With Sarah Palin and Chris Christie not running for the GOP nomination in 2012, it’s a whole new ballgame in the general election, but don’t expect to have heard the last word from the two who have officially become kingmaker and queenmaker.
Palin and Christie are polarizing personalities, which is why many were clamoring for the two to run, but since the two are such high-wattage personalities, you can definitely expect each to play a role in the presidential campaign.
“I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets,” Palin pledged in an e-mail to her supporters. “In the coming weeks I will help coordinate strategies to assist in replacing the president, retaking the Senate and maintaining the House.”
Palin who previously stated that a title would shackle her appeared on ‘On the Record’ with Greta Van Susteren Wednesday night and explained her decision to not throw her hat in the race.
“Decided that it’s a no, Greta, because after prayerful consideration and a lot of discussion with the family, I concluded that I believe I can be an effective voice in a real decisive role in helping get true public servants elected to office, not just in the presidency, but we have 33 Senate seats coming up,” Palin said. “We have a House of Representatives that we need to strengthen in numbers, conservatives who understand that our country has got to get back on the right track economically here, and governors’ seats around the nation. I believe I can be an effective voice for some positive change in these positions.”
Although Palin supporters are a bit disappointed, it’s important to remind everyone about Palin’s role in the 2010 midterm elections. The former Alaska governor threw her support behind dozens of candidates, a mixture of tea party types and more established Republicans. The Washington Post even went so far as creating a Palin political tracker that mapped out her endorsements. It’s no surprise that already several 2012 candidates have reached out to her. I don’t expect Palin to fade from the scene and a Palin endorsement is more valuable than ever.
In fact, Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House told Fox News today that he has been trying to set up a call with the former Alaska governor and was asked whether he would want Palin’s backing,
Gingrich answered, “Oh sure, I think any candidate would like to have her endorsement. But I don’t expect her to jump in in the near future. She is a citizen in her own right, she’s a force in her own right.”
Gingrich added that he doesn’t think an endorsement is coming any time soon. “I think that she will have an impact by talking out on issues and talking about specific things,” he added, saying any of the GOP candidates would love to gain Palin’s support because “she has so many followers who really listen to her and pay attention to her.”
That’s exactly what Palin did in 2010. She held back her endorsements until it was close to the election and I’m sure that’s what we can expect for 2012.
On “On the Record”, Palin was already in Queenmaker mode, reminding voters that we have got to be listening to candidates’ ideas, understanding what their record is, so that we know that their track record will give us a picture of where they intend to bring this country forward.
“Now, it’s going to be through the debates, and obviously, through their campaign efforts that we hear their message, that we get to vet them and learn more about their records, and that’s extremely important,” Palin said. “It’s a long process. Again, don’t put all your hope and faith in an individual, but in their ideas and what they represent, the faith that you can have that they know what they’re doing and they can bring this country forward – – listening to the will of the people.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m fascinated to find out who Christie and Palin will endorse and it was refreshing to hear Palin resort back to her old self and actually weigh in on candidates on ‘On the Record.’ Since she wasn’t sure if she was going to run, it was obvious, she was holding back approval of the current crop, but now that she’s made her decision, we can expect Palin to be her usual outspoken self and point out the candidates’ strengths and weaknesses. For example, Palin, in her Fox appearance, praised Herman Cain, touting his business acumen and background in the private sector.
“That’s that Americana story that so many of us are intrigued with and impressed with,” Palin said. “So I look forward to hearing more details about Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 program and what he proposes in terms of being able to reduce taxes even further and not look at taxes as just some kind of revenue generator so that government can grow, but treat government — let the private sector grow the businesses. I believe he knows how to do that, so I look forward to hearing more of his details.”
So as we enter another inning in the GOP presidential race, this new ballgame is sure to heat up and don’t expect the most two polarizing figures in the Republican field to sit on the sidelines. Instead, expect some strategic plays to oust Obama from office.