Skip to comments.Wait, Sarah, Wait (Delay Continues to be Palin's Ally)
Posted on 09/25/2011 12:42:05 PM PDT by Brices Crossroads
It is hard to argue that Sarah Palin's delay in formally announcing her candidacy has been anything other than a smashing success. I have been among a minority who have contended from the outset that Governor Palin's delay in announcing was prudent strategy both for financial as well as political reasons. She has been able to campaign both in Iowa and New Hampshire within the last month, garnering huge amounts of publicity and the largest crowds of the campaign season. Her crony capitalism speech in Indianola on September 3 has driven the debate (as well as the GOP debates) even in her absence from the stage. It exposed the first chink in the armor of James Richard Perry, who has continued to bumble his chances, as some of us predicted he would. Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann has virtually disappeared from the radar screen, and is rumored to be broke, having poured every resource she had into winning the meaningless Ames Straw poll and paying the likes of Ed Rollins. And Mitt Romney remains in the low twenties, unable to put any daylight between himself and the weak field he faces. Romney's weakness--in the face of his opponents' implosion--has led the Establishment to begin to trot out what must be its last reserves, to wit: Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, a liberal Establishment Republican to the left even of Romney.
Sarah Palin has positioned herself beautifully, as events have unfolded in the last month, by not formally announcing. And she has spent not one dime doing it. On August 14, I argued here that the principal reason for her to delay is financial. The Establishment is already funding two major candidates, Romney and Perry. They are trying to launch a third, Chris Christie. Well heeled to be sure, the GOP Establishment does not have limitless funds, and the burn rate for Romney and Perry (plus Christie, if he gets in) will stretch its resources to the limit.
Sarah Palin will, I argue, have adequate funds, but she will not be able to match the Establishment dollar for dollar. By waiting, she spends nothing while the Establishment spear carriers flit from straw poll to straw poll to fundraiser, spending cash by the boatload, to so little effect that a third major Establishment candidate is now poised to enter.
Sarah Palin is husbanding her resources while the Establishment is spending hand over fist, while dividing its admittedly much larger warchest several ways. In effect, Palin--who will be the insurgent candidate--is evening the odds. She is learning from some of the mistakes of the 1976 and 1980 Reagan campaigns, which overspent early in both cycles and ran out of money both times, costing the Gipper the nomination in 1976 and very nearly derailing him in 1980. Her delaying game, coupled with the multiplication of Establishment candidacies (a divide and conquer strategy, so to speak), has put her in the catbird seat.
Moreover, her delay is forcing the Establishment to play its cards first...to put its candidates out front first for the public to scrutinize. Palin knows that her formal announcement would take the spotlight and scrutiny, as well as the pressure, off the Establishment candidates since all eyes would then turn to her. And she is not about to give her Establishment opponents such a break. The vetting process has been very hard on the new candidates so far, and Palin is wisely allowing it to continue.
Meanwhile, under the radar screen, she is better organized than any of the declared candidates, with her O4P legions in nearly every state, particularly Iowa, quietly assembling names of volunteers and positioning themselves to strike as soon as she gives the word.
A Civil War analogy comes to mind. At Second Manassas in August 1862, Robert E. Lee was confronted with two Union Armies, whose combined strength was far greater than his own. He realized that he had to prevent them from uniting in order to defeat them separately. Understanding that the first Army--commanded by the timid George B. McClellan---would move slowly, Lee turned his attention to the other, commanded by the impetuous John Pope. Lee sent half his Army under Stonewall Jackson, perhaps 25,000 men, to lure Pope into battle, while keeping the other half, under James Longstreet, with him. Jackson mounted a lightning strike on the federals at Cedar Mountain, driving Pope back to the Rappahanock River, and then old Stonewall vanished into the Bull Run Mountains. Jeb Stuart hit him next, raiding Pope's headquarters and making off with $350,000 in cash and Pope's dress coat. Pope, enraged, took off after Jackson. When he finally found him two weeks later, Jackson was dug in on the railroad cut at the old Bull Run Battlefield from a year earlier.
