Could A Palin Presidential Bid Rewrite The Campaign Rulebook?
Karl Rove, the former strategist for George W. Bush, said Sunday he thinks the odds favor a Palin run.
Conventional wisdom dictates that Sarah Palin is not running for president: it's too late; the field is too crowded, and many think she is more interested in making money than running for office.
On top of that, the onetime vice presidential candidate has failed to build substantial campaign apparatus in crucial early primary states. She has seemingly declined to aggressively court big-name, big-dollar Republican donors, and she has watched as countless top GOP operatives join her possible competitors' campaigns.
Palin, many believe, has handicapped her own prospects for 2012 and decided to sit it out.
"Like everyone else, I have assumed she wouldn't run because, despite what she keeps saying, it is late to organize a successful bid," says political analyst Larry Sabato, director of University of Virginia's Center for Politics. "Many of the people who might have backed her earlier have moved on to Perry or Bachmann, and possibly others."
"At some level, I think Palin has realized that her negatives are just too high to win the White House, certainly in the 2012 campaign," he adds.
But that may be like a lot of other conventional wisdom: wrong.
At least one high-profile pundit thinks so. Karl Rove, the former strategist for George W. Bush, said Sunday he thinks the odds favor a Palin run.
Pointing to a campaign-style video Palin released last week, Rove told Fox News Sunday he'd put his money where his mouth is.
"I'm not much of a gambler, but I'd put a little bit more money that she gets in than she doesn't," Rove said. Of her upcoming schedule in Iowa, which includes a Tea Party speaking event on September 3, Rove said it "looks like that of a candidate, not a celebrity."
Rove anticipates a swift announcement. "You can only tease so many times in the political process and I think she's getting to the end of that," he said. (Late Monday, Palin's SarahPAC denied a decision was imminent and said comments otherwise were "intended to mislead the American public.")
In an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Palin's 2008 presidential running mate, said he didn't know whether or not Palin would run - but he said he thought she would be a "formidable" candidate if she did.
And Palin has certainly been keeping herself busy. Over the past several months, she has participated in and embraced and a pro-Sarah Palin documentary that glorifies her half-term tenure as Alaska governor; she has launched the "One Nation" bus tour which, while only sporadically deployed, has made some strategically-timed stops - most recently at the Iowa State Fair, where the majority of the GOP field was preparing for the following day's closely-watched Iowa straw poll; and she has made efforts to maintain her place in political discourse by publicly commenting on the political debates of the day - albeit through her preferred venues of Facebook and Fox News. (Notably, if she did enter the race, Palin would have to give up her lucrative Fox News contract - another possible disincentive.)