It’s not often that I take the time to suggest something that I think would be helpful to Republicans. After I do, any of you that read the next few sentences will undoubtedly tell me I’m crazy. I think there is a case to be made for this though. If I were a Republican, I would suggest not only that Sarah Palin run for President, but that the Republican establishment should support her.
Okay, let me explain. The election of 2012 is almost certainly going to be as bad if not worse than 2008. You can expect all the rumors about Pres. Obama to come back. He’s not a citizen; he’s a closet Muslim; he’s going make us Communist and so on. The people who believe these claims will be Palin supporters. Palin herself will probably egg them on in thinly veiled words. That’s what she is good at. It allows her to drum up support without delving into actually policy ideas.
I know so far this doesn’t sound good, but allow me to continue. 2012 isn’t going to be an easy win for a Republican candidate. Likely the economy will be improving. It may not be a 90’s economic boom, but any growth will be noticeable. The healthcare debate will be gone. People will want to hear about the future not the past. The tax cut debate will be back so the Tea Party may still be a force. If Palin decides she is not welcomed by Republicans and stages a 3rd Party bid, it will kill any Republican chances. For any of the possible Republican candidates, 2012 is anything but a sure victory.
Even if Obama is re-elected, Republican’s will probably retain control of at least one chamber of Congress. That will allow them to act as an obstacle to any far-reaching legislation they oppose. Also, second-terms in the last forty years are notorious. Nixon resigned. Reagan had Iran-Contra. Clinton was nearly impeached, and classified information was leaked out of the Bush administration. All of these caused major distractions. The point being that Republicans have little to fear from a Obama second term.
Meanwhile, the Republican establishment needs to push Sarah Palin to the fringe. Her support of congressional candidates cost them major wins in the last election. The Senate seat in Delaware was written off as soon as Christine O’Donnell won the primary. If the Nevada Republican Party had put up just a solid mainstream Republican they could have taken down Harry Reid. While she may be good at firing up the base, she is not winning any new votes. Many well-known Republicans are not fans of hers. Former First Lady Barbara Bush said, “I think Sarah Palin is very happy in Alaska. I hope she stays there.” Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski said she recalled Palin not being too involved in policy, and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said a Palin run would be the one thing that would get him in the race. The fact is that people who vote for Sarah Palin will vote Republicans anyway and by proving she is not a viable candidate will allow the Republican Party to return to business.
Republicans have little to lose in the next election. As long as the federal government is divided. No far-reaching piece of legislation is going to go through Congress. Compromise is the name of the game. Meanwhile, they could eliminate a problem that could cost them future elections and gear up for the midterms of 2014, and ultimately try to put a Republican in the White House in 2016. That election will be much easier to win.