Pope hurled his army of 62,000 against Jackson, trying to dislodge the stubborn rebels. At the end of the first day, Jackson's lines had wavered but held. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Pope, Lee had brought up the second half of his Army under Longstreet and positioned it on the federal left, concealed by the dense foliage. The next day, Pope renewed his attack on a two mile front, stretching Jackson's line to the breaking point. Civil War historian Bruce Catton sets the scene:
"The Yankees drove against Jackson on a two mile front stretching his line to the breaking point. His men threw rocks at the attackers when their ammunition ran out. Still Longstreet waited. Not until the last Yankee reserves had been thrown against Jackson did he take action. Then he launched his counterattack. An artillery barrage smashed the left side of the Union forces. Rebel infantry, 'screaming like demons emerging from the earth', fell upon the surprised Yankees as Longstreet's five divisions rolled against the Union flank.... As Pope tried to halt Longstreet on his left, Jackson hit him on the right. The whole Union line bent like a horseshoe."
Palin's hit and run tactics of last summer in Iowa and New Hampshire are reminiscent of Jackson's and Stuart's tactics in August 1862. She continues to live rent free in the heads of the permanent political class, and her lightning strikes have forced them to react to HER, rather than forcing her to react to THEM. Just when the Establishment begins to hope it is rid of her, she pops up unexpectedly, and strikes it a blow that sends it reeling. At the same time, she manages to keep her intentions (and especially her timing) obscure enough to deny her enemies an easy fix on her as a target.
The huge vacuum in the current field, coupled with the many hints she has dropped over the last four months, suggest that Palin will enter the fray, but at the last possible moment, when the maximum amount of the Establishment's reserves, both financial and political, have been exhausted, or at least committed. Her entry will generate a tidal wave of excitement and energy, a political feu d'enfer reminiscent of the artillery barrage at Second Manassas, through which her legions of supporters will pour to vanquish the tattered, dispirited Hessian hirelings of the Establishment.
To those who are pleading "Run, Sarah, run", my rejoinder is "Wait, Sarah, wait." Strike when the maximum advantage has been gained. Not before.
Well waiting has made Perry into a second tier candidate and Romney is being demoted as I type. Romney does not represent conservatives in this party. It is time for a true conservative that can win to step up. Sarah the stage is set and I love when a plan come to together.
Palin better get in before the conservative GOP majority coalesces around Herman Cain!
I’ll say this: all of those on FR that were bashing Palin for no getting in and waiting, look silly right now. There is still money still on the sidelines, there are many voters who still hadn’t made up their mind about any one of the current candidates and there is STILL no clear frontrunner.
Saved for the coming deadline filings in the primary states where most of them are coming in mid to late Oct. She is on target with Perry collapsing, Bachmann having already collapsed and Mitt with soft, soft support. Palin is right in the mix
“Palin better get in before the conservative GOP majority coalesces around Herman Cain!”
Excellent read and if she is actually going to run would be dead on for her strategy. We should know soon enough.
Seems to me the decision they are facing is to announce before S. Korea or after. Her speech is at the opening, on October 11th - 10th would be a travel day, and the earliest return would be the 12th. The window closes primary-wise on 10/31. My bet is that it will be prior to SK given the Perry swoon, and it will be this coming week... (but I was also sure on Constitution day - the last day prior to 10/31 with real solid Tea-Party-Meaning.)
Well done. Interesting analysis, quite persuasive.
Sarah has a lot of fans, who are willing to contribute. But you get the big Establishment money by offering pork in return, and that’s not Sarah’s way.
Obama will have billions at his disposal when the general election rolls around, basically laundered tax money. But his poll numbers have paid an enormous price.
I could live with a Cain-Palin ticket as easily as I could with a Palin-Cain ticket. They are both awesome. They both get it.
Keep waiting. We’ll just go for CAIN
“Well just go for CAIN”
Why not go for Abel instead?
What are you laughing at? You have a problem with Herman Cain? 37% in the FL straw poll is not something I’d be laughing at. Herman Cain is a great American, and we really couldn’t ask for a better nominee.
I tell you what, I am Sarah Palin supporter (and a Cain supporter, and less so a Perry supporter), but you Sarah and only Sarah supporters are really starting to turn me off BIG TIME!
There is nothing to be gained by waiting any longer. If Palin has courage in her convictions, she will rise without waiting.
