|Palin's 2011 Iowa speech shows what a 2016 run would be like...|
The media will dismiss her as a sideshow and insist she's just trying to get attention. Palin famously flirted with the idea of running for president for the entire year of 2011 until ultimately opting out of the race in October. She often spoke of "fire in the belly" and "open doors" for her to walk through leading many to believe that she was certain to take the presidential plunge. I certainly was one of those folks who was convinced that she was running.
Something changed for Palin in fall of 2011 and she abandoned the idea of running. Many of us were crushed and never really found another candidate to unite behind.
It could well be that Palin is just keeping her options open, but her actions and statements in the last few weeks have been more indicative of a potential candidacy than any time since the summer of 2011. The 2016 race looks to be a crowded one, and Palin would do well to clarify her intentions one way or the other sooner rather than later. She will not have the luxury of waiting until the last minute this time around.
For those that write off her chances, I would simply say that they aren't paying attention. There is no doubt that Palin's reputation has taken a hit after years of media attacks. However, when one looks to the raw political talent that she demonstrated in her races thus far, it is not impossible to believe that Palin would be able to claw back to the top of the heap. The idea of Palin running her own national campaign would be a game-changer.
She is a tenacious campaigner, a fearless politician and one who doesn't take orders from the corrupt GOP party leadership or money folks. She will call out both sides as she makes her case and in so doing change a lot of hearts and minds. Expectations for Palin are so low that she will shock many Americans who confuse Tina Fey with the real deal. As more Americans get to see the true Palin, the race for 2016 will dramatically change. Having seen Palin's reception at CPAC firsthand, I can attest to the woman's rock star appeal. The base loves her. The only thing that she needs to do is convince people that she can be taken seriously. And that is something she will be able to do with her masterful speech-giving at high profile events like today's summit in Iowa, a possible appearance at CPAC, and a speaking engagement over in the UK at Cambridge University.
For someone wondering what a Palin campaign might look and sound like, they would do well to watch this video of her speech in Iowa in 2011. Her campaign would be a full-throated endorsement of free market capitalism, main street America and the "forgotten" working folks. She would speak for those who are not well connected to the ruling class elite in both parties. She would take on corruption in both parties, skewer the permanent political class, and make a priority of ending crony capitalism. She would also vigorously pursue constitutional government in a field of quasi-statists.
At this point, there is no certainty that Palin will opt to run. The fact that she is seriously interested in doing so is a promising sign that this race is about to get very interesting indeed.
It should be noted that while I am a supporter of Governor Palin, I do not pretend to know what she intends to do, nor will I be surprised if she runs or if she opts not to. I do believe that whether she runs or not, she intends to play a larger role in 2016 than in 2012. I will support her in whatever decision she makes. As she put it herself when disappointed supporters lashed out at her decision not to run in 2011, if we trust her to lead the nation, we should trust her to make decisions that are best for her own family.