Sarah Palin raised a few eyebrows last week during her appearance on Fox News' "Hannity" program when the discussion turned to the third party option. When asked by Shawn Hannity what she would say to Donald Trump if he wanted to run third-party, Gov. Palin answered:
"You know, what? A year ago, I would have said, please don't even consider third-party. We've got to shore up what is good, and strong and principled within the Republican Party. And we've got to run on a Republican ticket, stand strong on the planks and the strong platform that is the GOP.Asked in a follow up question whether a third party wouldn't split the vote and help reelect Obama, the governor acknowledged "that would be the fear," but added:
Well, I think conditions have changed in this last year, where after the November midterm elections, we swept in a new crop of hard-core fiscal conservatives with a lot of common sense who have solutions that they want to see applied in order to get the economy back on the right track.
Well, too many in the GOP are still resistant and resisting that movement of this new crop of common sense conservatives. And if they are not careful in the GOP, there will be a third-party rise up, just like back in the day when the wigs finally went away and Republicans rose up. That is what the GOP should be fearing today, is the electorate will get fed up with business as usual in the GOP and a third-party will rise up.
Not that I want to see that. Because I still have belief, strongly, that the GOP planks are best for our country. But, they have just the machine that runs the GOP has got to be careful."
"But Sean, where the GOP though is still missing the boat is, look where we are today. We're on day 760 something of no budget in the federal government and that is the Democrats' fault.Asked again later in the interview whether she would support Trump if he run as a third party candidate, she said:
And yet the public, for the most part is unaware of that, because the GOP doesn't have a concerted aggressive message against the Democrats being derelict in their duty to pass a budget.
Another point that the Republicans are missing right now that could be an opportunity to invite the third party in, and if they don't want to see a third party run, they'd better get their stuff together, is with Obamacare, they had promised, so many of them had promised, running on a platform of repealing Obamacare, and now some of them are kind of vacillating saying, well, maybe we can tweak it and not just repeal it and replace it. So, that's another point that they're missing there.
They're quite a few issues that the GOP had better get their stuff together on in order to make sure that Obama does not have another four years."
"You know, again, I still want to have that hope in the GOP that they are going to stand strong. And that there will be that very aggressive attempt and success in letting Americans know that we can do better. And we don't have to settle for the Obama, Reid and still Pelosi agenda that is part of Washington. I still have faith in the Republican Party that we can get this together.When Hannity asked her if she would consider running third party in this election cycle, she said:
What I mean Sean, by conditions changing, over the year, has been a result of that midterm election and seen that Tea Party Movement, independent Americans bringing in new people there to represent us in Congress.
And yet, still not seeing the transitional change that needs to take place in Washington, as a result of new people coming in. That has been a disappointment. I still have hope though that we can turn things around and we can get it together, so a third party wouldn't be necessary."
"I don't foresee that right now."Most political observers, especially those of us who have closely followed Gov. Palin's political career, understood the point Sarah Palin was trying to get across to the Republican Party with her responses to the third party questions. One notable exception is The American Spectator's Jeffrey Lord, whose eyebrow -- if not both of them -- still appears to be somewhere in the vicinity of his hairline. We wonder if he has slept since the interview aired Friday night.
In a nearly hysterical post on the Spectator's AmSpec blog Saturday, Lord characterized Gov. Palin's comments "a stunning development" and "shocking news." He couldn't seem to get over the fact that Gov. Palin said "right now" instead of just "no."
Lord is back today with a three-page dissertation on the Spectator's main page with the alarmist headline "Palin Ponders Third Party Paradox." The contributing editor felt the need to retell the history of how unsuccessful third party candidates have in various quests over the years for the presidency. he evidently believes that Gov. Palin and her supporters are seriously laying out a strategy to take over the Tea Party movement, forge it and ourselves into a modern day equivalent of the Whigs, and embark on a Quixotic quest for the White House, tilting at all windmills we may encounter on the way.
The only problem with that scenario is that taking over the Tea Party and forging it into anything would be like trying to herd cats. Tea Partiers are too independent-minded to allow themselves to be taken over by anyone, and the key issues which motivate them are too diverse to be neatly tied up in a convenient package. We doubt that a party platform could ever be written, especially when it comes to social issues.
Jeffrey Lord should realize that all Gov. Palin was doing by not completely closing the door and locking it on a third party possibility is trying to scare some sense into the GOP. By refusing to adhere to their own party's platform, some establishment Republicans are in danger of making themselves as relevant as the Whigs. If voters don't perceive the Republicans as offering a distinctly different program from what the Democrats are hawking, they will either, vote for the Democrats, vote for "none of the above," or just stay home on election day. So Lord -- who seems to be the only one obsessing over Sarah Palin's two little words "right now" -- should try to chill out. And he should really try to get some sleep.