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December 10, 2010

Palin Does The One Thing She Could Have Done To Get Me On Board With Her Candidacy: Endorsing Paul Ryan's Roadmap to Solvency

Last week, or two weeks ago, when I was arguing about Palin in the comments, I thought about writing, "Well, if Palin wants to convince me she's serious-minded, she can endorse Ryan's roadmap on entitlements/spending; but that's not really a fair bar for me to set, because she almost certainly won't do that. Too risky, too big."

Well, she endorsed it.

Out: Opposing Palin

In: Open to Palin

Put simply: Our country is on the path toward bankruptcy. We must turn around before it's too late, and the Roadmap offers a clear plan for doing so. But it does more than just fend off disaster. CBO calculations show that the Roadmap would also help create a "much more favorable macroeconomic outlook" for the next half-century. The CBO estimates that under the Roadmap, by 2058 per-person GDP would be around 70% higher than the current trend.

Is Rep. Ryan's Roadmap perfect? Of course notóno government plan ever is. But it's the best plan on the table at a time when doing nothing is no longer an option.

Let's not settle for the big-government status quo, which is what the president's commission offers. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to make these tough decisions so that they might inherit a prosperous and strong America like the one we were given.

Further Thoughts: It is hardly a secret that I was not a fan of Palin's decision to quit the governorship, if she intended a bid for higher office. I thought she was qualified, based on her record, to be Vice President, but hardly overqualified. Still something of a novice and untested, the half-term as governor provided a limited credential that she was up to running the country -- should be called to, if McCain died, in a couple of years -- but still and all, in a perfect world, I'd've preferred if she had more experience, even for the VP slot.

For the actual presidential slot, I thought her experience was simply deficient.

Palin's supporters argued that quitting the governorship was something of a plus, because it "freed her up" to take bold positions on big important national issues. I wasn't convinced, for a couple of reasons: For one thing, she could still do her FaceBook commentaries and op-eds while sitting as a serving governor.

For another thing, I didn't consider her previous efforts all that "bold" at all. I agreed with what she was saying, by and large, but it wasn't bold, as it's never a "bold" move to preach conservative doctrine to a conservative audience. That's not to say doing so is wrong, or unnecessary, or cowardly, but it's also not "bold" by any definition of the term. A "bold" move must carry risks.

Well, this is certainly a bold move. The tradeoff her supporters spoke of -- okay, not as much seasoning or experience, but now with greater boldness -- is now actually in existence, and it's a fair tradeoff.

On the other hand, this actually makes her less likely to win an election. The Roadmap has a lot of third-rail stuff in it that will make it unpopular, and will be demogogued with glee by the liberals. That said, some risks are worth taking, and to me, the future solvency of the country is such a risk. Yes, by endorsing an unpopular suite of politically-dangerous but financially-crucial reforms, a hypothetical Candidate Palin would be at an even greater disadvantage to a pandering Obama; but if there's a possible payoff to a risk, it's worth it.

Also, this makes me think she's actually a little bit less likely to seek the presidency at all -- this is a sort of Suicide Charge, and more likely to be the move of an outsider hoping to influence the debate, rather than a future candidate.

Still, if she did decide on a Death or Glory run at the Presidency with the intent to push for some truly momentous (and needed) reforms, I'd be in favor of her, all things being equal. If she were going to run mostly as a standard, safe candidate, I'd prefer someone without her heavy baggage. If we're going to have a standard, safe candidate anyway, why not the more-electable John Thune, Mitch Daniels, Tim Pawlenty, or Mike Pence?

But, if she's going to take a position that others don't dare take, then that recommends her.

I don't think I'm actually on Team Palin yet, but I'm off Team Anyone But Palin.


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posted by Ace at 01:05 PM

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