Former Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has subtly shifted the criteria for her decision of whether to run for president in 2012, giving her more wiggle room to enter the race. “In October, she told ‘Entertainment Tonight’ that she would only run if the field were missing a candidate who had ‘common sense’ and ‘pro-Constitution passion,’” The Hill reports
“It there was such a candidate, Palin would opt out of a race and be ‘their biggest supporter and biggest help-mate.’ That answer boxed Palin in considerably, because the field will likely include at least a few candidates who fit those criteria.”
But last month, Palin adjusted her thinking. In an interview with Fox News, she reiterated that she wants to see if there are other conservative candidates who will enter the race before making her decision. And then she added this little requirement: Those candidates must have a good chance to win. “I’m certainly going to take a good lay-of-the-land look and see if there are others out there who are electable,” she said.
Palin repeated that point to Barbara Walters on ABC last week. “I would run if I believe that other candidates willing to put themselves forward in the name of public service — if they don’t have a shot at winning, I would offer myself up.”
Meanwhile, the segment of the country that Palin respects least, Washington, D.C. elites, continues to be the one that supports her least. A new Politico poll shows that just 11 percent of the capital’s elites believe Palin is qualified to be president. That compares with 23 percent for the country as a whole.
“Palin is a populist-oriented phenomenon drawn heavily from lower middle-class voters, but she also deliberately comes off as anti-intellectual and anti-Washington, so it is no surprise she does not play in the Beltway,” says Mark Penn, CEO of the polling firm Penn Schoen Berland, which conducted the survey. “Elites almost everywhere are turned off by her and some of the very things she does that attract her core support.”
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