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Palin a hero to many in Tea Party, but not their pick for president

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Jon Ward
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      Jon Ward

      Jon Ward covers the White House and national politics for The Daily Caller. He covered the last two years of George W. Bush's presidency and the first year of Barack Obama's presidency for The Washington Times. Prior to moving to national politics, Jon worked for the Times' city desk and bureaus in Virginia and Maryland, covering local news and politics, including the D.C. sniper shootings and subsequent trial, before moving to state politics in Maryland. He and his wife have two children and live on Capitol Hill. || <a href="mailto:jw@dailycaller.com">Email Jon</a>

Perhaps the least known aspect about Sarah Palin’s relationship with the Tea Party is that though almost all in the movement love her and support her, many of them simultaneously have serious reservations about whether they want her to run for president.

Interviews over the last few months with numerous Tea Party and conservative voters in states around the country yielded no one who was enthusiastic about Palin running for president, though a handful said they were open to it. In addition, conservative and Tea Party leaders who are speaking to the grassroots regularly report that they have consistently heard the same thing.

Palin is currently ascendant in many respects. The eight-part reality show on TLC starring her and her family aired on Sunday and drew 5 million viewers, a record for a premier on that channel. With her daughter’s string of appearances on “Dancing with the Stars,” Palin’s celebrity star has not shined brighter since the heat of the 2008 campaign. And much of the attention now is soft media, far more positive than the stretch of brutal press that Palin endured during the 2008 campaign as John McCain’s vice presidential candidate.

In addition, the Republican crop of candidates to challenge Obama in 2012 remains unsatisfying to most conservatives. No one person combines star power and charisma with intellectual heft, policy expertise and political courage to stand for things the right most wants to see.

Recent polling on the Republican field by Public Policy Polling showed Palin leading the pack of 2012 GOP candidates in six states, while Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was ahead in six other states. Palin led in Texas, Ohio, West Virginia, Maine, Wisconsin and Washington. Romney was ahead in New Hampshire, California, Florida, Colorado, Connecticut and Nevada.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee led in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Kentucky and Alaska, Palin’s home state. But tellingly, the most respondents in all 18 states, 19.6 percent, said they want someone else or were undecided.

A Gallup poll released Tuesday showed Palin with 16 percent support in the GOP primary, tied for second with Huckabee behind only Romney, who had 19 percent.

Palin, therefore, has to be considered a leading contender for the nomination judging solely by the polls. Many in the GOP establishment who do not want to see her become the party’s nominee are dismayed that no strong alternative has yet become apparent.

But there are signs that even though Palin enjoys broad support throughout the conservative movement, that enthusiasm does not extend to nominating her to run against President Obama.

A PPP poll in September found that while Palin is the most popular of all the potential 2012 Republican candidates, with 66 percent personal approval, only 24 percent of that 66 percent think she should be president.

Interviews over the last few months with Tea Party conservatives – who spoke with TheDC at rallies, organizing events in and outside of Washington, and over phone and e-mail – have hit upon the same thing time and time again. Many in the grassroots think Palin is an outstanding spokesperson for Americans who do not feel like they have power or a voice and are dismayed at the direction the country is going in. They revel in her anti-establishment, anti-elite attitude, and cheer her on as she mocks and criticizes the Washington political class.

But their enthusiasm often falters when it comes to 2012.

“I like Palin,” said Alan Reasin, a 65-year old retired nuclear power plant engineer from Conowingo, Md, holding a large “Don’t Tread on Me” flag outside the U.S. Capitol Monday at a small rally featuring Tea Party favorites Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, and Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican.

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  • michstan

    Great article! I’m definitely NOT on the Sarah 2012 bandwagon, even though I do like her and respect her abilities. She is not made to be President. She has many other talents and could help the conservative cause immensely in other ways – RNC chairman – YOU BETCHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But, not President.

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  • rowdygirl

    I don’t dislike her, but I don’t think she is anywhere near qualified to be POTUS. We’ve seen what happens when you vote someone in based on all the wrong reasons. We don’t need to vote her in the same way.
    It’s fine for her to stump and give her opinion, etc. but someone with real leadership and experience needs to be the GOP candidate.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jasmine-Clark/1785223171 Jasmine Clark

      what??? she DOES have leadership experience!

      • thephranc

        Didn’t you know being a mayor and governor isn’t real experience? AT least not as real as community agitator or running for senate then running for senate then running for POTUS.

        • des1

          Being a Mayor is fine, but being a half-term governor is anything but a ringing endorsement of someone’s character.

          She had an argument in 2008 that she was as (or even more) qualified than Obama. In 2012 he’ll add 4 years of being President to that resume and she will have TV appearances (only on Fox and her reality show) and Facebook posts. Anyone claiming that is serious credentials for POTUS can stop pretending that they are serious about their political beliefs.

          • truebearing

            Des,

            Obama can accurately claim four years as president, but it has been an unmitigated disaster, and since he is the cause of the rampant corruption, divisivness, power grabbing, economic destruction, treason, etc., it doesn’t exactly redound to Obama’s credit.

            I don’t necessarily think she should run for president, but I’m not ruling her out. The experience factor is only one aspect of a candidate, and Palin still has more hands on management experience than Obama, who never does anything but blather, lie, squander money, and golf.

            The role of the president varies according to the needs of the nation, or at least it should. Obama decided we needed a revolutionary when we needed a good constitutionally correct manager. We need someone who isn’t trying to reinvent the nation, but who loves this nation. We need someone who will surround themself with good, honest, capable, hard working people, not rabid, insane, evil ideologues. Palin does fit that prescription. That being said, she still has to get elected, if she runs.

