The PJ Tatler

Question of the Day: Will Sarah Palin Run or Not?

Last week Sarah Palin’s PAC released a glossy video that looks an awful lot like a pre-campaign introductory piece. Palin is speaking at a major Tea Party event in Iowa on September 3, so naturally speculation is building that she will announce a run for the presidency then. But we’re getting conflicting signals on that. RealClearPolitics says a source close to the former Alaska governor says she is unlikely to announce on Sept. 3.

But over at NRO, Robert Costa gets a source to go on the record, saying that she will run.

Political organizer Peter Singleton tells National Review Online that Sarah Palin will likely launch a presidential campaign by the end of September. “I believe that she will run,” he says. “I can’t see her sitting this election out.”

Palin, a former Alaska governor, is scheduled to address a tea-party rally on September 3 in south-central Iowa. Singleton is one of the forces behind the event, working with grassroots groups. “Labor Day will kick off the Republican campaign for the nomination,” he hints. “She is going to make a major, major speech.”

In some ways, this will-she-or-won’t-she mirrors Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign kickoff in August. The signals all pointed to Perry announcing a run at the RedState event in South Carolina, but there was just enough wiggle room to keep the expectation building right up to the moment Perry officially announced. Palin could be, and probably is, doing the same thing with her Sept 3 Iowa speech. There is a GOP debate at the Reagan Library on Sept 7. That debate’s location makes it a natural place for Palin and every other GOP contender to stake their claim to the Reagan mantle, so my gut call is that if she plans to announce, Sept 3 is the date, to set up her first moment on stage alongside the other contenders at the Reagan Library debate. Giving a “major, major speech” on Sept 3 and then passing on the big debate that follows just a few days later doesn’t make a great deal of strategic sense.