White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, in what may be a new White House strategy to build up Sarah Palin for future shots at the GOP, told reporters Friday that she might be "the most formidable force in the Republican Party."
Gibbs acknowledged that Gov. Palin, who was in Iowa to speak at the state Republican Party's annual Ronald Reagan Dinner, seems to be “dipping that toe in" the waters for 2012:
Gibbs conceded Palin has the ability to draw huge crowds and energize the Republican base.Not long after Gibbs talked about Palin, the White House announced that President Obama will be making his own pilgrimage to Des Moines later this month for a town hall event.
"She can rally the very conservative elements of the Republican base," Gibbs said.
Uncharacteristically, the often combative press secretary passed on the opportunity to take a shot at Palin, who has been a constant critic of Obama.
"I have no doubt that she is a formidable force in the Republican Party and very well could be the most formidable force in the Republican Party," Gibbs said.