August 13 may have been a momentous day for Rick Perry’s campaign, when he officially announced his campaign for president.
However, it might have been the final day of any realistic shot for a winning Sarah Palin campaign.
Prior to Perry’s entry, enthusiasm about the current field could be described as lukewarm at best. While Romney was the clear front-runner, it’s difficult to describe his support to date as enthusiastic among the grassroots and activists. Instead, his campaign had a feeling of “it’s his turn now” that has led us down bad paths before in 1996 and 2008.
The remaining candidates, while gathering some more enthusiastic support, had not quite set the world afire yet. The closest consideration could probably be Bachmann’s campaign to date, but even so there has been a feeling that there is a limit to the campaign and a limit as to how well she might fare throughout the primaries – even if she’s already been the recipient of the media’s Sarah treatment. Ron Paul’s campaign also seems to have a limit on where it can go,
It has been as if the rest of us have been waiting for a candidate to jump in that would shake things up and have the weight of someone who could rally people to their cause, and become a front-runner almost overnight.
She’s been rumored to run for ages now, flitting back and forth with the will-she-or-won’t-she act, in a campaign season that takes months of preparation even before becoming official. The longer she delayed, the more likely her would-be supporters would begin supporting other candidates for good.
Sarah could have been that person for people to rally behind….but now, she has waited too long.
With Perry’s announcement, I think a large group of people who would have waited any longer for a Palin campaign have jumped ship. Given Perry’s administrative record and conservative credentials, he has been the one to jump in, grab a lot of people who were waiting for a “true” conservative with experience to jump in, and move to the front of the field.
In doing so, the chance of a Palin campaign may finally be put to rest. I don’t see support rallying back to her with Perry now in the race, and indeed I think she will probably start pushing the Perry campaign instead – much to the dismay of other candidates who might have wanted her in their camp to try and tout their bona-fides.
Her window to jump in seems to have closed.
I just don’t see her trying to fulfill any Presidential ambition for herself this cycle. She’s had too much fun playing kingmaker in 2010, and I think she’d rather do that again in 2012.