Sarah Palin has made it clear that she is considering a presidential bid in 2012, and that if she runs, she believes she could score a knockout punch to the Obama Administration. Despite her personal convictions, though, some in her party remain unconvinced, preferring long-time party loyalists like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and others.
The landscape has changed somewhat since Palin ran as the lifesaver of the doomed McCain ticket, making the race closer than it otherwise would have been. One such change is that Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal’s stock has dropped without much explanation, while New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s stock is soaring due to his tax-cutting, budget-slashing, plain-spoken ways in a largely blue state.
The main problem is that party loyalists types like Romney still control the party, despite the advances made by Tea Party activists like Palin. If Tea Party support were key, though, Texas Governor Rick Perry would likely top the list over Palin, despite the fact that he has never indicated interest in a demotion from being Texas Governor to being US President.
So ultimately, Palin’s blatant water-testing is interesting, but much remains to be seen. If forces like Christie, Perry or Jindal enter the race, Palin would likely fade as a favorite. But if compromising John McCain types like Romney, Huckabee and Gingrich remain her stiffest competition, Palin could easily become the next GOP presidential nominee, just due to a lack of other energizing conservatives on the scene.
But it’s early; one’s time is better spent on designer furniture shopping than prognosticating 2012 political results.