Will Palin make presidential bid?

August 29, 2010


From Alaska to Georgia, Sarah Palin has pursued a familiar political path this year, endorsing Republican candidates and picking up political chits.

Potential presidential candidates have done that in midterm campaigns for more than a generation, often disclaiming any interest beyond helping their party or, in her case, the GOP women she calls “Mama Grizzlies.”

“That’s not where my focus is,” she said recently when asked about 2012 on “Fox News Sunday.”

She may have scored a notable success in helping oust Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Tuesday’s Alaska GOP primary, but overall her record has been mixed. She helped Nikki Haley win the Republican nomination for governor of South Carolina but failed in a similar effort for Karen Handel in Georgia. One congressional backer of Handel’s rival noted pointedly that Georgians could do “their own thinking on things like this.”

But while the former Alaska governor often sounds and looks like a presidential candidate, her failure to pursue other aspects of the presidential playbook has created significant doubts about her intentions.

The consensus in the political community is that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will run in 2012. But it’s sharply split on what Palin will do, though she’d almost certainly rank among the GOP favorites.

The arguments in favor of her running are obvious:

l She’s the best known and most outspoken GOP opponent of President Barack Obama and, in a fairly drab field, the most charismatic. She creates more enthusiasm among the faithful than potential rivals.

l She can raise money more quickly than most, though she probably can’t rival Romney, who spent $35 million of his own in 2008.

l Her base among religious conservatives would be an asset in Iowa’s leadoff caucuses. So would her primary endorsement of the likely next governor, Republican Terry Branstad. Haley would be a strong ally in crucial South Carolina.

l Unless a governor like Haley Barbour of Mississippi or Rick Perry of Texas runs, she’d do well in the Southern primaries that pick a significant proportion of GOP delegates. Though former House Speaker Newt Gingrich represented Georgia, it’s unclear how Southern his political base would be.

l If timing is everything, Palin might be smart to run while she’s hot. In four years, the Republican field might include such newer stars as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and, if elected senator this year, Florida’s Marco Rubio.

l Obama remains likely to enter 2012 as a favorite for re-election. (Since 1892, Jimmy Carter is the only elected president who restored his party to the White House but then lost re-election.) Republicans might go with their heart on grounds they’d have little to lose.

But before awarding Palin the 2012 GOP nomination by acclamation, it’s worth mentioning some reasons indicating she might not run.

l Though supporters love her, there aren’t enough. Polls show that most Americans consider her unqualified to be president.

l Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston’s criticism of her Georgia campaigning is the tip of an iceberg of GOP establishment resistance. She might face tough going among the larger electorates of major industrial states.

l It’s unclear if Palin has taken steps to correct the ignorance she often showed in 2008 when discussing major issues. While she might be able to avoid most questions, the inevitable candidate debates would contrast her knowledge with some experienced, knowledgeable rivals.

l She’s done little to build the infrastructure for a presidential bid in the way several potential candidates have. Off-year campaigning provides an opportunity to test such organizations.

l It’s not clear she even wants to be president. It’s a tough, 24-7 job, and she had enough of the far-less-taxing Alaska governorship after 2 1/2 years. Running for president, much less serving, is harder still.

So will she or won’t she? Everyone’s got a view; what’s yours?

— Carl P. Leubsdorf is the former Washington bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News. carl.p.leubsdorf@gmail.com


jaywalker 7 years, 9 months ago

Headline asks wrong question. Should be, 'Is Palin a viable candidate for 2012?'

That's a huuuuge negative, good buddy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 9 months ago

There are really only two qualifications for running for president-- native-born citizen over 35 years old.

Beyond that, "qualifications" are strictly a matter of opinion.

While I didn't vote for Obama, the fact that Obama can answer nearly any question pertinent to being president intelligently and knowledgeably, while Palin can't, makes the decision of which one is more qualified an easy one to answer.

But I know that for you, "qualified" is merely a matter of being on your team (and Obama is the wrong color for that.)

