Gingrich: I think Palin's running for president

Well, that makes one of us.

“There are going to be lots of Republicans running — Gov. Romney clearly, Gov. Palin, Gov. Huckabee, Gov. Mitch Daniels, Gov. Haley Barbour, Gov. Tim Pawlenty. I think John Thune, the senator from South Dakota, is probably going to get in. Ron Paul’s probably going to run again,” Gingrich said in an interview with Newsmax, a conservative magazine. “I think it’s going to be a lively campaign, there’ll be a lot of good candidates.”…

Gingrich, asked specifically about Palin, said she’d be a formidable opponent.

“I think she’s already a very strong personality and has the potential to be a very strong candidate,” he said.

The only two who are guaranteed to run are Romney and Pawlenty, and I think T-Paw might be in it not because he expects to win but to raise his national profile in anticipation for a future presidential (or Senate) run. Same with Thune, actually. Everyone else, including Sarahcuda, will start putting organizations in place in case they decide to make their move but will hold off on committing until there’s a better sense of how the economy will be circa late 2011. If it’s not looking good — and early indications are that it won’t be — then The One is vulnerable and it makes sense to run. If it starts to rebound before next summer, beating him will be tough even with him carrying around all the baggage of his first term. In which case, if you’re as young as Palin is, why risk it? Just bide your time and focus on 2016 when you don’t have to worry about facing an incumbent. Remember too that Palin, perhaps uniquely among the GOP field, is well positioned to jump into the race very late if it looks like no one’s gaining traction, which makes it almost impossible to guess right now what she’ll be doing. She’s probably taking the “wait and see” approach, as well she should, and Newt’s almost certainly just being cautious here, mentioning her as part of the group so that he doesn’t take any flak for omitting her. Exit question: What does he mean by “she has the potential to be a very strong candidate”? Is she not one already? Sic ‘im, Palinistas!

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