Saturday a Tea Party rally in Indianola, Iowa provided a venue for a non-announcement speech before a large audience of Sarah Palin supporters. The audience braved a dreary rain before she took the stage to speak. The audience was said to have folks from across the country. They were clearly there for her.
As the keynote speaker, Palin knew what the audience wanted to hear. Lots of Tea Party rhetorical red meat was delivered. Palin hit on the themes of national despair, a national debt too high, crony capitalism, and saying no to the status quo. She noted the she was speaking on the three year anniversary of her speech accepting the nomination as the party's Vice President candidate.
Consistent with her 2008 message, the former Alaska governor and vice presidential nominee reminded Americans today of the danger of politicians who follow a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do motto. Palin, whose record features persistent and successful efforts to tackle a corrupt political class, articulated the necessity of challenging the status quo in order to battle corruption and effectuate genuine reform. She shared the frustration of many Americans with regard to business as usual in D.C. Most importantly, she offered real solutions, including a plan that serves as a stark contrast to our president’s perpetual empty rhetoric: repeal Obamacare, uphold the Tenth Amendment, rein in overregulation, prioritize significant and legitimate spending cuts, cancel unused stimulus money, “own up to the debt challenge that is entitlement reform,” tap into our God-given energy resources and make America “the most attractive and competitive place to do business” by eliminating all federal corporate income tax, corporate welfare and loopholes.
There was no announcement that she was running for the GOP nomination.
She is a competitive person, though, and it is entirely possible that she is simply demanding that the current field keep on its toes.
Still, when asked by a member of the crowd what she thought about the current crop of GOP candidates, Palin replied: “Happy with the field of candidates, I always think that there’s room for more though because spirited debate and more competition will allow an even better discourse, a more rigorous discourse that the public deserves.”
I watched the speech as she delivered it on C-SPAN. Frankly, the pride I felt as a Republican woman when she delivered that speech before the Republican national convention three years ago has mellowed a great amount. I still smile when I remember her hockey mom joke. I supported her addition to the McCain ticket before he chose her. She was a fresh face, new blood, energetic and a fighter. She brought a badly needed infusion of enthusiasm from base of the GOP.
Her speech in Indianola Saturday, though, didn't capture my enthusiasm as it did for her audience there. It wasn't the best speech I have ever heard her deliver. I continue to think she will stay out of the race. I hope she does, anyway. This is not her race, not this year.
I welcome her continuation of support GOP candidates and Tea Party candidates. I hope she learned a bit from the failed Tea Party candidates who were clearly not up to the task. Supporting a candidate simply because that person is not the long time incumbent is a necessary lesson to learn. The candidate has to be electable.
Sarah Palin is now a wealthy woman. She is a known brand. She can draw large audiences and earn a very comfortable living for the foreseeable future with her large speaking fees. She can raise lots of money for the Republican party.
Soon we will know if she is a candidate. The sooner the better as she risks appearing as a bit too cute with the tease of running. This election is too important to appear less than serious.