitt Romney firmly held on to his frontrunner status, and then Michele Bachmann exploded on the scene as the winner of the Iowa Straw Poll. Then came Rick Perry. His entry into the race put an end to Bachmann’s momentum and stole Romney’s position at the head of the pack.

All of this has presented the nation with a new paradigm to the presidential election.

In the months ahead, it will surely change again but is September that will present the new political makeup to voters and also will be the month that offers a national “first impression” of the candidates for most voters. September will be the month that the candidates running for President will either set a foundation for the future of their campaign that they can build upon, or a flawed one which they have to waste valuable time running away from.

Up to now, any verbal gaffes made by the candidates have been largely innocuous and left no discernable impact. But from here on out, substantial verbal gaffes and political missteps will resonate much more loudly among a more focused electorate. As such, people like Michele Bachmann need to stay away from the type of rhetoric which claims that God is sending messages to Washington, D.C. through extreme weather. Rick Perry will have to avoid the type of language that makes his Texas swagger a bigger problem than it may already by labeling people as guilty of treason and the punishment of death that it comes with. From here on out, the words that the existing candidates speak will be etched in stone and tattooed to their foreheads.

How each candidates fares in September will make winning or losing a lot easier or harder when the caucuses and primaries begin in just 3 months. This ninth month of 2011 will essentially either provide a candidate with much needed momentum or force them to swim against the tide. And while anything can change the dynamics of a campaign and election, sailing through September with the wind at your back will put a candidate in a much better position to win the nomination.

But September will also lay to rest the existing unsettled nature of the Republican presidential contest due to a name that looms heavily over the process……… Sarah Palin.

Palin recently promised that she will make her decision regarding a run for President in 2012 known. Either way she decides to go will have a dramatic effect on the election. If she decides to run, it is likely that Palin will shake up the field in a way quite similar to Rick Perry’s recent entry into the race. She could end up being the decisive factor in the primary within the primary for the title of TEA Party candidate. Palin could either steal enough TEA Party votes to allow a Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, or Rick Perry the clear TEA Party favorite, or she could easily become the obvious TEA Party favorite and prevent Bachmann and Perry from effectively challenging Mitt Romney for frontrunner status.

If Palin does not run, the Republican field will be firmly established and begin to force people to choose sides. Many anti-establishment Republicans and TEA movement proponents will begin to tilt to one of the existing candidates and start giving us a picture of where the electorate stands that will be far more accurate than we have currently seen.

But Palin aside, no matter what she does, September will be the real start to the 2012 presidential election and believe it or not, like Thanksgiving and Christmas which always seem to arrive before we know it, so will the presidential primaries and caucuses. And just like one needs to get a good start on Christmas gift shopping before they have to rush around and shop from sparsely stocked store shelves, in September, the presidential candidates must get a good start on solidifying popular support or else they will find themselves rushing around for votes from among sparse numbers of undecided voters.

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