I thought Perry and Palin were buddies. She came to Texas to endorse him against Bill White in December 09. But her “crony capitalism” attack on Perry was an indication that she sees an opening for her to be the nominee. If she can weaken Perry, and he falters, the tea party crowd will be looking for somebody they can get behind. Palin would be their dream candidate. She is lying behind the log, just waiting for an opportunity. Remember, McCain was nowhere in 08 and came back to win the nomination.
What about the polls that say she can’t win, that her negatives are too high? What about the fact that she quit as governor? Doesn’t matter. She is far and away the most popular Republican with the dominant faction of the party. Republican women in particular adore her. She can stir a crowd more than Perry can. Perry is going to take a lot more hits. Palin can watch from the sidelines and make occasional appearances in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. She is strongest as a non-candidate, who can let her potential rivals cut each other up while she hurls broadsides at them from the sidelines. Her “crony capitalism” attack on Perry was a direct hit. There is more ammunition where that came from. Lots of ammunition.
Granted, it’s going to be tricky. She’s going to have to time her entry into the race perfectly. But I think she’s the only Republican who doesn’t have to build an organization. It’s there, waiting for her, in Iowa, in New Hampshire, in every state. About those polls that say she can’t win: Many Republicans believe that the country is turning away from Obama, that he will not be electable come November of 2012, and whoever gets the GOP nomination wins. They may be right. I think Palin is playing her cards very smartly. She has the biggest following of any Republican, by far. She has 100% name identification. She is a free agent. I think she’s intent upon running, and I think Rick Perry had better watch out.