On Wednesday night, former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin ended the speculation: She will not be running for president in 2012. Not as a Republican. Not as a third-party candidate. Did Palin make the right decision? How does her decision shape the presidential race going forward? What’s her role now? National Review Online asked some Palin-watchers.
DAVID BRODY New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg can breathe a sigh of relief. He won’t have to run as an Independent presidential candidate. The haters can stand down. They can put their hate on hold. And Jon Stewart? Sorry. No Sarah Palin jokes this election cycle.
The fact that Sarah Palin is not running for president doesn’t really come as a surprise. It may be heartbreaking for her fans but it comes as a dose of good news for Rick Perry . . . and he could use some. The Texas governor can be thankful she won’t detract from his base of support. Bachmann, Cain, and Santorum are smiling a little more, too — knowing they now have a shot at a lot of those folks who were holding out for Palin. And Mitt Romney? He would have liked to see Palin run only so she could splinter the tea-party and evangelical voting blocs even further. That won’t happen now, so it’s a bit of a negative for Romney — but definitely manageable.
As for Palin’s future, she is still a force to be reckoned with and young enough to run in 2016 if Obama gets a second term. Heck, she can run in 2020 and age wouldn’t be a problem. In the meantime, watch the focus turn to Palin’s quest to remake the Republican party into a band of constitutional conservatives. That’s the future, and Palin will be one of the big leaders in this movement.
— David Brody is chief political correspondent at CBN News.
NANCY FRENCH Maybe — just maybe — had she run, more Americans would have gotten to know the Sarah Palin I know: a woman of genuine warmth, quick wit, and fearless conviction. The presidential race could have used her fire, and a debate schedule missing even the hope of her undeniable charisma makes me feel sleepier than Rick Perry in hour two.
There are others who mourn her absence as well, but for more malevolent reasons. Across America, leftist hacks are lamenting diminished web traffic and lost book sales. The woman they love to hate will not in fact lead the Republican party (at least not this election cycle). I must admit I would have enjoyed Andrew Sullivan’s head-spinning rage, Bill Maher’s spittle-flinging tirades, and NPR’s funeral-dirge interludes during All Things Considered with each uptick in her poll numbers. Across America, Priuses (Prii?) would have sported door-kicking dents and Whole Foods would have stocked pure (organic) grain alcohol as liberals raged, then drowned their sorrows.
It would have been quite the spectacle. It would have been a wild ride. She is a warrior by nature, and I look forward to seeing her enter the next arena — whenever and wherever that is.
I heard Sarah Palin explain her decision on my friend Mark Levin’s always-outstanding radio show. She did not offer her resignation from American political life, but rather a stirring battle cry for the forces of right in the very real struggle for the soul of our country. “We cannot afford this fundamental transformation of America, turning it into something that we don’t even recognize,” Palin said, speaking of President Obama’s design to organically change our nation. “Instead, we need to restore this country. We need to restore all that is good, and right and free about America. Our republic is worth defending. We do not need a transformation, we need a renewal. We need a restoration of America.” The 2012 election may not be Sarah Palin’s Agincourt, but as with the young Prince Hal who became the fearsome Henry V, we are seeing the emergence of a leader who will someday crush the fools who arrogantly underestimated her.
— Terry Jeffrey is editor-in-chief of CNSNews.com.