In an interview last week with BBC Newsnight Sarah Palin revealed two issues which she has under consideration before she decides whether or not she will put herself forward as a candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. She indicated that the two issues were the need to raise significant campaign funds, and whether or not American voters were ready to vote for an “unconventional candidate.” Her deliberations appear to me rather misguided if not downright contrived.
In the BBC interview Palin stated to the reporter, Jackie Long, that “Understanding that Obama, he’s already said that he’s going to rake in and spend a billion dollars in this race, so money is certainly going to be a consideration.”
Typically, Palin completely distorts the facts. Obama did not say that he was going to spend a billion dollars on the 2012 race. More accurately, as the Washingtion Post reported last December, a former unnamed Obama administration official was quoted as saying that” it is not unrealistic that Obama could raise a billion.” It was also reported in the same article that in the 2012 race the Republican Party nominee can also opt out of public financing and so will be free to collect as much money as they are able.
Regardless of the actual election financing, can Palin raise the necessary funds to see her launch a bid for the primaries? I suspect (but admit I have no facts) that she has already been given some assurances that support will be forthcoming if she agrees to put herself in the ring and that her mention of “money” as “a consideration” is merely her blowing a whistle in the direction of perspective donors in an effort to stimulate even more direct promises of support.
Moreover, Palin must be aware that if she were to come through as the top candidate at the end of the primaries, and be selected by the Republican Party, there should be no problem with fundraising as she too would be able to opt out of the restraints of public financing. It is also extremely unlikely that the GOP machine would not get behind her if she emerged as the preferred candidate.
Palin, in a previous interview with Barbara Walters, said that she believed that she could beat President Obama. What Palin seems unsure about in the interview with the BBC reporter, Jackie Long, is whether or not the American people want her and her “tell it as it is” ways enough for her to beat Obama.
However, Palin will also know that the economic situation in the USA and/or other social/political issues could decline between now and the election and that such problems could certainly play into her “unconventional candidate” hands. It is at times of economic instability and uncertainty that confused voters look towards what appears to be the brightest, loudest, shiniest “tool” in the box for answers. Especially if the “tool” comes wrapped in a patriotic flag, spouts simple solutions and is stamped with the “commonsense” seal of approval.
Sarah Palin enjoys playing games with the media. She will continue to bait, taunt and hint at her intentions for as long as she possibly can. Why should Palin make an early announcement one way or other when she can continue to make money and be given a free platform for her extreme views on Fox News? She has the best of both worlds and she knows it and I believe that she will wait until the last minute to announce her intentions.