Do Sarah Palin’s pre-election activities this year indicate she’s she looking at 2012?
By Micah Hanks
Called the biggest political upset of the 2010 primary election so far, Alaska’s Senator Lisa Murkowski gave her concession speech yesterday, yielding to a little-known Alaskan lawyer, backed by former governor Sarah Palin.
It had been a long-shot from the beginning, and serious questions as to whether the gambit could be won, even with the support of the self-proclaimed “mama grizzly.” But in the end, yet another Tea Party-backed newcomer has ousted an incumbent, joining several others in state primaries where candidates widely accepted as the party favorite have been defeated, including Senators Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Bob Bennett of Utah.
As previously surmised at this site and elsewhere, Palin’s choices so far as a-typical Republican candidates, rather than establishment-endorsed GOP political hopefuls, indicates a desire not only to rebuild the House this November and liven the conservative base with fresh blood, but also to establish a network of supporters in key states that could likely bolster a future presidential run. As if her endorsements weren’t enough indication of this already, perhaps the most obvious clue to-date has presented itself, in the form of an early visit to a key caucus state.
Commenting today on a trip planned for later this month to Iowa, the DesMoines Register reported that “Sarah Palin’s scheduled political trip to Iowa this month marks a shift from near silence in the leadoff presidential nominating state to the kind of outreach common among White House prospects.” Palin’s staff say that she is merely attending a state party fundraiser, but the clear indication of her future political aspirations this provides may likely transmute what had been a fairly below-the-radar political operation into a more promising bid for higher office. Palin’s populist appeal may do well for her in states like Iowa, which had favored former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee among GOP candidates in 2008.
It remains to be seen whether Sarah Palin has the tools and prowess to win a bid against likely 2012 GOP heavy-hitters like Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich. Palin’s pre-election activities, on the other hand, leave little to the imagination as to what she’s planning for 2012.
Image by Roger H. Goun via Flickr.