Alaska governor Sarah Palin’s surprise announcement that she is stepping down from her post as of July 26 has shocked the political world. A potential 2012 presidential candidate, Palin has been the subject of vicious media smears and endless fascination. In other words, she is very, very famous.
Conservative commentator William Kristol says that Palin may be “crazy like a fox” and that “It’s a huge gamble — but some of her gambles have paid off in the past. If I had to bet right now, I would bet that we just heard the first opening statement in the 2012 presidential race.
Could Palin be setting herself up to become the most powerful person in America in just the next 14 months?
Possibly. Here is how:
Imagine it is Columbus Day 2010, one month before the mid-term elections. More than one million Americans have gathered on the Mall in Washington DC for the biggest Tea Party tax protest in the one-and-one-half year history of the movement. The Tea Parties have been growing in intensity since Obama’s out-of-control spending spurred the first one on April 15, 2009, less than 3 months into his presidential term.
By Autumn of 2010, the American economy is listing badly and shows no sign of recovery. Obama has pumped out massive amounts of ‘stimulus’ spending in an attempt to restore it by election day. But the jobs have provided only a temporary bump. Millions remain unemployed. Obama’s popularity is sinking like a stone.
Meanwhile, Americans are seeing that many of Bush’s national security policies actually were successful and are being embraced by Obama. They are re-thinking Everything Bush. And now they are looking back at the economic growth of the Bush years with longing eyes.
Up until this point, the Tea Party movement had no single figure to galvanize it. Until Columbus Day 2010 when Sarah Palin addresses the crowd, something she has been building up to with appearance across the nation since stepping down from the governorship. And she has been treated like a rock star with huge audiences never seen before in American history, some filling vast auditoriums, theaters and sports venues, with wild, cheering fans.
“My fellow Americans!” she shouts to the DC Tea Party gathering. “We warned you about Barack Obama! We said he would harm our economy and spend vast sums of YOUR money! And we have had enough!”
The crowd roars.
“He signed his huge stimulus bill in February 2009 and dumped large amounts of YOUR money into the economy in the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2010 to stoke it for these coming elections, but it is just a temporary surge that has resulted!”
Across the nation, frustrated Americans, two years into the most severe recession since the great depression of the 1930s, hear her words. And Sarah Palin becomes the most powerful person in a shaky and confused America.
Recently, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican who voted for Obama, said publicly “I think one of the cautions that has to be given to the president (Obama) — and I’ve talked to some of his people about this — is that you can’t have so many things on the table that you can’t absorb it all… And we can’t pay for it all.”
And thus Barack Obama may well have peaked on the day of his inauguration and his polls could slip consistently until Columbus Day 2010. Statements like Colin Powell’s undermine Obama badly. By Fall 2010, his administration could appear disorganized and out of control like Jimmy Carter’s. Americans could be frightened by his mishandling of a foreign policy issue like North Korea which could be threatening war in Asia.
This growing fear about Obama could manifest itself in the 2010 elections when Republicans take back the House with a 40-seat pickup, and four US Senate seats. And entering into the 2012 presidential cycle, Sarah Palin is seen as the central figure who is saying “I told you so” about the American economy, without being a polite politician worried about her polls or her allegiances, as John McCain was.
Could this happen? Certainly it is possible. And after the media elevated Obama and created Palin by attacking her ruthlessly and making her a household name, many Americans will forget all the slimeball politics and see the media as wrong and Palin as a rational and level-headed light of hope in a dark world. They will forget her stumbles on foreign policy, her pregnant daughter and all the rest.
And Palin then begins her run for president in 2012 while her closest competitor, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, appears like a flashlight compared to Palin’s brilliant star power.
But what if the GOP has decided they like Romney better at this time? Perhaps Palin could become a leading light of American conservatism for the next 30 years, while leaving the presidential governing to Romney or Rudy Giuliani for the next cycle or two. After all, there is a huge fear developing across the nation that Democrat policies are bankrupting state treasuries and the federal coffers too. So there could well be a place for Palin to enunciate what conservative economic policies mean in a totally unique role outside of political office.
So could we see Palin as the Voice of Opposition to Democrat policies, without the risk of presidential politics? Like the “power behind the throne” so to speak. And then a presidential run in 2016 or 2020 or 2024, perhaps? She is only 45 years old today. There are many possibilities.
So what is leading Palin to step down at this time? Who knows. There is speculation that there is a scandal brewing, but it seems all those cards have been played. If there is a scandal, she is done.
Is Palin simply re-booting her life for a new phase that includes higher and better things?
That sounds logical.
Think about it. One year ago, hardly anybody even had heard of Sarah Palin. Today she is one of the the most famous people in America. Imagine that she looks at the last year and says, “Well, that’s a pretty good start!” and finds herself bogged down and under attack in Alaska and in the national media and in need of a fresh beginning.
What does she do? How about pulling out of her current public life and, like an overloaded computer clicking on ‘restart’, shutting down the past for a new beginning where everything works better. After all she is young and has a huge future… if she wants it.
Then again, maybe she does not want a public life. Perhaps she just wants to help Alaska through the private sector, in the energy industry. That would be too bad, however, when she can serve a vital national role in fixing America.
But look at the precedents for a political future. Richard Nixon lost the 1960 presidential election, the 1962 gubernatorial race in California and said he was quitting politics (the “you won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore” speech). He was elected president in 1968. Ronald Reagan considered dropping his presidential aspirations after his defeat in the 1976 primary to Gerald Ford. Reagan was elected to the White House in 1980. Bill Clinton was a laughingstock after his long-winded, boring Democratic National Convention speech in 1988. He took the oath of the presidency in 1993.
On the other hand, Barack Obama came out of nowhere like Jimmy Carter and won on his first shot at the Oval Office. And we know what happened to Carter.
Jimmy Obama, anyone?
Liberals are savaging Palin for her decision about stepping down, but what else is new. They attack all Republicans. Palin may just be in the process of re-inventing herself and blossoming into something that nobody could have predicted just one year ago. You know, when hardly anyone even knew who Sarah Palin was.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can print out for free my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.