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 9 months ago

5 different schools to get a degree in journalism,not finishing her term as governor,... gee I don't know why anyone would vote for her. Obama was well known throughout his State and a few of us had followed him a little before that. Sarah couldn't even tell Katie Couric what newspapers she reads, maybe she can't read. Tell us, Nancy-Tom, just what qualifications do you think a presidential candidate should have. If being a Constitutional Law Professor isn't good enough, what is?

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 9 months ago

He's a good speaker without the teleprompter, and at least he can read it, unlike the last guy. You managed to dodge the question, so I will ask again...Just what qualifications do you think a Presidential candidate should have? See if you can answer the question without slamming Obama. Don't worry, I'll wait.

overthemoon 7 years, 9 months ago


dontcallmedan 7 years, 9 months ago

lawrenceguy40 is a hopeless afterbirther.

Abdu Omar 7 years, 9 months ago

You are the joke if you think that She would make a good president. What Obama could do is organize, and above all, THINK, and was acutely aware of issues facing Americans. She is clearly baseless and without any where-with-all to make good decisions or even to what to think about. She detracted from McKane's ticket and she cost him the election. And whether you like it or not, TomShewmon, Obama won a hefty majority and poor McKane and PALIN were left in the dust. Why? Because Americans hated the Republican stance on everything. You are in the minority, old man, and you hate it!

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 9 months ago

That is only YOUR opinion.Everybody's got one and most of them stink.If Obama is such a dismal failure, give us your idea of what a successful President looks like. Re; the last line of your post, it doesn't make you a majority either.

ivalueamerica 7 years, 9 months ago

It is a cowards way to answer a question about Palin by yelling look away from her to someone else.

It is called deflection and it is an argument only the weak minded and those without substance use.

The question is Palin.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 9 months ago

Wounded_soldier, by twice referring to the Republicans' extremely well-known 2008 presidential candidate as "McKane," you don't do much for your credibility.

jonas_opines 7 years, 9 months ago

I doubt she wants to get a position at all, preferring the commentator and guest speaker fees.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 9 months ago

Jonas, I'm pleased for once to agree with you.

Joe Hyde 7 years, 9 months ago

Almost two years have passed since the last presidential election and I've forgotten their names, but prior to Sen. McCain picking then-Gov. Palin to be his vice presidential running mate there were (if memory serves) two or three other women he could have picked instead. And from what I was reading at the time, those other women were widely considered to be very well qualified.

I still believe that former Gov. Palin was selected for two reasons, both having to do with political expediency:

  1. Sen. McCain was desperate to connect with the Republican Party's right wing elements, and Palin's general attitude toward life in the U.S. is ultra-conservative, and any of her personal beliefs that weren't mainstream ultra-conservative could be rapidly altered to fit that mold with only a tiny bit of coaching.

  2. Sarah Palin is a very beautiful woman, a quality that in itself can be very politically persuasive.

My own personal concern when contemplating the possibility of "President Palin" is that she impresses me as being not so much a Mama Grizzly but something that is politically far more dangerous: a shoot-from-the-hip redneck.

If the Republican Party wants to again run a woman candidate for Vice-president, or President, I hope the selection committee will please revisit those women who Sen. McCain passed over a couple of years ago, just to see if they -- or other equally qualified and more moderate women -- are still available and would be interested in the job.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 9 months ago

One of those women was Olympia Snowe. In fact had he chosen her I would have voted for McCain. But Ms. Snowe jjjuuusstt wasn't quite far right enough. Too bad. It cost McCain the election.

cato_the_elder 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes, it's a real shame that McCain didn't pick Snowe. Had they won, it would have gotten her out of the Senate and made room for someone less liberal.

geekyhost 7 years, 9 months ago

Snowe would have been a far better choice, but I'd have preferred in general that he pick based on qualifications and not gender or race. It was pretty obvious that he hadn't fully screened Palin or thought the thing through. He wanted someone more photogenic and didn't care that she was dumber than a sack of hammers. Rather than gaining the support of Clinton followers, I think he ended up pissing a lot of them off.

jafs 7 years, 9 months ago

You don't seem to have a problem with far-right zealots who are trying to cram their agenda down our throats.

And, it's sort of funny - this administration is hardly "far-left" - in fact, Democracy Now regularly criticizes it, much of the time, for the same reasons that you do - ties to big money and corporate interests, failure to follow through on campaign promises, etc.

