Sarah Palin is running for president. Book it. She cracked the door open in Iowa Friday night, and once that door is open, it doesn't shut.
And so the rejoicing begins among the media and at the White House. Palin is the best thing that has happened to the political media and Barack Obama. For the former, it’s ratings and entertainment. For the latter, it’s re-election insurance.
This week's primary elections, in which two Palin-endorsed candidates won—one in a huge upset—was all the fuel Palin needed to hit the ignition and start gassing up her presidential ambition.
“Given the results of recent elections, it's not difficult to see a clear pathway to the nomination for Palin.”
"I would give it a shot," Palin said in Iowa. "If the American people were to be ready for someone who is willing to shake it up, and willing to get back to time-tested truths, and help lead our country towards a more prosperous and safe future and if they happen to think I was the one, if it were best for my family and for our country, of course I would give it a shot."
• The Daily Beast’s Margaret Carlson: Watch Your Back, Sarah • The Daily Beast’s Shushannah Walshe: Palin’s Wins Stoke White House Run Pretty hard to imagine Palin sitting down at crunch time and thinking, "Well, I don't really think the American people are ready for someone to shake things up and they’re really not willing to get back to time-tested truths. And, nah, I don't think my family wants the attention. I'm not gonna do this thing."
Not gonna happen.
So, game on.
This will be fun.
And given the results of recent elections, it's not difficult to see a clear pathway to the nomination for Palin.
As the clear social conservative and the only woman in the field of possibly more than 10 candidates, she could easily win Iowa and South Carolina. And when you win those two states in the Republican primaries, you're likely to win the whole red enchilada.
Can you imagine the debates? Ratings could beat the Super Bowl.
One thing will work in Palin's favor: She will be hugely underestimated. She will be an improved candidate and better on policy.
But, my bet is she will disenfranchise many moderate Republicans (like me) and turn off independents. And this will create an opening a mile wide for a third-party candidate.
Paging Mr. Bloomberg.
As vice chairman of Public Strategies and president of Maverick Media, Mark McKinnon has helped meet strategic challenges for candidates, corporations and causes, including George W. Bush, John McCain, Governor Ann Richards, Charlie Wilson, Lance Armstrong, and Bono.