Thursday, August 25, 2011

Scott Conroy: Why Palin might not be inclined to endorse Perry

"Palin and Perry come from entirely different worlds politically."
In an op-ed about the Radtke-RedState conflict, RealClearPolitics' Scott Conroy makes a pretty good case why those who claim that Sarah Palin will endorse Rick Perry in the GOP presidential primary race have likely misinterpreted the tea leaves:
Conventional wisdom has held that Palin and Perry occupy a similar niche within the Tea Party movement and that the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee might stay out of the race and instead endorse the three-term governor. But there are several indications that Palin is disinclined to get behind Perry at this stage in the game.

In a Facebook post last month, Palin wrote that the office of the presidency “requires a strong chief executive who has been entrusted with real authority in the past.” Her use of the adjective “strong” was interpreted by many of her supporters to be a subtle reference to the relatively weak power of the office of governor in Texas -- compared to Alaska’s, which is one of the most constitutionally robust in the nation.

When RCP asked Palin during her recent visit to the Iowa State Fair about how her record would stand up against Perry’s, she praised Perry before more explicitly contrasting the power of Alaska’s governorship with that of Texas.

“I’m glad he’s entering the race, even though he said he wouldn’t,” she added.


The New York Times reported on Sunday that Perry has taken full advantage of lax campaign finance laws to disperse “grants, tax breaks, contracts and appointments to hundreds of his most generous supporters and their businesses.”

Palin, on the other hand, saw her political rise in Alaska fueled in large part by her instinctive antipathy toward the influence of money in politics, which fit perfectly the mood among voters in the 49th state in the wake of a high-profile corruption scandal that swept through the halls of power in Juneau during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

During her 2008 vice-presidential run, Palin consistently pushed back at the fundraiser-intensive schedule that the McCain campaign had set up for her and was always far more comfortable on the rope line than she was on the rubber chicken circuit, according to former aides.

Conroy concludes that though one of the two may endorse the other well down the campaign road, he sees the battle lines being drawn in the conservative blogosphere as a sign that "the the apparent surrogates for the two prospective rivals are hunkering down in their trenches." Conroy also quotes Dan Riehl, who decribes the Palin constituency as "more independent, slightly more free-thinking" than that of Perry.

- JP

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