Politics make strange bedfellows, indeed.

Jimo 7 years, 9 months ago

Yeah, BUT FOR that crying and moaning you'd be voting Donkey, right?


Here, we have a moderate Democrat who so far has adopted one Republican policy after another - military policy, security policy, health care policy, tax-cutting stimulus, etc. Indeed, I'm hard pressed to think of any significant Obama policy that isn't some middle of the road approach that would pass unremarked if it was pushed by a Republican. Maybe SCHIP? No, that was Orin Hatch. 'Card check' maybe (not that it passed). Lilly Ledbetter, I suppose (although that's not particularly significant).

What you really have is a GOP that grows ever-more extremist, repudiating its own positions. Or as Colbert would have it: "No incumbent out there last night suffered a more decisive defeat than Senator John McCain who last evening was rejected by voters for his anti-tax cut, anti-border fence views. Instead they voted for a candidate who took the exact opposite position of John McCain: dark horse candidate John McCain. John McCain really tapped into the anti-McCain sentiment."

In this Tea Party year, there's no such thing as 'too much kook' on the right.

overthemoon 7 years, 9 months ago

Well said. But the truth falls on many deaf ears who would rather tear our country apart rather than get to the monumental task of rebuilding. Ironically, one of the most divisive, ignorant, cynical and lying individuals in the country met with 87,000 of his sheep yesterday, telling them to be honorable. What a frickin' joke.

Jimo 7 years, 9 months ago

But he can be quite entertaining.

I've never had much use for Woodrow Wilson so his attacks on the now hundred year dead Wilson doesn't bother me much. What's amazing is the transformation of Theodore Roosevelt into some demon-like entity! There was a time not that long ago when Roosevelt was THE major Republican after Lincoln. But then Roosevelt made his name fighting corporate fat cats so there you go.

overthemoon 7 years, 9 months ago

Ok Tom. ONE more time. There are NO far left zealots. Its your imagination and your perspective from the right of the right. What you call far left is actually the center.

Ralph Reed 7 years, 9 months ago

So far Tom, the only ones crying and moaning are people like you.

thusspokezarathustra 7 years, 9 months ago

This is hilarious, Tom, considering your modus operandi is to constantly cry and moan and perpetually scream to have your agenda rammed down our throats. What you do share with Palin is a complete lack of perspective.

Mike Ford 7 years, 9 months ago

Shewmon hearing someone as baseless as you are constantly stating an OPINION doesn't make something true. While you may have gone on national blogs talking about the qualities of clowns like Reagan which I discovered on the rest of the net a month ago, repeating slander does not make it fact. In spite of your parties' meddling, GM is going public, banks are paying back monies, health care companies I fear are fixing to profit because this bill is going to reign them in and they have a few more years to act like the GOP based crooks that they've been and rip us off before they can't Dumblicans rally against regulation because it stops them from ENRONING people and BPing people and ripping them off. The GOP is always friends with big companies that get wealthy ripping people like me off as they did under BUSH keeping oil prices high. How did this BP disaster not allow companies to profit? they always profitted at the public's expense during BUSH. You all are whining becasue you didn't get to fully 'destroy Washington as you rapture types had wanted to. AWWWWW!!!!

Like Horseface Quayle the Second (He should thank his mom for those choppers) you have no creditibility to call out Mr. Obama. In spite of all your parties meddling he still got stuff done. All you have left is name calling and slandering. Furthermore, as this is the day that my grandparents lost their home to katrina in mississippi five years ago, at least Mr. Obama is in NOLA on the first day. I wouldn't want to go Kanye on you, but oh well. You're a broken record of slander, that's all.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 9 months ago

All hearts incline to the left unless you have a congenital heart defect that will kill ya. My condolences Tom.

overthemoon 7 years, 9 months ago

are you sayin' the old testament knew our politics?? Get outa here, that's gotta be the lamest post ever.

overthemoon 7 years, 9 months ago

oh, a quick google on this shows that its the latest fave quote of the rightist bloggers. Biblical commentary says nothing about republicans or democrats, but about the right hand being the more common dominant hand. So its really a deep seated prejudice against lefties.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 9 months ago

