In the last week Sarah Palin has moved herself from the periphery to the center of power in the Republican party. The Party just doesn't seem to know it yet.
By resigning as the Governor of Alaska, Palin has positioned herself as the single most valuable power broker for the GOP in the 2010 elections. Simply put, in close primaries pitting Republican against Republican, and in close general elections for the Senate or Congress, Sarah Palin's endorsement and/or campaigning for a candidate can get that person elected. In addition, Palin can also raise money for a party and for candidates who would otherwise be strapped for cash. These are formidable political powers and only by freeing herself from Alaska will she be able to exercise them.
The question is not who among the Republicans won't want Palin's endorsement in 2010. The question is which Republicans in close contests, incumbent or challenger, would be able win without it. This raw political fact will become especially visible in the last few weeks before the 2010 polls when Palin will give a new meaning to "barnstorming."
2010 is a make or break election for the Republicans. And the person in that year that can make and break Republican candidates is now Sarah Palin. She's not only a star, she's the only star the Republicans have or are likely to have. Love her or hate her, the Republicans must have her, and she must be available for active campaigning across the country.
And as Palin will benefit the Party in 2010, so will she benefit from any electoral victories (primary or general) that she will have had a hand in securing. Politics raw runs on money and markers. An endorsement or appearance by Palin brings crowds, commitment, enthusiasm, and donations -- not from the interior old-guard of the Party -- but from the rank and file conservatives and the center-right feminists. These people form the mass of the Party. It might ignore them between elections, but it will need their lawn signs, donations, and door-belling in the primaries and general elections. Palin can give all this --the people -- to the candidates of her choice. She can do this by simply showing up.
A retreat from the public eye for a bit will not diminish her stature but enhance her myth. Myth, as we have seen in 2007-2008, is a powerful force in elections.
What will Palin get for bringing in victory and money? She'll get what she doesn't have now -- markers. At the present time it's hard to think of any markers that Palin holds. You have to actually deliver money or victory to a politician to get a marker from a politician. If she campaigns broadly and effectively for various Republicans in 2010 she'll have a sheaf of markers going into 2012. She'll also have a core staff already tempered by the 2010 elections, most likely a book, and an enhanced myth. By the end of 2010 Sarah Palin will have become the most powerful person in the Republican Party. Palin will be, at the very least, a kingmaker, at most a populist Queen.
Her enemies in all parties may not have quite figured this out yet, but they sense it. Sensing, they fear her. And that's why the hate goes on.
Seems like a good assessment. Is it really deniable that the only GOP politician who is not some kind of candy-assed joke, and the only one anybody gives a darn about, is Palin?
One of Vanderleun's commenters had this to say:
Necessity is the mother of invention and one would think based on that universal law that a conservative leader would have already emerged full blown. I mean a real firebrand, a fist pumping, spittle flinging, rabble-rouser. Someone, in a word, that would channel the energy and intention of that guy in the youtube video you posted beating a PC monitor with a bat as he utterly eviscerates the statism that we are now force fed daily. I pray Palin is that person. I fervently pray that the GOOD will wake up to the fact that it's evil twin has been on a winning streak these past few decades and that it is high time that sulphurous stink suffered some defeat. Sometimes I have wondered if GOOD was still in the game even. Justice is crying out from the very rocks for its turn.
Yup. It is way past time for someone to start kickin' ass and takin' names.