If Sarah Palin is looking for reasons to run for the Republican nomination for president — or NOT — she need look no further than the top newspaper in the first caucus state of Iowa.
|Sarah Palin drew plenty of attention when she visited the recent Iowa State Fair, as husband Todd helped take fans pictures with cellphones. (Getty Images Photo)
Jennifer Jacobs, chief political writer at the Des Moines Register, tapped the minds of some of the top political observers and bloggers in the Hawkeye State to chronicled eight reasons that the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate should run, as well as eight reasons to pass up the race.
Here’s a Cliff’s Notes version of Jacobs’ tally, in the Register’s 2012 Iowa Caucuses blog
Eight Reasons Palin Should Run
Eight Reasons She Shouldn’t Run
- 1. BELIEF IN HERSELF: “She believes that she could win,” said Republican Greg Hudson, 29, of West Des Moines, who writes the blog 1007 East Grand.
- 2. LIKES THE LIMELIGHT: “She loves to compete, and this is the ultimate competition,” said Doug Gross, an Iowa GOP politics insider.
- 3. STEALTH HELP: The work that a grass-roots group called Organize4Palin is doing on an unofficial, volunteer capacity in Iowa and other states rivals what some campaigns have done with paid staff, said Shane Vander Hart, 39, of Pleasant Hill, who writes the blog Caffeinated Thoughts.
- 4. FIRING UP THE BASE: Palin would motivate the Iowa GOP base and excite those uninspired by the current field, Hudson said.
- 5. TEA PARTY POWER: If there will be a time the tea party movement picks the nominee, this could be the year.
- 6. MONEY MAGNET: SarahPAC has reported impressive totals ($1.67 million this year, the Open Secrets website shows) without putting much effort into it, Vander Hart said.
- 7. ALREADY VETTED: “She has effectively weathered the media onslaught,” said tea party supporter Brett Rogers of West Des Moines.
- 8. WINNING MESSAGE: “She could win the nomination based on message quality alone,” said Dave Funk, 53, who was Iowa co-chairman of Sportsmen for McCain-Palin in 2008 but says he is remaining neutral this cycle.
- 1. HIGH NEGATIVES: Palin generates negative scores in polling that are sky-high, and that can take millions of dollars to counter, Iowa strategists said.
- 2. QUESTIONABLE STAYING POWER: Winning a nomination is not a national race — it’s about getting 40,000 or so Iowans to support you in the caucuses, and then tackling turnout in the other early states.
- 3. INDECISION A TURN-OFF: Palin is the Brett Favre of politics, keeping everyone guessing about her plans.
- 4. ALREADY A KINGMAKER: Palin can alter the presidential race, and thus American history, in the role she’s already in: spokeswoman for a conservative movement, several Iowans said.
- 5. HALF-TERM GOVERNOR: The fact that Palin quit the Alaska’s governor’s office in the middle of her first term will be underscored in a race that includes Texas’ longest-serving governor.
- 6. ALLERGY TO REPORTERS: The live-by-the-sword Palin sometimes finds herself at war with the media. But she did a better job of working with the press during her daylong visit to the Iowa State Fair, Iowa Republicans noted
- 7. ATTACKS ON FAMILY: The national media are ruthless in their scrutiny and criticism of Palin, and several Republicans in Iowa said they think that has taken a toll.
- 8. WHERE’S HER TEAM?: Palin has reached out to few people who are professionals at organizing, even as she mocks them at every step, strategists in Iowa told the Register.
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