Sunday, February 12, 2012
Colleague Mark America wrote a fine article called "Pining For Palin: What Most Conservatives Noticed." His focus was Governor Palin's speech at CPAC yesterday and the fact that she stands head and shoulders about the current GOP candidates. He distilled the response many had upon hearing her impassioned speech down to this: "Why in the hell isn’t she our candidate?":
My bride wasn’t home when Sarah Palin spoke at CPAC, so she wasn’t able to view the event live. When she arrived home, we relaxed in front of the television, and I played the event on the DVR. After watching the event, I asked my wife for her impression. It matched most of the comments here on my little blog site, and it was comprised of a single question: “Why in the hell isn’t she our candidate?” Here we had the person many consider to be the most eminently qualified to lead us out of our national quagmire, and she isn’t a candidate in this race. Here was the most thoroughly engaging and compelling speech of this entire campaign season, and it was delivered by a non-candidate who some in the GOP establishment tell us is “unelectable.” By what standard? For my part, I have lost all patience for this faulty argument. After attending her speech in Indianola, Iowa last September, and having viewed this speech from afar, if Governor Palin isn’t electable, I have no idea which Republicans can fulfill that definition.
Still, the reality is that Governor Palin is not now a candidate, and more is the shame of the loss implied for conservatives. When announcing her decision in October last year, she cited her need to observe her values of God, family, and country, in that precise order. With this as her final answer, despite our desires to the contrary, there is nothing to do but accept it. This leaves us where we’ve been, and with nothing to do but forge ahead with the remaining candidates. On the other hand, what this will remind many conservatives is what we had missed. At some point, as a movement that is a subset of a party, we will need to address this problem we seem to have, where for whatever reason, our best and our most able candidates, dynamic and appealing, get left on the sidelines in the most important contests of our time.
I think almost every conservative who viewed Saturday’s CPAC keynote will have noticed that she stands head and shoulders above our actual candidates, but as I said, that wistful, wishful thinking. The fact that Governor Palin is not in this race doesn’t preclude victory in November, but it surely will make it a good deal more difficult, as so many viewers concluded on Saturday. There are those who th
ink if this drags on into summer, and we wind up with a brokered convention, it will spell doom, but I think it also presents a possible opportunity, not merely for an outcome aimed at stopping the establishment, but one more moment of pause to reconsider who all of our alternatives might include.