Political advice is a most curious commodity. Some politicians pay prodigious sums of money for it, yet there's no shortage of pundits who offer it freely. For those who would argue that the advice of professional political consultants is worth far more than whatever wisdom the run of the mill pundit may have to offer, we have two words: Bob Shrum. With his 0-8 record in major campaigns and his prediction that the Democrats would keep control of the U.S. House in 2010 in mind, how much worse could free advice be?
Human Events contributor Tony Lee is one of those dispensing no-cost advice, and his recommendation to Sarah Palin is to jump in the race:
Of course, some in the GOP establishment are baiting her with the prospect of becoming “kingmaker for life” because they desperately want her to sit out the nominating process.Lee likes July 4 for the obvious patriotic connection, but also because it marks the anniversary of the weekend that she resigned as Alaska's governor, a move for which she has received no shortage of criticism. Choosing the 4th of July weekend, Lee points out, gives her a symbolic "do-over."
And though Palin can jump in the race the latest of any candidate and freeze the whole field until she makes a formal decision, my suggestion would be for her to jump straight into the race on the 4th of July without first forming an exploratory committee, which she can say is done only by those in the Washington establishment.
While there's no compelling reason for Gov. Palin to announce sooner rather than later, holding off until the first week in July may be playing the waiting game a bit too long, if she hasn't already signed up most of her campaign staff by then. As former Thompson supporters, we recall that one of the many missteps Fred made in 2008 was to jump in the race too late, after all the better worker bee had been snatched up by rival campaigns. May or early June seems to us to be a more prudent time to announce, but what do we know? Our advice, like Lee's, comes with no price tag attached.
BTW, Lee's advice to Huckabee is also worth noting: the former Arkansas governor, says Lee, needs to convince the GOP establishment that he can take Sarah Palin out of the race. No simple task that, and it's one that could easily be assigned to any of Gov. Palin's would-be rivals for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.