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In the world of Sarah Palin there is but one rule: expect the unexpected. It's why, though I had a strong suspicion all along that Palin would enter the 2012 presidential race, I was never confident of that fact. And as the field began to emerge - featuring two individuals (Bachmann and Perry) that Palin had very strong relationships with, I began to doubt my own suspicions.
As everyone knows, Palin made the decision not to enter the race, disappointing many staunch conservatives who thought that she would bring the necessary moxie and star power to confront the Obama/media juggernaut that will face whoever the eventual nominee is. Or did she? From Reuters:
Tea Party champion Sarah Palin, who has already ruled out a 2012 presidential run, on Monday attempted to dangle her name anew as a possible Republican candidate, although it's probably too late.
In an interview to air on Fox Business Network's "Follow the Money" program, the 2008 Republican nominee for vice president was asked whether she would still consider a run for the White House.
"It's not too late for folks to jump in," Palin said. "Who knows what will happen in the future."
Palin, the former Alaskan governor, ended months of speculation when she said in October that she would not seek to unseat President Barack Obama.
John McCain's vice presidential nominee and favorite of the conservative grassroots Tea Party movement has repeatedly toyed with the idea of running for president. She has even held bus tours and campaign-style rallies attended by a passionate group of supporters who have begged her to run.
The first nominating contest in the 2012 elections will be held on January 3 in Iowa.
So would she do it? I seriously doubt it. Though I suspected Palin would run in 2012, the one thing that was glaringly obvious to those who said she wouldn't was her lack of organized political operation in early primary states. She visited herself to some of those key states, but had not done the groundwork necessary to establish any get out the vote effort, petition drives, or anything that a typical candidate must do to be viable. Granted, Palin's star power would allow her to quickly siphon some of the other candidates' top operatives, and she could have something pulled together in short order. But it was still an obvious glitch in any expectation of a late entrance into the race.
And it remains one today. Though the Palin option is looking more and more palatable to staunch conservatives who fear a Gingrich or Romney candidacy is inevitable, the hour is growing very late. Palin's comments certainly seem to be made as a political analyst, not as a self-prognosticator. But the fact that this story has created the kind of chatter it has created is proof of how - if it were true she was still considering a run - formidable of a candidate she would be.
Do I think she'll run? No. But then again, if I should expect the unexpected...