Will Sarah Palin Run?
That's the question of the hour amid signs the former Alaska governor—and 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate—is giving serious thought to formally entering the 2012 GOP race.
Amid various reports of Palin buying a $1.7 million home in Scottsdale, Ariz., through a company that hid the buyer's identity, and hiring new campaign staffers, as well as the imminent release of a movie about her time as governor, there is increased interest in a Palin candidacy among the GOP faithful. That only intensified after the announcement of an East Coast tour set to start Sunday. [See 5 reasons Palin will the 2012 GOP nod.]
Palin could still choose not to run, of course. The new home is not far from one recently purchased by her daughter, Bristol, and would be a more central location for her nationwide speech tours. She has a lucrative job with Fox News as an analyst. And she has expressed concern about what a run would do to her family, who were placed under intense scrutiny during the 2008 campaign.
But the GOP field has taken some licks lately with the decision by real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump not to run, after he stirred up a hornet's nest questioning whether President Obama was actually born in Hawaii. Then came the decision by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels not to go forth onto the campaign trail. Already, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee had dashed the hopes of the GOP faithful by choosing to sit out the race. [See 5 reasons Palin won't get the 2012 GOP nod.]
A poll out Thursday by Gallup shows Palin a close second to GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is piling up cash and attempting to run away with the nomination. Palin polled 15 percent in the Gallup survey to Romney's 17 percent. The poll is the first since Daniels and Trump announced their plans not to run.
So, should Palin run, will she get the GOP nod?
Here are five reasons why she will—and five why she won't.
Why she will win the 2012 GOP nomination
1) Name recognition
Let's face it, she's the most famous Republican out there. Call her wacky or the personification of the Tea Party, but Palin is a rock star when it comes to getting press. And, as the Gallup poll shows, she still retains some favor with the voters. [Vote now: Who is your pick for the 2012 GOP nomination?]
2) She's not Mitt Romney
The GOP establishment is looking for someone other than Mitt. Palin fits the bill, even though she is hardly a Republican establishment figure like Mitch Daniels would have been. But she did run for vice president, and the GOP does like to anoint a runner-up the next time around. Think John McCain.
3) The Tea Party
Palin comes with a ready support group. The Tea Party showed in 2010 it can get folks elected, and Tea Partyers haven't yet rallied around a candidate. This would be her chance.
4) She's battle tested
Tim Pawlenty may look good in a suit and have a decent record as the GOP governor of Minnesota, hardly a bastion of Republicanism, but running for president is like the Olympics, whereas running for governor is like a high school track meet. [See a slide show of GOP 2012 contenders.]
5) The GOP field
It's a weak group. Aside from Romney, none have really gained traction with the national electorate. Most lack a true national organization that can run a 50-state campaign. And none have—well, let's call it what it is—sex appeal. Palin does. [Check out political cartoons about the 2012 GOP field.]
Why She Won't Win the 2012 GOP Nomination
1) She's Sarah Palin
The GOP may not think it has a chance against Obama. But that doesn't mean they are suicidal. Picking Palin would ensure a feast among the press, who would drudge up all the unpleasant things said about Plain in the book Game Change , and we would get to hear all about her spat with the McCain team in 2008. The GOP likes things tidy. Palin is anything but. [See editorial cartoons about Palin.]
2) Mitt Romney
Romney is a virtual money machine. And while he doesn't sit well with the party establishment, his Mormonism is problematic for the Christian fundamentalist wing of the party, he has demonstrated an ability to amass an organization and big bucks.