Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin could thrive in the top spot at the RNC, but it would be at the expense of her political soul.
One of the primary duties of the RNC chair is fundraising, and in this regard, Palin would be a natural. The $1 million she raked in for her PAC this quarter exemplifies her rockstar status, as does the additional $12 million she’s made off of her books and speaking engagements.
However, by assuming the role, Palin would be cementing herself with the Republican establishment. She would no longer be able to support third-party mavericks, like she did in the New York 23 race, and she would be expected to side with politically viable candidates with less than pure conservative credentials.
The latter has proven troublesome for Palin’s brand. When she endorsed Carly Fiorina over tea party favorite Chuck DeVore in California’s Republican primary, she triggered a mini-rebellion on her Facebook page. Palin issued a response explaining that Fiorina was the only conservative with a shot at beating Boxer, but, judging from the continued flow of highly critical comments, she changed few minds. Additionally, her endorsement of John McCain did her few favors.
While Palin would undoubtedly vow to shake-up the GOP by stepping in as chair, Steele’s tenure shows that change among mainstream Republicans does not come easily. As a result, she would most likely have to adapt. She could win elections, but she’d lose her fire.
Justin Duckham is a Washington correspondent with the Talk Radio News Service. He was a music journalist in California before making the jump to politics. Justin was a member of UC Merced’s founding class and graduated with a degree in History and minors in American Studies and Philosophy.