Quote: “I cannot predict what will happen in the future, but I know that I have got the fire in my belly to try to help, to try to make a difference. And if that involves running for public office at some point in the future, I’m game for that.” Now all that’s standing between us and the greatest blog story ever is Jeb idly wondering aloud in front of reporters whether the Bush brand might be in better shape these days than everyone thinks. Oh, and I guess we’d need a Gingrich comeback to happen at some point too to make sure the delegates split three ways. Don’t sweat the details, though. Dude, this is happening.
One, her clout is dubious. Her popularity peaked long ago, and the supporters she does have won’t necessarily follow her lead. When Palin praised former House speaker Newt Gingrich on her Facebook page, many of her fans balked. While Palin can amplify tea party concerns, she doesn’t speak for or carry that group.
Two, she isn’t what people are loooking for. The names that come up when talk of a brokered convention surfaces — as either candidates or potential dealmakers — are relatively moderate politicians with broad support: former Florida governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. A polarizing figure like Palin is hardly in the mix.
Fair enough, but go read Ben Domenech’s post posing the provocative question of who Republicans should support if they become convinced that Obama’s going to win in November regardless. I argued the other day that if we get to a brokered convention, the eventual nominee will be so weakened by party chaos that delegates will break for the most electable option simply to give the GOP a fighting chance against The One. But maybe that’s wrong. If the economy starts to hum and O jumps out to a big lead, the calculus for some party powerbrokers might shift towards choosing a sacrificial lamb as his opponent. If they opt for a tea partier and Obama goes on to win, then they can scapegoat the movement as being “too extreme” and unelectable. If they stick with Romney and Obama beats him, then they’ll have the same problem they had after 2008 but only more so — a conservative base convinced that it’s the RINO establishment that’s unelectable and that the party needs to move further right. Palin’s too savvy to offer herself up as a sacrificial lamb if the race looks like a lost cause, but maybe some other conservative isn’t: This would, after all, be a shot at the presidency, albeit a long shot. I wonder what grassroots righties would do in that case. Would you want a conservative candidate to emerge from the brokered convention, even if it appeared likely he/she would lose, or would the calculus shift to supporting Romney and letting him be thrown to the wolves? So much heart-ache in the fact that we’re even thinking about this.