The latest polls show those old Republican stalwarts – Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush – running away with the show. Though neither of them have officially entered the race (and Romney has given every indication that he won’t), they continue to dominate the rest of the wide open GOP field. But while there have been many names tossed about as potential Republican contenders in 2016, one name has been conspicuously absent.
In This Corner…
Sarah Palin has thrown her efforts into becoming a media star since leaving her Alaskan governorship. Still, she has not abandoned the conservative principles that made her an overnight sensation in 2008. Some of the most plain-spoken, common sense quotes of the last year belong to the former vice-presidential candidate. A favorite of the Tea Party, Palin has proven herself more than capable of standing up to withering liberal mockery and hatred.
Earlier this month, Palin told an interviewer that she “would love to see a woman on both sides of the aisle shooting for the top spot.” With Hillary Clinton’s candidacy all but assured, that leaves only the GOP side of the aisle to fill. Unfortunately, there are very few – if any – women being bandied about as potential contenders. If Palin wants to see two women go at it in 2016, she may have to take matters into her own hands.
Sarah Palin is one of the few mainstream Republicans willing to tell it like it is. She’s not afraid of conservatism; on the contrary, she embraces it. She preaches it. She lives it. In many ways, she is the closest thing we’ve seen to Ronald Reagan since the great man himself. Thrust into the national spotlight before she was ready, she faltered under the pressure. I have no doubt that this time would be different. She would be prepped, ready, and able to withstand the heat.
Is It Possible?
Okay, let’s come back down to earth. The truth is that a Sarah Palin candidacy would be risky. She’s not a political animal. She would not be able to “come back to the middle” after a hard-fought primary victory. If we were to throw our support behind her, we would essentially be putting conservatism on the ballot. But why not? We’ve tried it the other way for two straight elections, and it has successfully gotten us nowhere. How many times are we going to go back to the same well?
It doesn’t have to be Palin. Dr. Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul bring their own versions of non-establishment conservatism to the table. But Palin has the certain something none of the other candidates have. Her fresh, folksy manner turns off New York liberals, but it could be a lightning rod for heartland voters. She has the charisma, the courage, and – dare I say it – the beauty to shock the world.
We gave the Democrats one historic first in Barack Obama. Maybe we should take one of our own next time.