I want Palin in the White House. The opportunities for humor would be endless. She would need advisors around her to keep her from blowing up the world ("Hey! Lookie here!") but she can't do any more harm than what Bush did in 8 years. While Bristol has her critters out by the huge cement pond called the "Reflecting pool", Mama Griz can dial up NASA and use the Hubble to see Russia from her back yard. A Palin White House would be 4 years of one of the best comedy shows to ever hit TV. Heck she might save the economy all by herself just from the comedians laughing all the way to the bank.

whats_going_on 7 years, 9 months ago

it would be a great way for me to permanently turn off all TV's I come across, never get on the internet again, and pretty much become a hermit. I can't stand seeing/hearing the little bit I hear of her NOW. How embarassing would that be...for the US...for HUMANITY, honestly!

missunderestimate 7 years, 9 months ago

Tom, Tom, Tom. You have too little faith in me, honey. Play nice, and I'll give you the tight t-shirt treatment, if you know what I mean.

yankeevet 7 years, 9 months ago

She shoots wolves from airplanes...............she is a nut case.........no vote for her..........

overthemoon 7 years, 9 months ago

Class is gracious under fire, not snarky. Class holds its own council, quietly without spouting of the first thing that comes to mind. Class understands the value of being respectful in order to be respected. Class accepts full responsibility for actions, not finding someone else to blame for one's own actions.

Palin's got good teeth and pretty legs. That is not class. She is the very antithesis of class. Perhaps you've never come across the real thing as it is rare...especially so among the loud and crass people who are attracted to her.

windjammer 7 years, 9 months ago

Tom what have you been smoking? Your blabber is ignorant and endless.

mom_of_three 7 years, 9 months ago

Palin is probably more intelligent than the way she usually delivers her message, and to me, that is very patronizing. We don't want to hear 'you betcha' and all those quaint, little redneck twangs. We want to hear someone who will understand. I am all for a woman in the white house, either as pres or vice pres, but it can not be her. And yes, I concur with the thought that she cost McCain the white house.

whats_going_on 7 years, 9 months ago

that is why we don't elect rednecks from Kansas into the white house then, I suppose. :)

Corey Williams 7 years, 9 months ago

My apologies. You're an east coast elitist hack.

terrapin2 7 years, 9 months ago

You label people more than anyone else on this forum. Lefty, loons, leftist lemmings, nazis, socialists, liberal elite, progressives, elitists etc... I could go on and on considering you have over 9000 posts. Do you really think you are going to change anyone's mind or do this country any good by spouting off your crap all day every day? Do you have anything else to do in your life? Get out of the basement and go out and do something worthwhile for god's sake. I don't care what you do for a living, 9000 posts that are all hateful, name calling crap with no real substance says you should be spending your time more wisely. No one wants to hear from you anymore.

Corey Williams 7 years, 9 months ago

And the point is you are an elitist hack.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 9 months ago

I sure hope not. (Surprised GASP from the libs.) Mrs. Palin already has one illegitimate grandchild. How about going home and taking care of your family Sarah?? They diserve to be more than the #2 priority in your life.

I can honestly admit, if it comes down to Palin vs. Obama I will be unable to vote. (Well, unless an outstanding 3rd party candidate comes along.)

mr_right_wing 7 years, 9 months ago

I sure hope you're an accurate psychic! Romney I can vote for.

I also wish I was as optimistic as you; I'm afraid obama supporters might get suckered into one more term. I'll be more than ecstatic to say you were right and I was wrong though!

thusspokezarathustra 7 years, 9 months ago

George H.W. Bush entered his third year with the highest ratings since public opinion pollsters began gauging Presidential popularity. Bush's popularity went into the 90 percent range. How did his re-election go again? I wouldn't count your eggs before they hatch, elections rarely turn out the way they look two years out.

beatrice 7 years, 9 months ago

She will run if she decides she can make more money by doing so. Being a full-time opportunist, she will do what is best for her. Period. Palin has no chance to win the nomination, of course, because her fellow Republicans would rip her to shreds during debates. There would be no Biden-playing-nice type of debates, and Palin can't possibly be smarter than she was two years ago. She would do terribly in national debates, which could be good for a laugh, but not good for her image.

