Why Palin?

Bookmark and Share    The current Republican presidential contest remains in flux. One of the reasons for that is due to the anticipation of several more potentially, politically potent, candidates into the race……….Sarah Palin and Rick Perry. Part of the reason so many are taking this wait and see attitude is due to a lack of enthusiasm for any of those who we know are running.

That said, I do not subscribe to the school of thought that suggests that the current field of Republican candidates for President has no giants in it. I maintain the position that after a long and hard fought campaign, one of them will rise to the top and along the way, they will become so admired, so appreciated that on Election Day 2012, people will enthusiastically go to the polls to support them. I find many positive things in each of the candidates and could easily get behind someone like Romney, who I supported in 2008. I could also easily get behind someone like Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty or Newt Gingrich. On top of that I do not underestimate the magic that a well run campaign can produce.

Still, no matter how many excuses I make for a lack of popular energy for the existing candidates  it is still true that there is an enthusiasm gap.  But that is not the case with one name who may still enter the race.

Sarah Palin.

Of all the candidates and potential candidates, I find that Sarah Palin is the only potential presidential nominee who already inspires a great sense of enthusiasm within me and tensa of millions of others.  More so than any of the other conceivable nominees, Palin not only has a humongous loyal following, she has an immense and extremely energetic following and her popularity far exceeds that of any of her possible opponents.

Take for example Sarah Pain’s Facebook page. Facebook may not be the best barometer of political opinion, but its preeminence in contemporary internet communication offers a good idea of popularity.

Of the still evolving Republican field of candidates Sarah Palin’s fan base exceeds her nearest opponent by 2,140,214 people. Here’s a breakdown:

But putting those numbers and pop culture aside, there is no doubt that Sarah Palin energizes the base of the Republican Party. She provided whatever energy there was in John McCain’s doomed 2008 presidential campaign and since then, Sarah Palin has increased her role and visibility as a leading voice for constitutionalism and fiscal sanity.

Still, many believe that Palin can never win. They believe that even if she were to enter the race and somehow win the Republican nomination, she would be slaughtered in the general election. I am not so sure of that.

Despite left wing attempts to paint TEA Party enthusiasts to terrorists and equate them to kamikaze pilots, most Americans are coming around to the realization that government has become too big and spends too much and that Washington, D.C. bureaucrats have little ability to turn things around. Such a view fits right in to the message that Sarah Palin has been offering long before she was ever asked to run for Vice President. At the same time, few people are seen as having the resolve to do exactly as they say, as much as Palin does. People know she holds no punches and is not your typical politician. These quality are great positive contrasts to our current President.

So when it comes to the general election, some people may claim that Palin’s greatest liability is that she is too extreme. While many claim that this may destroy her chances of winning the general election, I contend that on the issue of the economy, Palin’s extremism is an asset. The economy is more than likely going to remain the number one issue. It is also likely that people will want a President who is willing to lead on the economy and not play the same old political games that both the left and right play when they come in to office. Palin has convincingly demonstrated that she would not be a politics-as-usual President. When she says that she would cut the budget, few doubt that she would, even if Congress fights her on it.

And insofar as other issues go, few if any conservative Republicans doubt Palin’s conviction to conservative values. This is not an issue which Palin would need to campaign on. If the religious right doubts Palin’s moral compass and faith, then they would probably doubt Jesus himself. The truth is that among the conservative base Palin need not prove she is conservative enough. This puts Palin in a perfect position to focus on the preeminent issue of the day………the economy. If she were to pursue the Republican presidential nomination, she need not be distracted by any other issue. At the same time Palin is in a perfect position to argue that on social issues, she maintains the most conservative position of all her opponents. Palin believes in the Constitution and her limited government values force her to hold the conservative position that government does not belong in our bedrooms. Take for instance Palin’s veto of the Alaska state legislature’s attempt to preclude the same-sex spouses of state employees from receiving state benefits. Despite Palin’s own personal opposition to same-sex marriage, she refused to allow the state legislature to deny these benefits on the grounds that it was discriminatory and unconstitutional. In other words, Palin believes that the Constitution settles political debates, not personal opinions. That is conservative. But it is also a conservative view that liberals and moderates should be able to appreciate.

The bottom-line is that if Sarah Palin does decide to run for the Republican presidential nomination, she should not be underestimated. Over the past two years, not only has she increased in popularity, she has also become one of the most vetted possible presidential candidates in history. Every aspect of her life has been under endless assault ever since she was first nominated for Vice President in 2008. The media has never let up on scrutinizing her every move and every word. From her clothing, to her family and even her personal emails, everything Palin-related has been dissected, investigated, examined, commented on and publicized. And what has come out to damage her? Nothing.

Ultimately, unlike the current existing field, Palin’s leadership has been inspiring. For me, the last time that there existed a potential candidate for President who inspired me was in 1988 when former Congressman and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development  Jack F. Kempran in the Republican primary. Kemp’s candidacy help draw me in to a life and career of conservative politics. Of course it must be mentioned that despite the inspiration, Kemp did not make it past New Hampshire. He lost to George “Read My Lips” Bush. But four years later President George H.W. Bush was denied reelection. Many voters were not happy with the fact that Bush broke his promise and caved to liberal calls for tax increases. So in retrospect they might have actually been much happier with the strength and conviction of Jack Kemp more than that of George H.W. Bush. That may perhaps be a lesson for Republicans to remember if Sarah does decide to run.

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