From John Smith at C4P:
Governor Palin is Still Alley Cat Smart
Everyone is getting all wee-weed up lately about Sarah Palin’s supposed indecision about a run for President, especially after her interview last night with Greta. Some here are nearly suicidal. Others are begging for people to have faith and keep their powder dry. For my part, I’ll just offer a simple statement: Sarah Palin has already decided to run for President.
Suppose that you, like me, believe that she believes what she says. Phrases like ‘I’d rather sleep well than eat well’ and ‘a ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not why the ship is built’ aren’t empty slogans. They’re words that capture the essence of a life lived so far. In this world, Sarah remains UNDEFEATED if she tries but fails to win. She only is defeated if she fails to try for fear of failure. Simply put, for someone like me, Sarah running makes perfect sense. Sarah not running would be tantamount to her saying ‘all those things I’ve said and done . . . never mind, THEY were right about me’. Could you see her doing that? Could you see yourself basically ‘refudiating’ so much of what is exemplary and good about your life so far.
Now, suppose that you are like Joe McGinniss. You believe that Sarah Palin is evil and manipulative. She only cares about the money. She only cares about her brand. She’s using her supporters, especially those O4P folks who have put their lives on hold chasing a false dream. When the rubber meets the road, she’ll pass. That sounds really convincing sometimes, especially if you say it enough and even more especially if you say it after an interview like Sarah had with Greta. There’s just one tiny flaw with the theory: If you believe all of that, then it makes more sense for Sarah to run. If she’s all about the money, then “alienating” an employer who pays her a million dollars a year makes no sense. If she’s all about the “brand,” then she’ll keep more of her followers by running than by not running.
In other words, in all of this talk about whether Palin will run or not, one question is NEVER asked: Does Palin have more to gain (or lose) by running or by not running? The reason that question is never asked is because, no matter your frame of reference when it comes to “analyzing” Sarah Palin, the conclusion would be the same: She’s running. She’s always been running. She has more to lose by NOT running. And, she is playing this “to be or not to be” game for a political reason that I will articulate presently:
Everyone knows that if (when) Palin runs, she will run a grassroots campaign. She will rely on deep enthusiasm among an often underestimated group of supporters and a lot of small donations to drive her campaign. Win the nomination, and the deeper pockets will come along for the ride. That pretty much was her strategy in Alaska in her run for governor in 2006. But, the beginning is the tricky part. Like 2006, she has to strike hard and fast this time in order to diminish the organizational and monetary advantages that the so-called frontrunners have.
Think of this like Blitzkrieg. The opposition is on two flanks. One or both has more resources and more immediate access to resources. How do you win? You plan well, and, when the time comes, you strike hard and fast. That’s what she’s set up. Three months ago, Sarah was facing a two front war, with Mitt Romney (the Russia of the race) on one flank and his ally Michelle Bachmann on the other flank. Why commence the battle on that field and at that moment?
As I wrote in my previous submission about Sarah being “alley cat smart” she knew that it would be tough enough to beat Romney one on one. A two-front war would be infinitely more difficult. So, she baited Perry in to neutralize Bachmann. Perry has done just that. At the same time, I suspect that she knew her friend well enough to know that he’d (a) neutralize himself and (b) be the perfect crony capitalist foil when the time comes.
I think Sarah is planning to run. But she’s planning a campaign like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
If she runs she will be in it to win it. Traditional strategy would be to announce early, raise money, build a campaign organization and go around Iowa kissing babies and asses for 12 months. Sarah doesn’t need to do that.
She doesn’t need to raise a lot of money right now. Candidates raise money to buy name recognition. She’s already got that. She also has a campaign organization.
Just below the radar of the national media there are a lot of Palinista volunteers organizing for her in Iowa. While other candidates are spending money to build theirs, hers hasn’t cost her anything. And she has plenty of time left to kissing babies.
One argument is that it’s too late for her to get endorsements and line up establishment support. Personally I think both of those things are overrated. I’ve never let anyone else tell me how to vote. YMMV.
By waiting until the last minute Sarah has been able to sit and watch the competition take shape. Several candidates have failed to catch fire while at least one has apparently flamed out. None of the current candidates appears unbeatable while several look beaten already.
The media have tried for years to portray Sarah as some ignorant nut-job. For the last few months they have been using those same attacks on Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. This allows Sarah to look sane and smart in comparison.
The timing of both “tell-all” books about Sarah was based on the assumption she would be a candidate by now. Sarah got to wait and see how they were received while keeping her options open.
If she was running and either or both books had landed any body blows she might have been knocked from the race. By waiting she could have simply announced she wasn’t running and denied the books had anything to do with it.
When Sarah jumps in she will be the flavor of the week. If there is one thing she is good at it’s sucking up all the oxygen. She will get tons of free media attention. By waiting until the last minute she is assured there won’t be any newer flavors coming along afterwards.
Once the voting starts the field will narrow quickly. Look how many Democrats were running in 2007 and look how fast it narrowed down to two choices after Iowa. Sarah intends to be one of those choices. I’m guessing Romney will be the other.
Mitt might have a huge war chest but he doesn’t generate enthusiasm the way Sarah does. He’s plastic man. She’s the real deal.
I expect her to run a low-budget grassroots campaign utilizing the internet and free media coverage. But if (when) she starts winning the money and the endorsements will follow.
The zeitgeist is right for a non-establishment reformer. Sarah Palin is uniquely positioned to be that person.
If the GOP tries doing to Sarah what the Democrats did to Hillary, watch how fast “Tea Party” turns into “lynch mob.”
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