Why Sarah Palin Isn't Dead Politically

Since my appearance on MSNBC regarding Sarah Palin has generated so much conversation, I felt it might be a good idea to expand upon the points I made while debating the commentators.  I realize my comments fly in the face of conventional wisdom and are contrary to the analysis given by most Republican consultants. 

That understood, I think there are three good reasons that the Palin resignation could (key word: could) be a good move for her on a long term basis:

1) The money angle (as Charlie Cook covered this week).

  1. The Palin’s aren’t wealthy. They haven’t reached the point that they don’t have to work as Mitt Romney can.
  2. If she’s going to be a full-time campaigner for two years starting in 2010 she can’t do it by earning a Governor’s salary from now until the end of her term.
  3. She needs the money she’ll earn giving speeches and writing a book to support her family while she runs for President.
  4. In a lot of ways the media, safe in their elite and very well-paid lives, is missing the basic blue-collar story here.

 2) The campaign for the GOP nomination has already started.

  1. The two other major known contenders-Romney and Huckabee-are already on the road doing GOP events around the country and building a constituency.
  2. Palin can’t compete with that if she has to be in Juneau and run a state.
  3. It’s a sad reality of the modern political campaign but your choices if you want to run for President now seem to be quitting your job or being a U.S. Senator who isn’t up for re-election.

 3) Sarah Palin needs to be Sarah Palin.

  1. The Governor knows her most powerful political asset is her ability to personally connect with voters.
  2. Conversely, her most formidable political liability is the hatred that the media and many DC political elites seem to have for her.
  3. Right now, hanging out in Juneau, all of the information voters receive about her is mediated by either the press or political elites (of both parties I might add).
  4. By resigning now she gets back out on the road and can reminds voters why they liked her so much the last time she was able to talk to them directly.

Finally, it’s clear from Tuesday’s Gallup results that American voters don’t think Governor Palin is dead politically:

  1. Among Republicans more than seven in ten (72%) said they were at least somewhat likely to vote for her if she were a candidate in the 2012 election.
  2. Following her resignation; more than 2/3 of Republicans (67%) say they believe Sarah Palin should be a major political figure.
  3. Seven in ten voters say her resignation has no affect on their opinion of her (remarkable considering the negative media coverage)
  4. 53% of voters in Gallup survey said that the news media coverage of Palin had been unfairly negative.