Thursday, June 02, 2011


Whenever people start speculating about whether Sarah Palin is running for president, they note that she's not doing the things a normal presidential aspirant would do -- she hasn't built up a proper political organization, she hasn't mastered policy details, she's not meeting the hoi polloi in Iowa and New Hampshire, yadda yadda yadda -- and then we say, "Yeah, but it's Sarah Palin." Because if anyone would run for president without doing any of the proper prep work, she's the one.

Well, just as Mitt Romney is official declaring his candidacy, there's Sarah Palin in Boston attacking him. You'd assume this means she actually is running for president -- presidential candidates routinely attack other presidential candidates. But what if she's doing this even though she isn't running for president?

In remarks made at Bunker Hill in Massachusetts -- of all places -- Sarah Palin fired a shot at Mitt Romney over the health-care mandate that Romney signed into law in the state in 2006....

"In my opinion, any mandate coming from government is not a good thing, so obviously ... there will be more the explanation coming from former governor, Romney, on his support for government mandates," Palin told reporters today....

"However, even on a state level and even a local level, mandates coming from a governing body, it's tough for a lot of us independent Americans to accept, because we have great faith in the private sectors and our own families ... and our own businessmen and women making decisions for ourselves. Not any level of government telling us what to do."

If you're not running against him, would you blindside your own party's front-runner? Especially when he seems to be the only person in the party who's running and who could possibly win both the nomination and the general election?

It seems like a strange thing to do -- but if you're Sarah Palin, maybe you'd do it. Maybe you feel 100% confident that Romney can be vanquished, and that the party won't despise those responsible for the purge. And maybe you realize that you have a lot of company.

After all, last week we learned that the #1 goal of Dick Armey's FreedomWorks is to stop Romney in 2012. And today we read this:

The Western Representation PAC, a Nevada-based group led by the infamous former Alaska Senate candidate and Tea Party darling Joe Miller, launched its "Stop Romney" campaign today, designed to prevent Romney from becoming the GOP candidate.

Laugh if you want, but the co-founder and chief strategist of this group is Dustin Stockton, who hangs with Sal Russo, the chief honcho of the Tea Party Express. This could be a lot of firepower.

And hell, even Joe Miller is probably not a joke among the crazy base -- I bet if he were a declared candidate for president, he'd be outpolling Jon Huntsman in Iowa. Then again, as we learned from a Public Policy Polling survey yesterday, who wouldn't be?

Jon Huntsman [is] 8th with 0% (only one respondent to the poll picked him.)

So if, as Jamie Malanowski argues, Palin is just faking interest in the presidency because it's what will keep her speaking fees high, then obviously she thinks an attack on Romney won't be seen, at the end of the day, as a betrayal of her party. Or she doesn't care if she falls out of the party's good graces, because the tea party is her real revenue stream.

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