The Sarah Palin presidential speculation machine is ramping up again, with some at least one prominent conservative commentator even examining the possibility of an independent Palin bid, even as her PAC ask supporters to express their love financially.
Hot Air’s Allahpundit notes speculation caused by a recent Palin appearance on Sean Hannity’s show in which she said that this is going to be an “unconventional type of election process.” This descriptive, along with the fact that she pushed back her self-imposed deadline to announce from this month to November, has prompted some speculation that she is reopening the possibility of a third party bid.
Allahpundit thinks such a move unlikely, but adds:
On the other hand, the takeaway from her Indianola speech was her indictment of the “permanent political class,” not any affirmation that Republicans are superior to Democrats. (In fact, she never uttered the word “Republican” that day.) Between that and her rhetoric about crony capitalism, she’s slowly moving towards a more Paulian pox-on-both-their-houses approach to the parties, which is true to her roots as a reformer in Alaska. ... If she and her supporters made a big enough showing and ended up splitting the conservative vote with the GOP, it’d force the Republican leadership to cater to the tea party even more in 2016. Simple question: What’s worse, another go-round with Obama or leaving our current, widely despised political system unchallenged? Hmmmm.
I suppose a critical factor here is whether one views Palin as fundamentally being a movement-focused politician or whether one views the former half-term governor as spotlight-seeking self-promoter who happens to be in politics.
Taking the latter view, she’s not going to run for president. It’s harder work and pays less than what she’s doing now. But it’s absolutely in her interest to keep the speculation going for as long as possible. In the immediate term that means pushing back her deadline for announcing, from her original self-imposed September deadline to the reality-imposed one in November, when she has to actually get on primary ballots or not. Once she’s officially not in the race I suppose we can expect the GOP wannabes to make pilgrimages up to Wasilla to vie for the Palin imprimatur. (Would it surprise anyone if there was a LeBron-style “decision” special attached to either her in/out decision or her endorsement decision?)
In the mean time, a little third party speculation doesn’t hurt—anything to keep the name out there.
Neither does her PAC sending out a fundraising letter saying that she is “on the verge of making her decision of whether or not to run for office,” and exhorting supporters to express their ardor for Palin by sending “your best, one-time gift to SarahPAC.” Will she run? No. But is she in any danger of going away? Also no.