Saturday, November 8, 2008

Why Palin won't wait

At the Corner and at Politico, campaign staffers fight the smears against Sarah Palin. Allahpundit rounds it up with a long exit question suggesting (a) "social issues" won't matter in 2012, and (b) there's no reason why Palin can't wait until 2016, or later, to take her shot at the Big One.

OK, I'll bite. Regarding (a), we have no idea what the political landscape will look like in 2012. Nobody in 2004 -- except, perhaps, Barack Obama -- imagined how off-message and unpopular the GOP would be in 2008. I have never thought of Palin as a one-dimensional social conservative. She describes herself as a fiscal conservative and, considering what the Democrats are likely to do with Obama in the White House, a reformist governor with a strong fiscal-conservative message running as an "outsider" looks like a smart bet for 2012. (Yes, that could also describe Bobby Jindal.)

Regarding (b), recall that in Bill Clinton wasn't on anybody's radar screen in 1990. But a lot of Democratic contenders were scared out of the race when Bush's popularity zoomed during Desert Storm, so that Clinton won the nomination against a relatively weak field. Likewise, in 2006, the possibility that Obama could challenge and beat Hillary Clinton for the 2008 nomination seemed remote, And, more recently, in July 2007, John McCain's campaign was bankrupt and people were writing his political obituary.

When you get your shot, you take your shot. It's obvious Palin has got a shot in 2012, and she'd be a fool to pass it up. Trying to conjure reasons why she shouldn't take the shot isn't going to keep her from taking it.

Of course, we're getting way ahead of the game here. Starting Jan. 20, conservatives are going to have their hands full trying to stop the Obamafication of America. We'll have a couple of years to watch the kind of moves Palin makes, she'll have a couple of years to take a look at the situation, and around December 2010 -- assuming that opposition to Obama is still legal -- she'll decide whether to greenlight a campaign for 2012. But I bet money she goes for it.


  1. I've occasionally said I'd support Palin... in 2024. You're right that that may not be the best idea, though. Reagan profited by waiting. Tommy Thompson did not.

  2. I expect the Chicago machine will move into Alaska to bring her down within the next couple years.

  3. Chicago style politics only works against unarmed people.