1. Continuing high favorability among Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents. Palin has a 73% strongly favorable/favorable rating.
|Gallup Poll published January 10, 2011|
2. Palin is the only Republican candidate who has been part of a national campaign, and the only one to be fully vetted/"targeted". Despite extreme negativity by Democrats (not to mention establishment Republicans and pundits), Republicans and Republican-leaning independents remain impressed with her.
3. Even more telling, the majority of Americans say they agree more with Governor Palin than with President Obama--the sure Democratic nominee for 2012. This shows Palin's effectiveness in communicating her beliefs in the face of the withering media opposition which always dogs Republican candidates.
4. Palin's supporters would crawl through broken glass to get her elected. No other candidate inspires that kind of commitment, and given the popular disillusionment with politics, pundits and the media, it's unlikely that any other probable candidate could do the same.
5. Palin was a key factor in keeping the Tea Party within Republican ranks in 2010. Her candidacy would have the best chance of keeping them within Republican ranks in 2012 as well.
6. Palin already has a great donor and blogger base, and if the number of people who stood out in the freezing cold for hours to get an autograph is any indication, she will have a great volunteer base as well.
7. Palin is the only national level political figure to understand and effectively use internet social and communication networks. She's the first 21st century politician. Though her critics mock her use of Twitter and Facebook, no one uses those resources better in the political realm or has leveraged them to be equal to mainstream media access.
8. This is the time to strike--as it was for Reagan in 1976. Even if Palin doesn't win, she will have set up and done a trial run of the national network necessary for a second run. It's interesting that those who see a run and loss as a dead end didn't pay attention to the 2008 primaries. Romney is considered a front-runner as is Huckabee despite losing in 2008. And even Giuliani, who lost bad, is not counted out because of his 2008 loss.
9. Palin is right on the money on her policy positions, and, even more importantly, has been the major (only?) Republican figure to drive the political debate both when Republicans and conservatives were in the wilderness (2008-2009) and in times of heady success (2010). No Republican leader better embodies the public opposition to Obamacare rationing (death panels), need for energy independence (drill, baby, drill), or need for economic responsibility and a strong dollar than Palin.
10. Finally, and most importantly, the nation needs someone who can lead the American people to the sort of greatness and sacrifice necessary to turn the nation around. This will take a commitment to personal responsibility as well as understanding the national dangers in out of control government spending, increased regulation, and the national debt. This cannot be effectively addressed with a few pieces of legislation, a policy wonk, or even an able administrator. It will take a transformation in the public's commitment to personal (e.g., entitlements) and governmental change. Other than Barack Obama, Sarah Palin is the only current American political figure who has shown the ability to reach into people's hearts and souls and inspire that sort of commitment to action.