Sarah Palin's One Nation bus tour of the American northeast seems to have met or exceeded her expectations, so much so that she and her team will try out the innovative concept to the Midwest and the South. Associated Content contributor Mark Whittington opines that if she decides to run, expect more innovation in the form of her campaign structure:
Clearly Palin is conducting a test run of what may be the most unusual presidential campaign in recent American history. She means to bypass the Republican Party establishment, including the cadre of precinct chairman whom political candidates usually cater to, and take her case directly to the voters. Many pundits regard this as a mistake and even a sign Palin has no intention of running. The party apparatus is considered crucial for creating on the ground organization that a candidate needs to get out the vote.There are, of course, naysayers in the chattering class who doubt that the political ground can be broken with with a campaign organized using such a cutting edge model. But if Gov. Palin were to get herself elected president in this fashion, she will have rewritten the political playbook.
Palin may be thinking of a different model, one that seems to have worked in the past two or so years to shake the political foundations of the United States: the Tea Party movement.
The Tea Party has not been a hierarchical organization in the classic sense. It is one example of what law professor and Instapundit Glenn Reynolds calls an "Army of Davids," in which individuals band together, self-organize, and go forth to effect change. The Tea Party has been wildly successful in this, putting hundreds of thousands of people in the streets and organizing voters for the 2010 election.
It could be that Palin is thinking along these lines if she pulls the trigger on a presidential run in 2012. Activists, bound together by social media, would band together and work cooperatively to elect Palin, just as the Tea Party worked together to oppose President Obama and get more conservatives elected in 2010.