Will Sarah Palin run for the Presidency this year? The answer to that question is now a more badly sought-after secret than the codes to the US nuclear arsenal.
Personally, I’m not going to guess either way. I don’t want to suffer the embarrassment of being proven wrong if she defies my hypothetical prediction. I’ll just point to the arguments of both sides.
Conventional wisdom and those who adhere to it suggest that she won’t. They invoke many rational arguments to back up their suggestion: that she has no presidential exploratory committee, no organization in any states, no campaign staff around her, and no fundraising mechanism other than SarahPAC. Note that money raised SarahPAC cannot be transferred to a presidential campaign fund.
They also point out that when Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum began to flirt with the idea of running, Fox News asked for their resignations; when Mike Huckabee began to flirt with the idea of running, he was ordered to choose between his show and the White House, whereas Sarah Palin remains on FN’s payroll has received no such ultimatum.
They also point out that Sarah Palin has not contacted the GOP’s heavy donors, who are absolutely necessary to win, nor the key players in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Rick Perry did that before he joined the race. Indeed, several players from those states have said that Perry personally called them before he jumped into the race.
But conventional wisdom is seldom correct.
Why would Palin do a bus tour around the East Coast, and then another bus tour to Iowa, if not as a sign that she intends to run? Why would her husband, Todd, say that his family has been “tested” and is ready for a presidential run? Why would Palin allude that she may run with words like “when we’re ready to announce… you won’t be able to miss the announcement”?
Why would Palin refuse to endorse anyone? Why would she say “I can beat Barack Obama”? Why would she say “A President Palin would…”?
And this is Palin’s biggest advantage over others: she’s an enigmatic person. Her plans remain unknown to anyone except herself and her family. She keeps her opponents and the media guessing. Like a skilled, experienced card player, she’s not going to reveal her cards this soon. She’s waiting for other candidates to mudsling each other and bleed each other, after which she may join the race or not.
She knows that there are certain deadlines that she must comply with, to comply with federal and state law if for no other reason. (Many states have deadlines by which you must file papers with them if you want to be put on the ballot.)
But she’s not going to reveal her cards this soon. She will announce her decision on whether or not to run when she believes the time will be right for her to do so.