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July 11, 2011

Sarah Palin Tea Leaves

I've become convinced that Palin isn't running, based on things she's been saying for a couple of weeks. I'm less confident of another belief -- that she's currently thinking about endorsing Governor Rick Perry -- but I think she's telegraphing that, too.

Most important was this series of quotes collected by Robert Costa at picnic to celebrate the release of The Undefeated.

Yet when I spoke with Palin, in a quiet conversation before she departed, she told me that all of the presidential chatter misses the point. She said that she enjoys being part of the national political conversation, but the idea that she needed to be in office to influence things is bunk.

“Being a private citizen, I think I am a good example for others to show that you don’t have to have a title, you don’t have to hold national or statewide office in order to effect positive change and make a difference,” she said. “The documentary encapsulates that — to be involved for the right reasons and challenge the status quo.”

But if Palin can stir whole towns to turn out for a film premiere, why not try to generate similar levels of enthusiasm for public policy as a candidate? “As a private citizen, you can effect change, too,” she replied with a smile. With that, she and her husband, Todd, jumped into a waiting sport-utility vehicle and zoomed away.

Perhaps this is just deflection, keeping her plans secret from a reporter. But to me, her stating multiple times that she can have a huge impact on politics as a "private citizen" is telegraphing that that is her current plan.

Palin got a lot of notice for her Obama-as-Sugar-Daddy FaceBook post. It's a good attack. I thought it was interesting that she seems to slight Bachmann. Since Bachmann was rapidly rising when she wrote this a few days ago (Bachmann is all-but-confirmed as the front runner), it's notable that she doesn't tailor her description of a good replacement president in such a way as to include Bachmann as a contender.

s we approach 2012, there are important lessons we can learn from all of this. First, we should never entrust the White House to a far-left ideologue who has no appreciation or even understanding of the free market and limited government principles that made this country economically strong. Second, the office of the presidency is too important for on-the-job training. It requires a strong chief executive who has been entrusted with real authority in the past and has achieved a proven track record of positive measurable accomplishments. Leaders are expected to give good speeches, but leadership is so much more than oratory. Real leadership requires deeds even more than words. It means taking on the problems no one else wants to tackle. It means providing vision and guidance, inspiring people to action, bringing everyone to the table, and with a servant's heart dedicating oneself to striking agreements that keep faith with our Constitution and with the ordinary citizens who entrusted you with power. It means bucking the status quo, fighting the corrupt powers that be, serving the common good, and leaving the country better than you found it. Most of us don’t see a lot of that real leadership in D.C., and it’s profoundly disappointing.

True enough, she could be speaking of her own credentials there, but if you (as I do) take her "private citizen" quotes to indicate her plans are to continue on as a private citizen, then the question becomes, "Which executive with experience and accomplishments is she thinking of?"

I suppose it could be Pawlenty. But I think she is thinking about Perry. After all, she says "thank goodness the field is not yet set."

Asked what was to be made of the fact that so many Republicans were looking beyond the field of declared candidates to people like herself, and Govs. Rick Perry and Chris Christie, Palin said, “It suggests that the field is not set. Thank goodness the field is not yet set. I think that there does need to be more vigorous debate. There needs to be a larger field. And there’s still time. There’s still months ahead, where more folks can jump in and start articulating their positions.”

Of course she also states that it's her belief that she can beat Obama herself. She also goes on to say multiple people can beat him, and that there are good, qualified candidates in the race.

Going back to an old interview on Fox, she said one of the scenarios in which she'd run is if there wasn't a good strong conservative candidate in the race. It seems that that scenario is not in operation (per this new interview). Of course, I don't think she said that would be the only scenario in which she'd run.

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posted by Ace at 01:38 PM

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