David Rosman Columbia MO – July 16, 2010
Sarah Palin for President – 2012
That is not as farfetched as it may seem. In a recent Gallup poll, 76 percent of identified Republicans interviewed saw Palin “favorably” as a presidential candidate in 2012. She led the two most qualified Republican candidates, Dr. Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich, by 21 and 22 points respectively. Mitt Romney came in a distant fourth with 54 percent of the tally. Little Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, was more than 30 furlongs behind in this horse race.
Someone once said that any media exposure is good exposure. For Palin and the neo-conservatives who feel that their voices are not being heard, even the former governor’s occasional trip-ups have only helped the cause. She has the highest name recognition among the would-be contenders and, according to Gallup, has exceptionally high name recognition. With Huckabee and Gingrich making the Sunday morning talk-show circuit, the late night talk-show circuit and the speaking circuits, name recognition is their problem.
However, Palin does carry a high negative outlook by all voters and that can be a problem. Almost 47 percent of all Americans, regardless of political affiliation, polled did not see Palin as a favorable candidate, and thus a growing chasm in the Republican ranks.
The split in the Republican Party includes the voters they are courting, the neo-conservatives, the traditionalist and the Libertarians versus the moderates, who have read the Constitution, and understand that eight years of bad fiscal management should never be repeated. These same people even may admit that Ronald Reagan was only an actor and his handlers and psychics actually led the nation.
This split would normally be seen as a crack in the neo-conservatives’ armor by most liberals, but…
Watch the Missouri primary election this August 3rd closely. Proposition C, “The Health Care Freedom Act,” is making its way to the head of the class. In short, this proposed law would “[d]eny the government authority to penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance or infringe upon the right to offer or accept direct payment for lawful healthcare services.”
(I am not actually sure which “government authority” they mean.)
This vote will be the first in the nation, with as many as eight more states following, to tell the federal government to take a hike when it comes to the “American’s Affordable Health Care Act.” It is calculated to put the Democrats in an indefensible position. I have written on this issue and invite you to read my column in the Columbia Missourian.
Oh, by the way, Prop C may be in violation of Article 4, Clause 2 of the Constitution, the “Supremacy Clause.” It really depends on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Polls show splits in both parties, with Democrats and Republicans gaining and losing ground. The American voter has become, and will remain, overwhelmed with misinformation (calculated and otherwise), and out and out liberal and conservative propaganda.
Joe and Jane Moderate are watching the GOP reaching for the religious and traditionalist sects, while the Dems are moving more and more to the right. Not every conservative is embracing the Tea Party Movement and liberals are too confused to know where to turn.
So back to Palin’s prospect for a 2012 presidential run.
The vast majority of voters are not fully informed about the issues or the candidates. Most vote based on a single issue, like abortion, gun rights, or immigration laws, or by name recognition. If Palin’s numbers hold, she will be the Republican candidate for President. If the Grand Old Party selects someone else, she will run as an “independent” backed by the TPM. Like the fictional “Cheers,” everybody knows her name.
Today, Obama’s numbers are not that great, though better than Reagan’s were in 1982. Yet the Dems are just as divided as the Republicans are, and the fracturing is continuing.
Unfortunately, no one is representing the true moderates from both sides. My TPM friends will declare that all Americans are on their side, except for damned liberals like me. My progressive movement friends, though not as loud, will call me a trader to the cause.
Politics is not a “false dichotomy.” It maintains enough gray to go around. In a standard bell curve with one standard deviation, 87 percent of the people are the gray, neither red nor blue. So, who will represent them in 2012?
David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries at ColumbiaMissourian.com and New York Journal of Books.com.