Yesterday, I was observing and commenting on a discussion thread on my favorite Conservative website, whose subject was an article in the barely-read magazine Newsweek in which Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin stated that she had not been invited by the Romney Campaign to speak at the Republican Convention.
Intrigued, I went to the source article. Here are some excerpts:
Romney never seemed quite comfortable with politicking in the Tea Party era. Even in the heat of the primary race, Romney seemed put off by the idea of courting the activists, complaining in February that he wasn’t about to “light my hair on fire to try to get support”—a remark that only underscored doubts about him within the base.
…[Herman] Cain believes that the grassroots will eventually rally around the Republican nominee. “Romney is not Ronald Reagan,” Cain says. “But Romney is not Barack Obama. The Tea Party people, the citizens-movement people, they get that.” (Cain plans to continue his role as emissary between the Romney camp and the Tea Party, and plans a unity rally in Tampa on the eve of the convention.)
…Palin shares much of these same reservations about Romney. “Romney has said before that he doesn’t want to have to light his hair on fire,” Palin said on Fox last week. “Well, there are a lot of his base supporters, independents, who are saying, ‘Well, light our hair on fire, then!’” Palin’s objections to Romney are not so much about the man himself—she speaks of him respectfully, as he does about her—but about who, and what, he represents. Romney was the choice of the party’s elites, whom Palin has regarded with open disdain ever since her rough treatment during the 2008 campaign. They are some of the same people who anonymously disparaged Palin as a clueless bumpkin, and some of them are now helping to run Romney’s campaign. When unnamed Romney aides tell reporters that Romney will likely go with a “safe” choice for vice president because of the 2008 “disaster,” Palin notices.
She noticed, too, that when the Romney camp reined in Fehrnstrom after his “not a tax” goof, the man assigned to take on a more public role as Romney spokesman was Kevin Madden, best known in Palin’s sphere for his appearance on a CNN news panel just days before the 2008 election. The subject was the latest piece of leaked Palin gossip—her $150,000 “shopping spree” (for which Palin later reimbursed the Republican National Committee)—and the damage Palin was perceived to have done to the McCain campaign. “That’s an indication just how unseasoned Sarah Palin is as a national candidate,” Madden opined, before laughing about Palin’s lack of knowledge about issues and declaring that “people who have done this before” know enough to choose running mates “that are nationally vetted.”
Palin says that she doesn’t know Madden and will not comment about him personally. However, she adds: “I assume he didn’t do his homework and his disparaging remarks were due to him actually believing the BS reporting on my record and reputation that began the day I was tapped to run for VP. I’ll assume and hope he’s evolved since then, perhaps understanding now the leftist media’s agenda against candidates they oppose.”
The Romney camp will not comment on Palin, or on plans for the convention, but one adviser associated with the campaign suggested that Palin would be prohibited from speaking at the Republican convention by her contract with Fox News. “It’s true I’m prohibited from doing some things,” Palin says, “but this is the first I’ve heard anyone suggest that as an excuse, er, reason to stay away from engaging in the presidential race. I’m quite confident Fox’s top brass would never strip anyone of their First Amendment rights in this regard.” (Fox says her contract would not prohibit speaking at the convention if she sought permission.)
Palin is keeping the dates open in late August, just in case. In any event, she says, she plans to be politically active between now and November, starting with a Michigan Tea Party appearance, sponsored by Americans for Prosperity. “No matter the Romney campaign strategy,” she says, “I intend to do all I can to join others in motivating the grassroots made up of independents and constitutional conservatives who can replace Barack Obama at the ballot box.”
Palin’s admirers—and they are many, judging by Facebook and Twitter metrics, where her numbers are far greater than Romney’s—still hope for a rapprochement. “Palin is the female Ronald Reagan of our time,” says Kremer of the Tea Party Express. “There’s no one that excites the base, and energizes the base, the way that Sarah Palin does. There’s just not.”
As I write this post, that thread on the before-mentioned Conservative website sits at 1,807 comments and growing. The next closest thread on the site is at 592 comments.
Well, as I sit here at my computer in the Northwest Corner of the Magnolia State, I’ve had some rather pointed questions running through my mind:
If you want to become President of these United States, as Mitt Romney says that he does, why would you intentionally marginalize 40% of the country’s population in Conservatives, especially when you are in a virtual tie in head-to-head polls with the worst president in America’s collective memory?
Governor Romney, are you scared that Gov. Palin will upstage you at the Convention? Are you scared that Conservatives are actually going to expect you to stand for something? Have you ever lived anywhere in your adult life besides the Northeast Corridor?
Governor, you can continue to ignore Conservatives if you wish. Just don’t compare yourself to Ronald Reagan. Ronaldus Magnus united the party.
I, along with most Conservatives who love this country, plan on holding our noses and voting for you on November 6th, in spite of it all., so we can rid our nation of the Manchurian President.
So, would you please start attacking Obama as viciously as you attacked your fellow Republicans in the Primary?