Look what Cain has done. He was one of the first to enter. He has upped the ante on himself with solid performance. How great is that?
In the end, whether she sits out longer or not, there will still be plenty of time for debates and scrutiny. There is the initial glory, and then the focus is on you.
Perry was the rage and blew it in a couple debates.
Many forget around here that Palin appears on FOX only and the internet. She has negatives that are not being removed by sitting it out.
Time to step up and quit waiting for some miracle to fall in your lap.
If a person does not watch FOX or follow internet politics, all they hear of Palin is the salacious and negative gossip.
She gets to enjoy one more moose hunting season and I get to enjoy watching Perry implode as Mitt fades.
We are watching the Art of War, and Madame Palin has won every battle so far.
Cain, I have to admit, has a better resume and hasn’t been beaten to a pulp by the MSM. Too many people believe that $hit.
I hate what they’ve done to her but we have to be realistic and I’m leaning Cain.
“Why not go for Abel instead?”
because he is unable.
AS much as I admire and respect Herman Cain, I honestly don’t believe he can beat Obama. I think he would be a much better president, and should he win the nomination, I’ll vote for him. Sorry, this is just my own opinion.
Sarah is a shrewd one, isn’t she?
The only problem with your Civil War analogy is that the South ultimately lost the war even though they had better generals and leaders. It was the vast resources of the North that won in the end.
Let us hope that your analogy doesn’t go so far as to see Sarah lose. She will be facing vast resouces of the “establishment” that don’t realize they are passe.
I would hate to see Herman Cain wasted as a VP. He is much more qualified than to have him cooling his heels in a do-nothing job. I would much rather see him in a cabinet post or an economic advisor. I want him at the table in a Palin administration.
“I honestly dont believe he can beat Obama”
Why? Because he wasn’t governor for 2 years in a state with the smallest population in the country?
The dirty little secret is: Obama will not be reelected. He is toast, done, stick a fork in him. There is virtually no chance of the GOP blowing it unless they nominate Ron Paul. Michelle Bachmann is right this is our chance. She is wrong that she is that conservative but she is right this is our chance. Sarah will blow Obama away and have the LSM cheering her on because she is the better story.
“AS much as I admire and respect Herman Cain, I honestly dont believe he can beat Obama. I think he would be a much better president, and should he win the nomination, Ill vote for him.”
Agreed. However, he would be a great running mate to Palin if he would accept such a position.
You think that Cain cannot beat Obama, but Sarah can? Please explain why? Cain does not have the high negatives that Sarah has. He is also is, like Sarah, extremely likeable. I have my doubts that Sarah is electable at all which is why I have been searching for another candidate. I think I have found that in Hermann Cain, and I do believe that he can win.
it will never happen
“37% in the FL straw poll is not something Id be laughing at.”
Michele Bachmann won the AMES straw poll six weeks ago. How is she doing as a result.
Romney did not participate at all. Palin wasn’t even on the ballot. I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions from garnering 896 votes in a straw poll in a state of 30+ million.
Once more, a superb post. Thank you!
[I honestly dont believe he can beat Obama
Why? Because he wasnt governor for 2 years in a state with the smallest population in the country?]
Before quitting. I think Sarah is going to have a hard-time convincing voters to let that go. Although she had legitimate reasons, it is to difficult to explain in a 30 second soundbite, and the media will do their best not to give her the opportunity.
They don’t understand that there are many people who aren’t crazy about Obama but will go out of their way to vote for him just to vote AGAINST Palin.
>>Why not go for Abel instead?
Because Abel isn’t running (much like Palin) and isn’t willing to put any ideas on the table that might fix America (also like Palin).
Cain has done both and isn’t spending his time strategically plotting his political moves to maximize his political chances over the people who are actually in the race. Cain is in there, fighting to put our issues on the agenda. His ideas will still be there even if he has to drop out later. “Mama Teddy Bear” continues to sit on the shelf and look nice.
I used to like Palin, but I’m sick of her stringing you people along. If she gets in the race in October/November, she can earn my trust and my vote because she’s still on my list of candidates that I’d support, but the days of her getting it automatically are long past.
Here it what will never happen Obama will never be a two term President.
