(Laughter) … I like the video overall. How many women wanna think of themselves as a momma grizzly? … A lotta what she does is a very Alaska, very down home feel to it, ah … She’s saying, ‘You can be a conservative feminist … you can be a prolife feminist … ’ she’s pretty smart and very tough, ah …
In other words: “How rurally … quaint,” right Newt?
It was a chuckle. What would this esteemed conservative icon have said about Abraham Lincoln and his rough-hewn folksy vernacular in 1858? Not that Palin possesses Lincoln’s keenness on the vernacular, but she undeniably possesses his fix on the contemporary American mindset.
No Newt, she is not saying, “Look women, we can all do a load of wash, cook up a batch of moose chili, be prolife and still be feminists.” She is saying, “I’m running for president in 2012, dude, so don’t get under my wheels.”
The truth is, Newt knows what less astute political thinkers do not, or at least refuse to admit: Palin is a formidable obstacle to anyone’s aspirations for the GOP nomination.
For all you Orange County Republicans who think Wasilla was a Polish labor leader during the 1980s, here’s one to get your IBS raging: Either Newt Gingrich or Sarah Palin will be the GOP nominee in 2012, and both will likely be on the ticket.
Here’s why: with the defeat of John McCain in 2012 the moderate wing of the party is finished for the foreseeable future. They cannot unify the base vote much less draw independents, and they need a win more desperately than anytime in modern history to preserve the party in any viable way. At best, Mitt Romney or, say, Mitch Daniels, will attract the moderate base and a smidgen of conservatives but not nearly enough independents for a win.
Enter Gingrich. Newt is granted a conservative, but he is also a party elitist, as evidenced by his ridiculous endorsement of liberal Dede Scozzafava against Palinites in the New York 23rd District special election last year. Not only did Scozzafava fail to pull it off, but she did what any good RHINO would do—she withdrew and threw her support to the Democrat, allowing him to eek out a narrow win over Palin’s conservative candidate.
Whatever the perception, Palin won that contest. Newt walked away with a red butt.
Palin is the only potential candidate who can deliver a large significantly unified bloc of voters—Tea Party conservatives and a humongous number of women—to the convention in 2012. Newt is the only party line conservative with the political finesse to coalesce the two wings of the party.
And limp-wrist liberal Republicans will trip over one another getting to the polls to vote for them when they feel the tread marks of Obama’s tax hikes up your backsides in 2011.
Regardless of one’s position on Palin or Gingrich this is the only calculus that makes sense in the current political climate. The backlash against incumbents has never been greater. If the party goes with Mitt or a less-known brand, running up the middle, against either Obama or Hillary (I believe Hilly will be the Democrat’s nominee in 2012), it will lose hands down.
Acknowledge is the fact that Palin could dead end all of this speculation by taking the RNC chair—a job that is well below her pay grade—should the committee draft her, but it is doubtful she will.
If you live in Laguna Niguel and drive a BMW X5 with a “Baby on Board” placard in the rear window, you need to listen here.
Republicans have woefully underestimated Palin, while she has gone about her business undaunted, forging strong alliances both inside and outside the party. Only someone who considers the New York Times crossword puzzle as their greatest challenge in life could possibly believe this is a stupid woman. She is—for Democrats and liberal Republicans—the most dangerous thing on two legs since the colonist who fired the first shot at Lexington-Concord.
Gingrich is a warhorse and he will undoubtedly make a strong play for the lead slot on the ticket. He is arguably the most brilliant politician in modern U.S. history and has done much to redeem himself after a bad patch of sheer egoism during the 1990s. He could well be the presidential nominee and no sane Republican can reject him out of hand. However, Palin presents an undeniable and very formidable obstacle.
No one can guess how a race between Palin and Gingrich will turn out, but one of them will be the nominee in 2012.