The Other McCain

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The Perry-Palin Litmus Test

Posted on | August 20, 2011 | 31 Comments

by Smitty

Allahpundit, emphasis mine:

Since we’re talking Perry, Palin, and Iowa, here’s an … interesting poll that made the rounds yesterday. There’s nothing obviously suspect to me about the methodology for surveying Republicans (the poll was automated, just like all of Rasmussen’s), but I’m not familiar with this pollster so assign whatever degree of credibility to it that you like. I joked on Twitter today that it’ll be fun seeing which side Karl Rove comes down on if the race ends up being between Perry and Palin, but he’d surely take solace in the fact that things will inevitably turn really nasty online between each candidate’s supporters. Perry will get called a cronyist, Palin will get called unqualified, and thus shall the wedge be driven into the grassroots. Can’t wait to find out which of the two is the truer “true conservative.” It’s hard for us RINOs to tell sometimes, you know.

If Governor Palin is the spiritual daughter of Reagan, and his 11th Commandment was not to speak ill of another conservative, then it makes sense that she’ll discipline her troops, to heighten the contrast between her and at least the Left, if not also Governor Perry’s supporters.

But is it in her best interest to go in this early? If she lets Governors Perry and Romney bash on each other and the Left while remaining aloof, is that a bad thing? Her only opportunity cost would be near-term fundraising. However, gambling that her charisma will motivate campaign contributions from the hoi polloi may make it worthwhile to delay.

Furthermore, if a substantial number of the people already bet that she’s running, without an official announcement, then she builds pressure on BHO, while not actually being present on the field, which presence would become a rallying cry for the opposition. She continues to log hours in front of a camera, and work whatever offline coaching she’s doing, honing the message. The Recovering Liberal breaks down the pundit split, which favors a run, but cites 03 September for the announcement.

What is the fish/cut bait date? I predict a buildup during the fall, a final go/no go decision, which will be a go, and come on 13 November, with all of the appropriate invocations of Reagan. By that time, the mysterious 1 in 5 who strongly support BHO shall have ebbed about as far as they will, and the House GOP shall have had time to recycle the debt question with the FY12 spending bills. Unless BHO can find a way not to look a total boob (again) on budgetary matters (it could happen: his opponent is the GOP), he stands to be further weakened as the year drags on. Other than the corresponding economic damage to the country, what’s not to like about that?

So, sorry, Maggie Mac: your bustier straps are likely to remain twisted a few months more, if I’m right. Daily Pundit also sounds a trifle overheated:

At this point, if Sarah does jump in, I’m inclined to be annoyed with her. She dicked around playing cute for months, when she could have joined the fray and locked up the anti-RINO vote.

You’ll shake it off, I expect.

In any event, it makes little sense for Perry or Palin supporters to expend ammunition on each other. They’d fail the Reagan litmus test. And she’s not in the race. He’s still receiving the inspection reserved for candidates whose names do not rhyme with ‘trauma’. If they’re the last two standing, there may be some thumb wrestling to sort out who tops the ticket. But that’s all wildly speculative.


31 Responses to “The Perry-Palin Litmus Test”

  1. jeffp
    August 20th, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

    Could Palin’s Iowa activity be a buildup to a big, splashy endorsement? She calls a press conference and everyone shows up expecting her to announce but after a stemwinder on the imperative of defeating Barack Obama, she calls to the stage Rick Perry or (less likely) Michelle Bachmann for anointing? Crowd goes wild, the endorsed candidate surges, Palin emerges as the Republicans’ anti-establishment kingmaker, and the primary contest is set up as a two-person race, with Tea Party and grassroots enthusiasm poised to overwhelm Romney. That seems as plausible to me as her positioning herself to run (especially as she doesn’t seem to have been building a campaign organization).

  2. TR
    August 20th, 2011 @ 6:54 pm

    Smitty, you start with Allawhatshisname but you provide a trenchant analysis.  IMHO Sarah Palin will announce either Sept 3 or in mid-late September since advantages of postponment becomes diminishing returns if she misses too many debates and Michigan requires a ‘sign-up’ in October to be on their primary ballot. 

  3. Anonymous
    August 20th, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    Smitty, the Nov. 13 date is a cloud-cuckooland fantasy. I spoke today with someone who knows Iowa politics very well who said that a November announcement would preclude Palin winning the Iowa caucuses. She could maybe “make a dent,” but not win, I was told, and it’s impossible to see Palin’s path to the nomination without her winning Iowa.

    This is what I’m told, and I’m also told by Palin’s supporters to note that Sarah herself has spoken of an August-September time-frame for an announcement. If she doesn’t announce Sept. 3 at Indianola, Palin would automatically rule out a spot on the stage Sept. 7 at the Reagan Library debate (which may already be out of the question anyway), but would also put in jeopardy her participation in two Florida debates (Sept. 12 in Tampa on CNN, Sept. 22 in Orlando on Fox).

