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Really, She’s Not Running

June 22, 2011

I generally try not to weigh in on an opinion of the obvious when it’s not necessary.  That’s especially true because I could be wrong, and then I’ll have to admit it.  But honestly, why are people missing that Sarah Palin is mostly trying to bend the discussion without actually having to undergo the additional scruitny of running?

More than a few of Palin’s core supporters have grown impatient and confused about her strategy, venting their frustration on Internet fan sites.

The former governor herself has consented to only one interview since her East Coast jaunt ended early this month, and her lack of recent public activity has generated a host of rumors about what her next step might be. Last week, the American Spectator, citing a single and unnamed Republican source, claimed that her presidential decision was imminent. Palin shot this speculation down immediately, but she didn’t counter it with anything definitive.

I think her bus tour was brilliant in both its sense of timing and the way she handled the media.  On the media, she didn’t give a rat if they followed her, which forced them to follow her every move and complain about it.  And that alone was worth its weight in gold by putting her opinion on what was important for conservatives to address in the forefront… JUST in time for presidential candidates to frame their initial platforms.  So conservatives are now looking for a solid base of ideas along with a willingness to reach to the people in their next candidate.

I’m not surprised that this has meant a surge in support for Michelle Bachman — though much of that occurred because Bachman proved that she’s no lightweight in terms of addressing conservative issues.  But it helps that a lot of people are looking to a certain set of issues, and Ms. Palin certainly put those to the forefront at the right time.

Quite a lot of people have seen that, and they’re supposing that she’s doing it because that lends her credence to jumping in later.  Me?  I think she’s mostly looking to use her profile to ID the issues that she thinks differentiate good and bad candidates.  This enables a “true conservative” to run against the president in the next election.  Will it work?  Well, when you’re addressing an administration that seems to be pretty far to the left, the best thing to do is go pretty far to the right and force the middle to make an ideological choice rather than a “best available centrist” one.  It worked for Reagan, and it conversely didn’t work for Dole (though Clinton later tacked center).  We’ll see if it works now.

But as to Sarah Palin, I think she’s got all the power and influence she needs, and I’d speculate that she’s not going to run.  We’ll see.

Updated: Hot Air is on this now, with some updated info.  I still don’t see a person who’s planning to gear up.  More like one looking at the chessboard and figuring where to move next.

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