Sarah Palin is considering a 2012 Presidential run, but wants to make it clear that she is not a birther. How is she positioning herself?
This week, Sarah Palin hired a new chief of staff, an action that implies strongly that she is considering a bid for the Presidency in the 2012 election cycle. While she has not officially declared her intent to run, she certainly has not stated the contrary. [Kolawole, Emi. “Sarah Palin fuels talks with chief-of-staff hire,” Washington Post, 2/12/11, downloaded at: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2011/02/sarah-palin-makes-chief-of-sta.html]
And it seems that Sarah Palin is also positioning herself for success on the political issues. In the 2008 election cycle, when she sought the office of Vice President alongside Senator John McCain, I recall Palin positioning herself as a hard-right conservative. In the new Tea-Party-dominated Republican Party, though, it seems that Sarah Palin is (oddly) moving toward the center.
Regarding the birther movement (i.e., the people who believe Barack Obama was born outside of the United States and is not, therefore, qualified to serve as President), Sarah Palin recently tweeted: “questions about Obama citizenship unneeded. ‘It’s distracting. It gets annoying. Let’s stick with what really matters.'” [Source: “Sarah Palin Speaks Out On 2012, Birthers & ‘Death Panels’ Charge,” Huffington Post, 2/17/11. Downloaded from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/17/sarah-palin-interview_n_824676.html]
Sarah Palin has been and remains a staunchly conservative politician, but the birther remark positions her as more of a pragmatist and less of a right-wing extremist. There is no question that she needs to position herself in a new way. The right-wing, evangelical flavor of conservatism that helped George W. Bush get elected seems to have faded away, replaced by a Tea Party movement that doesn’t care what religion a candidate is, as long as he/she supports limited government. It is unclear whether denying the birther debate will ingratiate Palin to Tea Party voters.
Ultimately, it is difficult to believe that Sarah Palin has a realistic chance of winning in the 2012 Presidential election. But she is obviously thinking about a run.
Kolawole, Emi. “Sarah Palin fuels talks with chief-of-staff hire,” Washington Post, 2/12/11, downloaded at: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2011/02/sarah-palin-makes-chief-of-sta.html
“Sarah Palin Speaks Out On 2012, Birthers & ‘Death Panels’ Charge,” Huffington Post, 2/17/11. Downloaded from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/17/sarah-palin-interview_n_824676.html