    The debate schedule and the inescapable necessities involved in organizing for Iowa therefore point toward a September fish-or-cut-bait moment for Palin’s 2012 prospects. She could, theoretically, delay her announcement past Sept. 3 — but not by much, because that Sept. 12 debate is sponsored by the Tea Party Express, and she’d be seen as dissing the Tea Party if she skipped that debate and then did the Fox debate 10 days later.

    My guess (and it is only a guess, although an educated guess) is that Palin will give her very best policy-oriented speech at Indianola on Sept. 3, then wait to gauge the reaction, hoping for a spontaneous groundswell of grassroots support. If she feels that kind of groundswell, she’d probably then announce on Fox News no later than Sept. 8. That date would put her after the 9/7 Reagan Library  debate, but with still enough of a window that she could ask for a spot in the 9/12 CNN/TPX debate (although whether they’d agree to add her at such a last-minute entry is an open question). But if she announced by 9/8, she’d be able to claim that her exclusion from the 9/12 debate was CNN’s choice, not hers, while simultaneously ensuring that her debate debut on Fox 9/22 would be a ratings bonanza for “her” network.

    So, yeah — if I were asked to bet a beer on it, I’d say Palin will officially announce Thursday, Sept. 8 on Sean Hannity’s show. That would guarantee that she would own the entire weekend news cycle — Friday-Sunday, Sept. 9, 10, 11 — so that if CNN keeps her out of the 9/12 debate, Palin will be looming over that event the way Perry loomed over the Ames debate.

  4. Kittymyers
    August 20th, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

    She’s promised Bob & Mack (Alaska radio hosts) they’d be the first to know.

    It’s video #2:

  5. Mike
    August 20th, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    I’d cover that bet because my uneducated guess is Sarah Palin will announce on Sept. 3rd.

  6. TR
    August 20th, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

    Gosh darn it Stacy, I like your thinking 🙂

  7. McGehee
    August 20th, 2011 @ 7:32 pm

    If Sarah Palin enters the fray, and is on the ballot when Georgia’s primary rolls around next spring, I’ll vote for her.

    If not her, then Cain, or Perry, or…

    I do have a Never Gonna Vote For list, but it only has two names on it, of which one will be gone by South Carolina if not sooner.

  8. adolph.stephens
    August 20th, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

    Agreed.  I envision a Friday announcement in Alaska, then the Saturday appearance in Iowa, as an announced candidate, with all the media tripping over itself to cover her 1st official presidential candidate appearance.  The momentum of the day, as political junkies and supporters converge en mass in Indianola will provide for a remarkable debut.

    Not predicting it, just saying I can envision it.

    As to Daily Pundit, she’ll lock up the anti-RINO vote the minute she announces.  Also, I got no problem with Perry riding sidecar.  Though I think the stronger conservative ticket would include Alan West or Marco Rubio.

  9. Karl Rove: 'Palin Will Run' - The POH Diaries
    August 20th, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

    […] against Perry and Palin because they are and will be the two to beat. Smitty at The Other McCain has more on a possible bloodbath between Perry and Palin. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. […]

  10. Adjoran
    August 21st, 2011 @ 12:55 am

    All I can say is that if Palin is indeed running, it makes her look very bad for her antics of stepping on the Romney and Perry announcements and the Ames event.  It just looks petty and childish.

    But I doubt she will.  Not only are most of the professional staff committed (although there are some Pawlenty folks available), but she had to have told Fox News she isn’t running.

    They made Santorum and Gingrich leave when they got serious, and they forced Huckabee to make an early decision.  If they let Palin coast, it’s certainly favorable treatment which would damage their credibility.

  11. PhilipJames
    August 21st, 2011 @ 1:14 am

    Sarah Palin will do whatever she is planning to do without any advice from little “Mr. Magoo” Rove ….
    who Sarah Palin supporters consider to be a totally irrelevant sleaze and slime Establishment leech.

    The simple fact is that Sarah Palin has been running for the Presidency since 2008.  And for anyone who doubts it,  go back to the day she resigned and listen to the exact words she used…. its all there.

    The so-called genius pundit class is just too eager to listen to themselves that they ignore what Sarah Palin says. They hear what they are thinking over top of what she says and don’t really listen to her.

    Sarah Palin supporters have been so aggressive against any – and I mean any – slights or smears because the Republican Party, the so-called right wing pundits, bloggers, politicos and most of the Republican politicians abandoned her after 2008 and left her to defend herself against the attacks from both the left AND the right. That will never happen again because we don’t need any of those sh*ts anymore…    Sarah and her supporters can do just fine on their own without them.  Including little Mr. Magoo.

