Yes, It Looks Like Sarah Palin Is Going To Run For President

Yet more signs that Sarah Palin is quietly positioning herself for the opening moves of a White House run after the mid-term elections are over.

Just a few days after saying she’d be willing to give a Presidential run in 2012 “a shot,” and speaking at the Iowa GOP’s Reagan Dinner, Sarah Palin is letting it be known once again that she has a run for the White House on her mind:

Former Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin gave her strongest indication yet that she may run for president Wednesday night, saying she would jump into the race if “nobody else were to step up” with the proposals she wants to see.

Palin’s recent trip to Iowa has increased speculation that she may run for the Republican nomination in 2012, and she has seemed more open to the possibility in recent interviews.

Asked by Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren what “would be a reason to run” during an interview Wednesday night, Palin laid out her criteria:

“A reason to run is if nobody else were to step up with the solutions that are needed to get the economy back on the right track and to be so committed to our national security that they are going to do all that they can, including fighting those on the extreme left who seem to want to dismantle some of our national security tools that we have in place,” Palin said.

“If nobody else wanted to step up, Greta, I would offer myself up in the name of service to the public,” Palin added. “But I also know that anybody — anybody — can make a huge difference in this country without a title, without an office, just being out there as an advocate for solutions that can work to get the country on the right track. And that’s where I am now.”

There it is, the classic political statement that says, I’m not thinking of running but if my country needs me, I’ll do it. It’s really quite masterful rhetoric, even if the truth of the matter is that it isn’t any more true when Palin says it than it is when any other politician who has their eye on the brass ring of American politics says it. It doesn’t mean she’s definitively decided she’s running, but it does mean she’s thought about it and she’s laying the groundwork for it.

You can see it now, really:

If the Republicans run the table in November, they’ll still have to deal with the reality of a Democrat in the White House who has the veto power. Palin comes forward sometime in 2011 and says that she’s heard the call from her supporters that America needs a President who will work with a Republican Congress to rollback Obamanomics.

If the Republicans fall short, then Palin and her supporters will see that as a call not for more compromise, but to become even more insistent on Republican adherence to conservative orthodoxy. And, they’ll argue, she’s just the person to lead the party, and the nation.

Will it work ? Well, I still say she has an immensely high hill to climb when it comes to winning a General Election, but anyone who discounts Sarah Palin’s ability to win the Republican nomination two years from now is a fool.

She will, as this new video from SarahPAC already makes clear, take up the mantle as the Tea Party leader whether it’s given to her or not:

As Allahpundit points out, a video that is supposed to be about the Tea Party movement really turns out to be the Palin brand:

She’s pushing this as a call to arms to elect tea-party candidates in the midterms but by the end of the clip it’s an out-and-out campaign ad, replete with beatific slow-motion shots staring up at the podium. The goal, very obviously, is to put her signature (literally, per the closing shot) on tea-party fee-vah after all the buzz this week from O’Donnell’s big upset.

Will it work ? It’s hard to say. Like her or not, there’s no denying the enthusiasm and loyalty that Palin generates among her supporters. It’s an almost fanatical rock-star like enthusiasm that, strangely enough, has even tranferred itself to her family to the point where Bristol Palin appearing on Dancing With The Stars is suddenly a political issue for some people. It’s easy to see how she could win the GOP nomination.

At the same time, though, there are few politicians as polarizing as Sarah Palin. Even a majority of her own supporters don’t necessarily think she should be President. If she does walk out of the Republican National Convention in Tampa on the night of August 30, 2012 with the GOP nomination, she’s going to have tremendous odds against her unless the economic situation has deteriorated to such an extent that President Obama couldn’t win a race against ham sandwich.

Whatever happens, though, it’s bound to be entertaining.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. john personna says:

    I thought the Dancing With The Stars thing was a sign that Sarah wasn’t running.  I guess that just shows I’m last century – with an obsolete sense of propriety – and an old values on the Separation of Entertainment and State.

  2. James Joyner says:

    I still wonder if she wouldn’t rather be the next Oprah than the next Obama.  She’s got to do the Newt thing, showing signs she might run, to maintain her social currency.  But it’s not at all clear that she even has anything she’d like to accomplish in the White House.