I wonder what other favorite person of the Tea Party group would need to write "cut taxes" on their hand?

blindrabbit 7 years, 9 months ago

Tom: Why do you feel the need to continually post to a Douglas County Newspaper site when you live in Leavenworth County. As we know, Leavenworth County is a hotbed for your kind of thinking, whereas Douglas is probably the most Progressive County in the State. Leavenworth County politics is greatly influenced by the fact that it's major employers are military ( Ft. Leavenworth) and the many Federal, Military, State and Private prisons. Also, you seem to need to comment on Lawrence and Douglas County topics and events that have no bearing on Leavenworth County; you acting like a fly in the ointment. Also, what is the need to tie any news topic to your "Anointed One", do you have some sort of sexual fetish toward Obama?

Because of this, you have so many other potential Leavenworth County recipients to hear you out. But, I guess it would be like preaching to the preacher if you were to post to the following publications instead of LJW

Basehor Sentinel Easton Eagle Fairmount Flyer FallLeaf Fact Finder Jarbalo Journal Lansing Current Leavenworth Times Linwood News Reno Register Tonganoxie Mirror

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 9 months ago

" I don't associate them with the far-left kooks on this site. "

Identity is not ideology.

blindrabbit 7 years, 9 months ago

I also burn lots of firewood, save on propane. I meant "preaching to the preacher" because it (the Right and you) represent such a closed-looped mindset. What no "Anointed one" of Obama post on your return. Loosing your infatuation with him!?!?

Again, your fascination with Obama reminds me of telecasts of Yankee Baseball games and the apparent fascination the cameramen have with Derek Jeter, like he is the only guy on the team. I always figured it is based on some repressed sexual issues

I worked in Leavenworth County for many years, and so I known of what I speak about politics up there.

blindrabbit 7 years, 9 months ago

I also burn lots of firewood, save on propane. I meant "preaching to the preacher" because it (the Right and you) represent such a closed-looped mindset. What no "Anointed one" of Obama post on your return. Loosing your infatuation with him!?!?

Again, your fascination with Obama reminds me of telecasts of Yankee Baseball games and the apparent fascination the cameramen have with Derek Jeter, like he is the only guy on the team. I always figured it is based on some repressed sexual issues

I worked in Leavenworth County for many years, and so I known of what I speak about politics up there.

troll 7 years, 9 months ago

Forget the GOP, Sarah should run as president as a Tea Party canidate.

thusspokezarathustra 7 years, 9 months ago

"Why is the left, mostly the far-left which swarm this website scared out of their wits by Palin?"

Tom, don't mistake contempt for fear. I don't know anyone who fears Palin but everyone I know thinks she's contemptible.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 9 months ago

"Sarah Palin is a very beautiful woman, a quality that in itself can be very politically persuasive." === Beauty is in the 'eye of the beholder," for certain. If Ms. Palin wants to take that big a pay cut and try for the presidency, go for it. President Obama will face a tough election campaign in 2012. I can't think of a better opponent than Caribou Barbie. Run Sarah, Run! PS: The Joke is still true: If Sarah looked like Golda Mier, she wouldn't have been considered. "Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil! " ===One of Golda's better quotes

Kontum1972 7 years, 9 months ago

sarah palin in 2012.....hmmm....mb thats why the Mayan calendar ends ...in 2012....

ivalueamerica 7 years, 9 months ago

newly released survey suggests a clear majority of Americans don't think the former vice presidential nominee has the right credentials to be president.

According to the new survey from Vanity Fair and CBS News' 60 Minutes, only 1 in 4 of all adults thinks Palin is qualified to be commander-in-chief while 60 percent say she is not.

salad 7 years, 9 months ago

Pleeeeeeese God, let her run....Puh-leeeeeeeeez!!!! I think the crazies deserve her even more than curious George and Darth-Cheney. I bet we end up invading Canada on falsified intel.

Richard Payton 7 years, 9 months ago

Since 1892 Jimmy Carter is the only elected president who restored his party to the White House but then lost re-election, according to story. Jimmy Carter looks good for being 118 years old! His trip to Korea must have done him good.

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