  12. Anonymous
    August 21st, 2011 @ 1:59 am

    I don’t know that she stepped on Perry all that hard, as for stepping on Romney, shouldn’t we all?
    I’ve considered the theory you posit in your last two paragraphs as evidence she wouldn’t run also. I’m not as convinced now.
    Considering that Newt and Santorum are on FNC as much now as before, seems to me the main difference is how they are labeled and that they aren’t getting paid. Huckabee is different in that he has a show.

  13. Anonymous
    August 21st, 2011 @ 2:03 am

    To be fair the Republican party pretty much abandoned themselves and the country in 08 as well.

  14. alwaysfiredup
    August 21st, 2011 @ 3:00 am

    “especially as she doesn’t seem to have been building a campaign organization”

    If you really think this, you aren’t paying attention.   Organize4Palin is in every early and swing state.

  15. alwaysfiredup
    August 21st, 2011 @ 3:02 am

    I do not recall her “stepping” on anyone’s announcement.  She is entitled to set foot in the same state as other candidates.  That the media beclown themselves over nothing is to her credit, not fault.

  16. Mel
    August 21st, 2011 @ 3:03 am

    I think they’re a team Perry/Palin. She was just waiting for him to step in, she’ll be fun in the debates, but I don’t think she’ll say anything a VP wouldn’t say.

  17. jeffp
    August 21st, 2011 @ 3:34 am

    Organize4Palin in Iowa:

    In New Hampshire:

    In South Carolina:


  18. alwaysfiredup
    August 21st, 2011 @ 3:40 am

    You’re judging them based on their websites.  That’s some in-depth investigation there.  As one who is actively involved in laying groundwork for Palin in my state, I’d say try harder.

  19. jeffp
    August 21st, 2011 @ 3:44 am

    @alwaysfiredup – Tell us where you are and what’s going on.

  20. Anonymous
    August 21st, 2011 @ 3:48 am

    I’m fed up with the term litmus test.  If I have questions about a GOP candidate, if I have concerns I will voice them NOW and expect them addressed NOW because the if I can notice these problems, the Democrats certainly can and will address them at the WORST possible moment for us.

  21. Anonymous
    August 21st, 2011 @ 7:17 am

    But doesn’t it say something:
    A Palin clambake beat out the “frontrunner’s” presidential announcement?   Is that really her fault?

  22. Anonymous
    August 21st, 2011 @ 7:32 am

    How I understand it, Sarah has always beat the ‘odds’, including that she wins with a fraction of the money of her opponents.
    I’m new to politics, so I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing, but I have volunteered my services in my blue, blue state of CT.  
    I read many others have done the same in many other states. We’re just waiting for the battle cry.

  23. Anonymous
    August 21st, 2011 @ 7:49 am

    Here’s another litmus test.

    People that freak out about when and whether so-and-so “enters the race” are not good guides for where to place your bets.

    We’ll know soon enough when the field is “complete.”

  24. Anonymous
    August 21st, 2011 @ 7:53 am

    Darn, I was hoping for November 13, that being my birthday and all.

  25. Threedonia
    August 21st, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

    I think a lot of those of us who aren’t in Iowa and NH cocoons are over Sarah Palin.  I love her to death and know she’s “good people” but I’m over her vis a vis being President.

  26. Standing4Liberty
    August 21st, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

    You say unimpressive, but the O4P websites are in the middle of being revamped for the election. Most of the folks involved are busier with groundwork than webwork.
    Here is another early state one that is quite active on the ground: 

  27. Threedonia
    August 21st, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

    But if I die before 2012 I’ve instructed my family to vote for her in my stead if he’s on the ballot.  She’s 100 million light years better than our current Chickensh-t-in-Chief.

  28. Daily Pundit » Shaking and Baking: Will Palin’s Entry Shake Up the Race?
    August 21st, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

    […] The Perry-Palin Litmus Test : The Other McCain Daily Pundit also sounds a trifle overheated: At this point, if Sarah does jump in, I’m inclined to be annoyed with her. She dicked around playing cute for months, when she could have joined the fray and locked up the anti-RINO vote. […]

  29. 2012 GOP Presidential Field Could Get a Little More Crowded | The Lonely Conservative
    August 21st, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

    […] which he calls a “crime against future generations.”Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin still hasn’t ruled out throwing her hat in the ring. If she is going to run, an announcement is expected some time in September.Tim Pawlenty is out, […]

  30. ThePaganTemple
    August 21st, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

    All she had to tell Fox is the same thing she’s told everybody else. “I haven’t decided yet”.

    What’s Fox going to do, kick somebody off that is a guaranteed ratings magnet? Please.

  31. ThePaganTemple
    August 21st, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    She won’t settle for second place again.