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PalinTracker: Not Running, but Still Kingmaking

With Sarah having emphatically removed her hat from the ring, is there any point in PalinTracking? I’ve concluded, at least for now: You betcha!

As she made clear in her statement to Mark Levin on his nightly radio show on October 5, after much soul-searching Palin is convinced she can be more effective on the sidelines than as a presidential candidate. Given her history — chafing under John McCain’s handlers in 2008 and resigning her Alaska governorship to spare her state the debacle of malicious lawsuits — Sarah knows the toll candidacy exacts on an individual’s independence, spontaneity, and authenticity. It’s no surprise she would not surrender them, especially given the fact that she has proven to be an unprecedented outside force for change simply by doing things her way. Since no one has ever been able to predict what Sarah will do next, I’d caution naysayers with a paraphrase of Abraham Lincoln: better to remain silent on the subject of Palin’s political demise and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt once she delivers the goods.

The goods will come in the form of her shaping the discussion. She has already captured the grudging admiration of the New York Times (see below) and ultimately may become the Republican kingmaker (so to speak) by delivering the votes of faithful conservatives who trust Palin’s discernment and lack of compromise.

So with a quick dash through some noteworthy Will She? Won’t She? pieces leading up to Sarah’s announcement, I’ll begin where we left off PalinTracking in September, then move on to reaction and questions about what lies ahead.

September 3

Palin still undecided on White House run

DES MOINES — Alaska Republican Sarah Palin is still pondering whether to seek the White House, she said in a brief interview this afternoon. …

In her speech, Palin said the challenge is not simply to replace President Barack Obama in 2012, “it’s who and what we will replace him with.”

September 5

Sarah Palin warns against Tea Party infighting

Palin: The tea party whisperer

Palin Praises Influence of the Tea Party

Palin, not even in the race, draws double the size crowd as Romney

September 6

Because she can:

Sarah Palin Runs Iowa Half-Marathon Unannounced Over Labor Day Weekend

September 7

The New Civility?

Liberal Video Game Offers Chance to Slay Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich in Tea Party Zombies

The New York Times finally sees something in Sarah?

Some of Sarah Palin’s Ideas Cross the Political Divide

Palin: Obama “plays us all for fools” with jobs plan

September 12

Sarah Palin Tells Greta Van Susteren Why She Thinks Obama’s Jobs Plan Won’t Get America Back to Work

September 13

Palin: Tea Party Was Big Winner of Debate

September 14

Wyclef Jean Talks Sarah Palin

“I have to tell you this: I am a huge fan of Sarah Palin,” the former Fugee said. “Cause she’s rad. She’s shrewd. She’s cool. Because at the end of the day, I’m for the people, because this is the United States of America … this is what America’s really about. Anyone should have the right to say, ‘Look I can do the job and this is what qualifies me to do the job.’… Now my wife probably will debate and disagree with me.”

Seeming to sense a little bit of disbelief, he qualified his statement.

“I’m not saying she could be the next president, you know, but there’s something about her. Heavy debates in my house. Whenever I say Sarah Palin, people think I’m crazy, but I like her, I do. I can like whoever. This is America, right?”

September 19

The Daily Beast: How Palin Haters Help Palin

Palin’s smarter than people think, says — Ralph Nader

September 20

Shock poll: Palin trails Obama by 5 points in new national poll

September 27

Sarah Palin calls “Herm Cain” the “flavor of the week”

Not sure how Politico framed this as a mockery, when Palin summed up human fickleness while praising Cain’s authenticity:

Take Herman Cain. He’s doing so well right now. I guess you could say, with all due respect, he’s the flavor of the week. Herman Cain is the one up there who doesn’t look like he’s part of that permanent political class. He came from a working class family. He’s had to make it on his own all these years. We respect that. He has an automatic connection with the electorate. We can all relate to him. He knows the issues and problems we face every day and he’s determined to do something about it.

