There’s a great Opinion piece on the Juneau website titled, Outside Column: Never too early to start the 2012 race by Carl P. Leudsdorf. In that OpEd pieces Mr. Leudsdorf talks about a Republican Pllster who took a sounding of the GOP electorate regarding the 2012 race for President. Neil Newhouse’s survey is said to have produced suprising results where Sarah Palin was third in line behind Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. I started thinking about that and here are my thoughts, and the logic behind it.

Mitt Romney announce in Des Moines Iowa on Wednesday February 14, 2007.(see Romney Joins the 2008 Race). Romney announced on February 7, 2008 that he was quitting the race for the White House. Total time in the public eye, debating and campaigning: 358 days.

Mike Huckabee announced on January 28 2007 that he would run for President of the United States (see Huckabee Announces Presidential Bid). Huckabee Quit his bid for the Presidential race on March 4, 2008. He was in the public eye in various debates and campaigning for 401 days. Additionally he now has a show on Fox News “The Huckabee Show” which started in late September 2008 and is well watched, at least as new shows go.

Sarah Palin stepped into the Presidential Campaign lime light on Friday August 29, 2008 and the election was on November 7, 2008. Her exposure covered a total of 70 days. Yes, she crisscrossed the United States for 69 of those days meeting with large crowds and moving on.

If you ask someone outside of the target states from the McCain campaign, all they will know about Sarah Palin is the Saturday Night Live parody by Tina Fay, the edited for maximum impact Katie Couric interview and the oft played “…what do you mean Charlie…” quote from the Charlie Gibson interview’s “gotcha” question about the Bush Doctrine.

Let’s look at the Bush Doctrine: all versions, and you tell me which one you knew.

September 20, 2001 (Address to the United States Congress): “We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.”

June 1, 2002 (Address to the cadets at West Point): “…And our security will require all Americans to be forward-looking and resolute, to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives…”

January 29, 2003 (State of the Union Address). “…Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world, it is God’s gift to humanity…”

The point is that when Palin asked “what do you mean, Charlie?” she was correct. She was asking whether he meant President Bush’s world view that “…The liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world, it is God’s gift to humanity…” and thus America’s duty to support any people seeking freedom and democracy. Perhaps Gibson meant how the United States would react to countries that support terrorism. Or, maybe he meant that we, the United States of America after 9/11 have the right to execute preemptive actions when necessary to defend our liberty. All of those, and far more interpretations as the Doctrine has evolved since September 2001 till August 2008.

With all due respect to Neil Newhouse and his survey, it is not a surprise to me that Huckabee and Romney who have been in the public eye for nearly 400 days each, and have completed careers as State Governors, would come in ahead of Sarah Palin who was on the spotlight for 70 days.

Now for the key issue of whether she’s going to run in 2012 or not. Here are some of the things I am going to be interested in:

1) Is there a grass roots movement to bring Sarah Palin to the White House?
2) Is the internet being used actively by Palin and the GOP to start recruiting?
3) Is there an internet contribution effort that is multi pronged and focused?

If you see those three (3) then you’ll know that Sarah Palin will be moving towards a run in 2012 and likely if she should lose then for 2016. She saw, first hand, what Obama and the internet did to McCain. Now she has 2 years to study it and prepare her own effort to bring money to the party and then to her own campaign so that she can bring the conservative vote out.

The same applies to Bobby Jindal, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich (who said he would not make up his mind till January of 2011) and anyone else who wants to run. It must start with a concerted effort to get a large energetic volunteer cadre that will seek to other volunteers, and to seek contributions to run the campaign.

The Lee’s Summit Conservative