As an Obama supporter, do I just smack my lips at the thought of Palin as the Republican nominee? Of course. But that is not the point. I can make a very strong argument for her to run, especially now.
Here are six reasons.
First, the field is weak and crowded. Despite her current high negatives, she stands a chance to get nominated. The other conservatives have bungled their entrances into the race (Newt Gingrich and Rep. Michele Bachmann) and the strongest candidates are taking a pass (Sen. John Thune, Mike Huckabee, and Gov. Mitch Daniels, in my book). This is a field Palin should like.
Second, Palin dominates media coverage. When she sneezes, all the press offers her a Kleenex. The bus tour has provided plenty of fodder for those who don't like Palin, but it has also increased her standing in the latest polls. It has given her base a real sense of the outsider, the in-your-face candidate who still really sets them on fire. [See photos from Palin's bus tour.]
Third, she has very little to lose and plenty to gain by exceeding the low expectations the press and the pundits have for her. She can prove the “lame-stream media” wrong. She can do it her way; she can be the independent maverick that she loves to be.
Fourth, social conservatives and tell-it-like-it-is Republicans in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina should be strong for her. With Huckabee out, she has a shot at capturing these voters. Bachmann will fade fast, as will Herman Cain, she may feel, and she will pick up the pieces. [Check out political cartoons about Palin.]
Fifth, she can raise bucketloads of cash for her campaign. She is a fundraiser's dream.
And, finally, this will make her personally richer. Sure, she has been raking it in with all the Palin Inc. operations. If she runs, she temporarily gives up Fox money, but more will come her way and make up for that contract. Think of the future books, the speaking engagements,and the additional media deals. Stay in the limelight, Sarah, and you stay in the green. The more you are a press magnet, the more you will be a money magnet. [Vote now: Will Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann run for the 2012 GOP nomination?]
Why say no? She may fall flat, she may fail. But there is no more self-confident, sure-of-herself, cocky candidate than Sarah Palin, and that's saying something. She does not for a minute think she will fall flat.
Another reason: the family? Heck, this isn't Daniels and “veto power.” Plus, they all love the attention and the money and the fame. They get to travel and buy more houses—even young Bristol can afford to pay cash for her own Arizona home. Gee, what's not to like about this deal? [Vote now: Will you watch the Sarah Palin documentary?]
So, my guess is that Palin may confound the great experts and do what she does best—march to her own drummer. She runs.