Truth Before Dishonor

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The Palin Paradox

Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/09/22


Consider if you will the premise that Sarah Palin knows she’s running for President but is just biding her time, waiting for the right moment to announce her candidacy. Now, I don’t know if the premise is true, but I believe she was leaning toward a run in June and is leaning much more strongly toward a run now. But consider for the sake of discussion that the premise is true. When should Sarah Palin announce her candidacy?

Back in July, I explained why a later announcement date would benefit her.

Why Sarah Palin can and maybe should wait ’til August or September to announce:

Her FaceBook notes will continue to go viral.

Her speeches and interviews will continue to go viral.

The Undefeated will be widely watched as it opens in more cities after its Premiere.

The media can’t stay away from a Sarah Palin story, even when she goes to ground.

It’s not costing her a cent.

The longer she stays out, the longer the other Republican candidates have to take some of the heat from vetting and a deceitful media.

The other Republican candidates still have to consider Sarah Palin in all they do and say.

This is still true today. As I noted in my July article, Palin is the most vetted candidate out there today, and she isn’t even officially a candidate. She needs to wait till the other candidates are more vetted before she enters, else they won’t be vetted until after the Primary season. But the timing got shifted. In August, Rick Perry — who guaranteed he would not be running for President during his most recent Gubernatorial campaign — announced his candidacy for President. And suddenly, the Aames Straw Poll meant very little. The other candidates lost media time as Rick Perry took the oxygen out of the room and jumped to the top of the “leader board.”

A couple debates later and Perry’s developing issues. His Trans-Texas Corridor Executive Order — which the Texas Legislature nixed — has shown a unilateral Big Government approach to things. His Gardasil Executive Order — which the Texas Legislature likewise nixed — has shown a unilateral Big Government approach and a link to crony capitalism. He is weak on the illegal immigration and educating illegals fronts. And there are other stories coming out claiming to show other weaknesses in his Conservatism. Now, I don’t know if those other stories are valid or if they’re part of a smear campaign, but it is highly likely had Palin announced prior to now, none of his difficulties with Conservatism would have had the exposure they got without Palin in the race. As a result, Perry’s poll numbers are beginning to wane, which will help when Palin decides to announce.

A couple days ago, a new poll came out showing Palin’s electability to be much stronger, and I wrote my analysis regarding the cause of the stronger electability numbers. Along with the other Republican candidates being more strongly vetted was the fact the 3-year-long smear campaign against Palin has lost its lustre as more and more the desperate loons spew forth with even more desperate trash that even Liberals have to object to. The other candidates haven’t been vetted nearly as stridently as Palin has. They haven’t had to face the level of vindictive smearing Palin has. But with her sitting on the sidelines, the other candidates are indeed getting vetted (and smeared) and their polling numbers are sagging because of it.

While Palin was at her floor in polling, others have reached their peaks. Now, as the others are falling off their peaks, Palin is rising from her floor. As she showed with her Northeast bus tour and her Midwest bus tour, wherever Palin goes the media follows and the other candidates lose media attention. She sucks the oxygen out of the room just by being there. This is both a benefit and a drawback for her as, while the other candidates can’t get their message out as effectively, neither do they get vetted (or smeared) as much. And as we saw in the 2008 Primary and General, the media may not smear a squishy Republican in the Primary but most definitely will in the General.

Therefore, it is imperative that the Republican candidate for President be vetted as much as possible prior to winning the Republican Primary, and Sarah Palin’s entry into the race would instantaneously shut off the vast majority of the vetting of the other candidates as she takes the oxygen out of the room and everyone but everyone pays attention to her.

So it’s best that Sarah Palin wait as long as possible before entering the battlefield. But therein lies the Palin Paradox. Her chances of winning increase the longer she waits to enter as everyone gets vetted and loses steam, but if she waits too late, her chances of winning go to zero. It is a difficult challenge to get the announcement timing down right, and Perry’s mid-August entry did shift the timing to a later date, but how late is too late?

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