He’s not elite. He doesn’t seem to allow us to be disenchanted with what it is that he’s proposing, because what he proposes in terms of solutions for our economy are based on time tested truths and common sense and true economic principles that will work.

Herman Cain is a good example of a connection with the voters and why his message — good messenger — he’s resonating with the people.

Greta van Susteren interview of Sarah Palin — video and transcript: GOP Infighting Playing Into “Liberal Handbook,” Problem Is Obama’s “Socialist-Leaning Failed Policies”

September 28

Palin: Is the title of President worth it?

September 29

Palin to Obama: Stop “poking our allies in the eye”

Palin: Now he’s blaming Europe

October 3

Todd Palin: A Modern Day Gary Cooper and a Man’s Man

October 4

Palin pens forward to Gov. Brewer’s book

The Atlantic: Why Palin-Style Populism Is Doomed to Failyeah, like The Atlantic understands populism in the first place . . .

October 5

Christie says “Not My Time” — All Eyes Now on Palin

Shortly after 6:00 pm EST, with no advance warning (I just happened to be listening while cleaning up after dinner), Sarah Palin called into the Mark Levin show to announce that she would not run as GOP candidate for the 2012 elections.

October 6

The Washington Post prints Palin’s formal statement.

Showing more graciousness than misogynist liberals, GOP pundits, and RINOs:

Bachmann says Palin will continue to play important role

SC Governor Haley Reacts To Palin’s Decision NOT To Run For President In 2012

Then there are those who know which side their bread is buttered on:

Newt Gingrich to Sarah Palin: Please call me

Newt Gingrich hasn’t spoken to Sarah Palin since she announced that she wouldn’t be running for president, but said Thursday he’d sure like to get her endorsement.

The former speaker of the House told Fox News that he has been trying to set up a call with the former Alaska governor to discuss “developing Alaska” but that the two have yet to connect.
And Gingrich doesn’t think that an endorsement is coming any time soon. “My hunch is that she’s going to wait a while and not endorse anybody for a while,” he said.

Asked whether he would want Palin’s backing, Gingrich answered, “Oh sure, I think any candidate would like to have her endorsement.

Washington Times: Sarah Palin: not retreating, just reloading

October 7

CNN: How much would an endorsement from Palin matter?

Rick Santorum Reaches Out for Sarah Palin Endorsement

October 8

Palin blasts Obama in visit to St. Charles

The former Alaska governor spoke on a wide range of topics, ripping President Barack Obama’s economic policies and faulting the “permanent political class in Washington, D.C.” in both major parties for overspending and increasing the nation’s debt. She also decried “crony capitalism.”

She complained that Obama and others had supported bailouts for Wall Street and big business and favored political contributors with economic stimulus funds. She said the middle class was paying the bill.

“It’s government picking winners and losers,” she said.

She also said: “The only solution is sudden and relentless reform.”

At Liberty University, Governor Palin Calls for Restoration of America

October 9

This kinda says it all, posted at Legal Insurrection:

From Crawdad Hole written by frequent commenter myiq2xu:

I guess the people like Andy Sullivan and his ilk are gonna be unhappy, because Sarah apparently has no intention of going away. I have to wonder what would have happened if they had just left her alone when she first went back to Alaska after the 2008 elections

I think there’s a lot of truth there. Palin frequently is depicted as someone who sought out the spotlight and was a publicity hound, but the reality is that circumstances found her, not the other way around.

What if Palin had been allowed to function as Governor without the relentless attacks from the likes of Andrew Sullivan, various anti-Palin bloggers, the media, establishment Republicans, and frequent-filers of frivolous ethics complaints?

Attacking Palin became an industry, and when she fought back she was blamed. The derangement started the day she was designated by John McCain as the VP nominee, and it continues to this day from small people like David Frum.

Palin didn’t bring it on herself, but having found herself in the cross-hairs, she fought back. Good on her.

And a rather grim prognosis:

Palin’s Withdrawal Means Obama Wins

Looking forward to your comments. Please send any tips, links, and Sarah sightings to [email protected]