Can't be emphasized enough and, at this point, would be the chief reason for Palin waiting until the last possible minute to enter this race. Christie will be no threat if he gets in but finances are definitely still an issue, as the GOP-E will obviously continue to work to shut off her access to big donors. Other than that, she can get in at any time from this point forward. Her call.
Great perspective as usual, BC.
Palin/Cain is the only ticket.
Thanks for the laugh! :)
I personally don’t believe Palin will declare candidacy, but this is a well-written essay. Nicely done.
I really like Michelle Bachmann, but she has been a disappointment in the debates and with some of her statements in recent weeks.
I’ll never ever vote for Romney.
I think Rick Perry is a phony, and he’d blow it in the general election.
Newt - love his debating skills, and he’s generally on message, but he has too much baggage to become president.
Herman Cain - Great guy. I hope they give him some more air time in the next couple of debates. I’ve got my eye on him.
Sarah - Yes, there is still time for her to get in if she wants.
Santorum - Don’t think it will happen for him.
So for now, Go Herman Cain!
I don’t have to explain my reasons why. It’s just my opinion. I do think he’d be great for this country, but, just don’t believe he can win the general. Of course, he doesn’t have a lot of baggage, nor does he have a lot of name recognition. I’ll just leave it at this.
“IMO she is unelectable plus I believe divorce is forthcoming.”
You’ve been reading too much of the National Enquirer and trashy gossip books bud!
Count me in as a Sarah ONLY person. I like Cain but he is not ready to go prime time in the top spot. FL straw poll is not the primary. It will bring down perry a few pegs but when the dust settles Romney/Perry will both be up there but diminished. Sarah has when it takes to come in and mop up. I guess you did not see her campaign her tail off in 2008. If it had not been for McCain holding her back she might have pulled it off.
yes why would anyone pick the articulate person with a masters degree over someone with a journalism major who likes to wink a lot? It’s something I will never understand.
Not exactly sure why you are mocking that statement.
Cain is clearly as intelligent, strategically, as Palin.
ROFL I was going to respond to that post, but then figured it must have been post #13. :D
>>who likes to wink a lot
Because her winks are sooooooo dreamy and if I vote for her, then maybe she’ll talk to me in the hall at school one day. And then we’ll sit at the same table in the cafeteria. And then I’ll ask her to the prom....
Its a hard call the word “Electable”. I tend to read all these comments and basically “assume” that most conservatives will vote for the anyone but Obama. So she would probably get most of the votes of people who don’t squander their responsibilities and just stay home. - Now the independents (I mean the true independents - not those democrats who always say they haven’t made up their mind) will have a clear choice - Palin or Obama. Most at my work are closet democrats but talking to them they are just about willing to vote for anyone but Obama.
Funny thing about the independents at my work - they never vote anything but democrat. They seem like normal people but when you talk to them one on one they say “I’m an independent.” I ask when is the last time you didn’t vote democrat and they say never have found someone other than the democrat they liked. I tell them they are democrats.....
You are too focused on the media. Sarah has been side stepping them for a very long time, in case you haven’t noticed. I don’t care what the media says - they are in the tank for obama anyway, so, what makes you think they would give any Rep. a fair shake? It isn’t going to happen, and it won’t happen with Cain either. They’ll play up his bout with cancer.
It sounds like you are the one who can’t get over the reasons Sarah stepped down. Never judge a person until you walk a mile in their shoes.
This article is *very illuminating* - thanks for posting.
The sheer amount of money and work needed to be in early and not fade is something I simply hadn’t considered: also I hadn’t truly internalised the fact that every Conservative candidate is at war with the whole GOP.
These early recognition battles are fights fought in a desert: and the GOP controls most of the wells. There really is a ‘best’ time to jump in.
Also: if GOP conservatives did coalesce about Cain - as some have suggested - then I’m sure (like many of us) Palin wouldn’t regard that as the worst thing in the world. She might well endorse him.
You’re already turned off to Sarah. Don’t try to blame her supporters for that. Michelle Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll and where is she today? We’re 19 months away from the next election - these polls will come and go. Rudy won a few straw polls too. They don’t mean all that much this early in the game - except to you and the media.
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