In less than twenty-four hours, I have learned that SarahPAC has raised over $866,000 and spent over $742,000 flying its celebrity politician about the country. The ability to raise numbers approaching a million dollars a quarter, and less commented on but probably more significant, the massive outreach to conservative grassroots, has lent weight and given a spotlight to what I already through were former Governor Palin’s Presidential ambitions.
Almost immediately, as if to counter the possibility that Sarah Palin would become the annointed, inevitable
Repubilcan Republican nominee, Newt Gingrich (!) announced that he was more serious than ever about running for President during the upcoming cycle. This isn’t actually all much of a statement when read at face value, seeing as Gingrich has never actually declared his candidacy for President in any cycle. But the impact is not in the literal truth but rather the fact that he raised the flag at all. So while not quite tossing his hat in the ring, Gingrich through surrogates offered comparisons of himself to Bill Clinton as a candidate.
And then this morning, I can read that the Obama camp is already preparing their campaign template to run against Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney or pretty much anyone else the GOP nominates — by running against George W. Bush. The idea is, I guess, that any GOP candidate is “going backwards” while Obama is “going forwards” and therefore the representative of “change” despite being the incumbent.
When you play chess, if your first or second moves are not what you wanted, you still have time to change your strategy and set up a different kind of play. That’s the import that should be read into these “events,” which of course are not really events at all but simply factoids and throwaway comments scooped up by a voracious and hypercompetitive news industry hungry for any kind of a political story at all. Chances are still favorable that the eventual GOP nominee will be someone who right now has a relatively low profile and some ideas that can catch fire. (A guy can always hope, right?)
Today’s point is — the 2012 Presidential election is now underway.