The political intelligentsia’s consensus on Alaska Republican Gov. Sarah Palin's resignation is wrong, according to veteran political analyst Charlie Cook.
Cook, creator of “The Cook Political Report,” says that Palin’s apparent strategy in resigning may be to build a major campaign organization for 2012 – a task that takes an enormous amount of time, energy and financial capital in the Lower 48 and would likely be impossible in Alaska.
”A good case can be made that seeking a presidential nomination has become an extraordinarily difficult undertaking in terms of organization-building, fundraising and cultivating the relationships necessary to win,” Cook writes in National Journal.com “And perhaps doing that well and being an effective governor are mutually exclusive.”
“Would Palin really get that many more "experience points" for sticking around Juneau, if it meant missing a lot of gripping and grinning at Lincoln Day dinners and other state and local party functions?
Running for president is now a minimum two-year, full-time job, Cook reasons. Remaining in office for 18 more months as a lame-duck governor would only expose her to problems beyond her control and cripple her fundraising abilities.
“She has already punched her ticket as governor; would she really get that many more "experience points" for sticking around Juneau, if it meant missing a lot of gripping and grinning at Lincoln Day dinners and other state and local party functions, or headlining fundraising events for Republican candidates?
“Finally, it appears that Sarah and Todd Palin are not people of great wealth, and it's a decent bet that they would have little income during 2011 and 2012, with the two of them campaigning full time,” Cook writes. “My hunch is that -- to the extent that she could bank some serious change over the next year and a half by speaking, writing a book or what have you -- it would make their lives easier in 2011 and 2012.”
And Palin would be well behind her likely opponents: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
“The bottom line is that Palin, who was a relative nobody in the party one year ago, has little time to waste putting together a 50-state effort,” Cook concludes. “This move gives her an additional year and a half to do it.”
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