            My rule of thumb is: don’t feed the left’s narrative. Therefore we need to stay positive about our possible candidates, even ones we won’t vote for.

    • truebearing

      rowdygirl,

      If I listed all of the presidents who were said to be too inexperienced I’d have to list them all. Every presidential candidate is hit with that charge, and it’s generally true. The only people “qualified” for the presidency are those who have already been president and can no longer run.

      We need to shift from the resume mentality to the character mentality. The ethical characteristics of a candidate, and their loyalty to our constitution are far better ways to measure a candidate.

  • Sonny119

    Gov. Sarah Palin is a True Do it Yourself, Strong, Self-Made, Self-Reliant, Independent, “Andrew Jacksonian” / “Ronald Reagan”, Constitutional Conservative Patriotic American.
    Gov. Sarah Palin’s Tenacity, Intestinal Fortitude, Strength, Fighting Spirit, Political Insight, and most especially her Faith, has not only allowed her to survive the far left Liberal media’s onslaught, and their campaign to personally destroy her and her Family, which is unprecedented in US History, because they fear her with a passion, as they know she has the charisma, charm, and Political ammunition, to completely destroy the Liberal Democrats, and particularly Obama, their only ace in the hole, from power. Like the making of steel, Gov Palin, has gone through the far left liberal media’s furnace of fire, and has grown even stronger and tougher, and has emerged as the undisputed and undeniable major Political Force in American Politics, today, tomorrow, and especially on 6 Nov., 2012.
    The more they attack her, while Obama and the democrats continue to destroy the country, the jobs, the economy, and Bankrupt the Nation, the more the American People see right through Obama, and the Liberal media’s Lies Gov Sarah Palin, thus the more the American People are rallying to her side, to the American Conservative Tea Party side, and Republican side.
    Gov. Sarah Palin, has managed to not only beat the far leftwing Liberal media at their own game, but she has turned their own apparatus, the media machinery against them, using their own platform and publicity, to her advantage.
    -
    As divisive as Gov. Sarah Palin may be to all you radical far leftwing Liberal Socialist Marxist Obamacrats, as perpetuated and blown out of proportion, by the radical far leftwing Liberal Media, she is still the best candidate out there, as she is the only one that can draw Tens and even Hundreds of Millions of Americans, to Vote for the Republican Ticket in 2012, to Counter the Radical far leftwing Liberal Socialist Marxist Facist Agenda and Policies of Obama, as well as being the only real true Constitutional Conservative Ronald Reagan Republican, out there..
    If America is to survive the onslaught of Liberal Socialist Marxism, by Obama, Pelosi, Reid, etc., and all the George Soros’s out there, it must have someone in the White House, a President, who is absolutely committed to Preserving, Protecting, and Defending, the U.S. Constitution, by all means, and at all costs.!!!!! This is NON-Negotiable.!!!!!!! And Gov. Sarah Palin, is the only Patriotic American, with the Experience, Intelligence, and most of all, the absolute WILL to do so, against All Enemies, Foreign, and DOMESTIC, period.!!!!!
    Here’s a Prediction for all you Hate Mongering Obamacrat Socialist Marxist Liberals out there..
    -
    “Breaking News from Election HQ’s for Nov. 6th, 2012, America has just Elected it’s first ever, Woman President in U.S. History, Conservative Republican President Elect, Sarah Palin, is now the Nation’s 45th President of the United State of America”.!!!

    • junkmaninohio

      yeah, what you said…whew! Write a book.

    • des1

      “And Gov. Sarah Palin, is the only Patriotic American, with the Experience, Intelligence, and most of all, the absolute WILL to do so, against All Enemies, Foreign, and DOMESTIC, period.!!!!!”

      Dude, you need to loosen the buckle on your tinfoil helmet.

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  • tmbodok

    Sarah Palin is not qualified to be President. The Palins are a bunch of uncultured country bumpkins hillbillies. They have decent education, no social class, no fine taste, no decent family pedigree.

    People like most of us are highly educated, highly cultured, highly developed, well-born, well-nurtured and well-bred should never be allowed to be led by those Wasilly Hillbilly. America is the land Of the Best, By the Best, and For the Best. We are simply the Best and those uneducated, uncultured, unsocialized barbarian like the Palins are simply the worst.

    America has become such a great country because we have never allowed serfs like those Hillbilies ever become our leaders. India becomes a great civilisation because they keep those uncultured Untouchables caste at the bottom of the society. Europe becomes great nations because they never allow the Gypsies become leaders. We should continue to follow the great foot-steps of our Indian and Europeans mentors to keep those Hillbillies at the bottom of our feet forever. Low-class Hillbillies like the Palins are only worthy to be cheerleaders and ball-pickers. These Untouchables are born to be led, not to lead.

    • The_anniebanannie

      True,,true…we can’t all be the offspring of a white hippy and a Kenyan polygamist.

      • des1

        This guy has to be a Republican trying to mock the Left. He can’t even complete a simple sentence and wants to tout his education?

        Sorry, I don’t find it amusing when Poly pretends to be an Independent, so I don’t find it amusing when this guy does it (no matter how true his point may be).

        • The_anniebanannie

          “This guy has to be a Republican trying to mock the Left.”

          Yes, des, I knew that…..which is why I made the sarcastic retort.