Former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin is doing all the necessary things before running for a major political office. She’s raising money and criticizing potential opponents in the media all while touring the country on an unofficial campaign tour. But she has yet to announce a run and my prediction is she never will. In short, she has too good of a gig going now and she probably couldn’t win anyway. Why would she risk what she has going for her for a grueling campaign that would take her away from her family and life as she knows it?
Ever since losing the 2008 general election as a vice presidential nominee, Palin has stood out as a polarizing, attention-getting figure. She always seems to have an opinion on current events and uses various tools (Facbeook, Twitter, etc) to express those feelings all while fueling speculation that she’ll run for the GOP nomination in 2012. Her actions, however, have also led her to make a lucrative living after resigning the Governorship of Alaska approximately two years ago. In 2010 alone she reportedly earned approximately $12 million between book and TV deals. $400,000 a year for a presidential salary is peanuts compared to what Palin could and has made on her own.
She also has the freedom to speak out when she feels inclined, about an array of issues, then settle back in to the privacy of her own home whenever she wants. As President, your every word, movement, facial expression is analyzed and interpreted by millions of people. And let’s face it, she doesn’t handle it well. Furthermore, when she does speak out, it’s usually to deride the President, Democrats, or journalists without ever actually offering a solution or pointing to her previous experiences as Governor. Speaking of…
Let’s say she does enter the race where experience is sure to be an important factor. Palin herself concedes how important experience is when she criticizes Barack Obama (again) for his lack of it dealing with the recent labor protests in Wisconsin. But what experience does she bring to the table? Very little, in fact, in either the public or private sector. In terms of political experience, she’s had two, three year terms as mayor (if you count that) plus two years as Governor. By comparison, Barack Obama was an Illinois state senator for seven years, a US Senator for four (probably closer to two as an actual legislator since he spent the last two campaigning) and four years as President by the time of the election. Her experience in the private sector is even less when you combine her time as a sportscaster and assisting husband Todd in his commercial fishing business before running for Wasilla city council. This will pale in comparison to the likes of Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and just about any other candidate. In short, there is very little to point to when making a case for a President Palin other than rhetoric.
Looking at RCP data comparing the major nominees against Obama, Palin has the widest margin of defeat among Republican candidates. There are many reasons for this but the main one is this: there is nothing to support in a Palin presidential campaign. No experience, no plan, no nothing. But with the kind of cash Palin is making and the celebrity she has become, she has no reason to risk those things on something silly like a run for President.