  3. legion says:

    Thank goodness! I’ve got plenty of complaints about how Obama’s been doing things, but he’s still better for American than _anyone_ the Republicans are liable to nominate. If Palin runs, it pretty much guarantees that 2012 will be a cakewalk for him…

  4. ponce says:

    I must confess I have a death wishy fascination about what it would be like to have Sarah Palin as the leader of the free world.
    Sarah Palin 2012…What the Hell!

  5. john personna says:

    Sarah Palin 2012…What the Hell!

    Colbert in 2016

  6. ugh says:

    I’m pretty sure in a presidential race between sarah palin and a ham sandwich I would vote for the sandwich every day of the week and twice on sunday.

  7. Tano says:

    I must confess I have a death wishy fascination…

    I don’t suspect that many of the rest of us do, so please…lets keep it in the privacy of your own home, ok?

  8. sam says:


    She’s got to do the Newt thing, showing signs she might run, to maintain her social currency.

    Yeah, that’s kinda been my feeling: You gotta stay famous to stay famous.

  9. Brummagem Joe says:

    Apart from the media who need to fill their pages and blogmeisters like you Doug who are anxious to stir their sleepy readers, no one takes this seriously. As you continually point out Doug, and I agree with you entirely, the woman is a joke. So why do you hang on her every word?

  10. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Who ever wins the GOP nomination in 2012 will win the Presidency.  Period.  After Christofer Coates testifies tomorrow on the New Black Panther case, Holder will be done and Obama will be so tainted he will be unable to win even a majority in his own party.  Americans do not want to grow stronger by absorbing another terrorist attack.  Nor do they want to lose in Afghanistan.  Democrats, with a few exceptions alway abandon fights rather than finishing them.

  11. An Interested Party says:

    Zels would make the perfect running mate for Caribou Barbie…

  12. legion says:

    Zel – so if _none_ of those things actually happens after tomorrow, will you promise to shut up for a while?

  13. Smooth Jazz says:

    <At the same time, though, there are few politicians as polarizing as Sarah Palin. Even a majority of her own supporters don’t necessarily think she should be President.>

    LOL, This is a perfect example of using a sympathetic poll to push your pre-conceived agenda and belief: That former Governor Palin is “Polarizing”. We know the “self fulfilling” meme that the media has been pushing for some time: Hive up left wing pollsters such as Daily Kos/PPP, CBS/NY Times, CNN etc as purveyors of facts that Gov Palin is polarizing.

    Indeed, the last poll you quoted, Rasmussen, has her favorability at 48/49, not that far from where Obama is these days. Keep hiving up that “polarizing” and “She Could NEVER be elected” propaganda. It just means you will have a long long way to go to face reality IF and when it happens.

  14. Trumwill says:

    I will say this with regards to Palin: My wife has never voted for a Democrat in her life, but if she is the Republican nominee in 2012 she has said that she will vote for Barack Obama.
    Okay, and I will say one other thing in the form of a question. If she runs, who is to say that she will run a remotely competent campaign? Campaigning is hard word and stressful. She couldn’t take being the Governor of Alaska. I say there is a good chance that if she runs she will tire of the hard work very quickly. She may not drop out (though I could see a Perotish back-and-forth), but unenthusiastic and drained candidates don’t win.

  15. Janis Gore says:

    She’s boxed.  She chose to have Trig and she needs to mother Trig.  She can’t do that with two years on the road.  Call it sexist, but it’s her choice,  He won’t be five before before 2012.

  16. Neil Hudelson says:

    “If she runs, who is to say that she will run a remotely competent campaign? Campaigning is hard word and stressful. She couldn’t take being the Governor of Alaska. I say there is a good chance that if she runs she will tire of the hard work very quickly. ”

    All I can say to that is: Indeed.

    So many articles speculate on who will win the Republican nomination based on current poll ratings.

    Not too many out there talk about who can actually marshal their funding and resources to win–polls be damned (with the exception of a few–JJ has mentioned Romney’s ability to get the appropriate infrastructure built quickly).

    Obama was able to stay in the primary race in the beginning (against Clinton’s juggernaut) because of his campaign staff’s abilities. Clinton was able to make a show of it near the end (against Obama’s perfected rhetoric) because of her campaigning abilities.

    It takes much more than a good favorable ratings and some money in the bank to win the nomination.