You can’t turn on a television set lately without seeing some commentator or pundit talking about the riskiness, harping on the hazards, or listing the potential liabilities of Palin’s symbolic-in-nature, Independence Day decision to bail from her position as governor of Alaska.
Someone please tell me — what’s the big gamble?
Let’s see: She might write a book, make millions, and raise even more for the GOP?
She could end up giving killer speeches on issues of national importance that bring the house down and command the attention of a national media that only our current commander in chief can boast?
Or wait — she might actually run for the White House and, er, um, lose? (That worked out horribly for Hillary, secretary of state, “18 million cracks” Clinton, Nobel Prize winner/filmmaker Al Gore, and icon Ronald Reagan, to name a few.)
Most amusing are those who attack her for abandoning her office, a novel idea in politics. If leaving a position for a “higher calling” articulates the definition of reckless abandonment, most of the Obama administration is worthy of similar blame, including the president himself.
So why is stepping down such a volatile venture?
Win, lose, or draw, Palin is, and likely will remain, a wildly popular figure in the Republican Party, a movement that currently lacks a leader and is devoid of direction (besides “the opposite of whatever the tall guy with the teleprompter is saying").
Despite the Obama administration’s many stumbles and impending economic implosion, no Republican has managed to emerge as the conductor of the constituency. The old guard of the party is over. So over.
Whether Palin decides to become the conservative Oprah, a best-selling author, the country’s first female president (or all of the above) she is the next generation, the new guard, and the GOP’s MVP.
From a messaging standpoint Palin is perfect. She is also the only one who can reasonably argue that she hasn't been part of either the Republican or Democratic web of Washington politics.
No bailouts, big spending, or Buenos Aires lust romps.
Her fundraising potential is potent. Her support is solid from the right. She is poised to fill a leadership vacuum and there is no better time than now, when Obama’s numbers (especially with independents) are at the precipice of plunging. The iron is scalding hot and Palin, ever the shrewd politician, knows exactly when to strike.
Remind me — where’s her exposure again?
The country took a risk on a well-scripted, super-smooth, inexperienced, Ivy-League fancy lad junior senator. Since taking office he’s quadrupled the deficit, conceded our liabilities abroad, shoved us to the brink of a crippled, European-style nanny state, all the while increasing the unemployment numbers to the cusp of double digits.
See? The plainspoken, big-haired, conservative hockey mom who uses hokey animal analogies doesn’t seem like such a bad bet after all.
We don’t know precisely how Palin's wager will play out, but we do know that she pulled the political ripcord to advance her career as a Republican rock star, move conservatism forward, and harness her power to propel the problematic Grand Old Party back to greatness.
Now that’s a bailout I can get behind.
Andrea Tantaros is a conservative commentator and columnist. Her commentary can be found on www.andreatantaros.com. Follow her on Twitter: @AndreaTantaros.
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