While Sarah Palin’s latest political maneuvering has her headlining the National Tea Party Convention beginning today (Feb. 4) in Nashville, Tenn., and speaking at a Center for Arizona Policy “Family Dinner” event in April, the GOP establishment must be considering what the former vice presidential candidate’s future plans really are.
After all, she’s already published a book and went on a nationwide tour to promote it. Most of her followers are hard-line conservatives who like her straight-talking style, her views on social issues and her criticism of big government.
Perhaps she’s angling to become the new leader of the Tea Party Party.
According to this Huffington Post article, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who serves as the head of the Republican Senate campaign operation, said the GOP is faced with a daunting choice regarding Tea Partiers: Either attempt to absorb them as a wing of the Republican Party at the risk of pushing away critical independent voters, or push them into forming a third party, which would then allow Tea Partiers to siphon votes from GOP candidates.
This article on Politico.com, directly questions Palin’s motive for not only speaking at the Tea Partiers’ relatively small political gathering, but doing so while shunning a much larger offer. Reportedly, she blew off a speaking offer from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which drew 9,000 people last year, for the Tea Party Convention, which expects a measly 600 people.
The answer, offered by Erick Erickson, founder of the conservative blog RedState.com, is simple. She’s carving out part of the conservative segment as her own.
I’ll take it a step further. She’s “going rogue” without “going off the GOP reservation.” She wants to be seen as an alternative for “mainstream” conservatives – still conservative, but not your grandpa’s conservative. A candidate can’t accomplish that by speaking at traditional conservative events, like the one held by CPAC.
So with the early stages of the she-maverick’s potential campaign message, what will her message be at the CAP event on April 24?
Cathi Herrod, CAP president, said this about having Palin speak during her organization’s event: “She’s the most sought-after speaker in America today. She’s a trailblazer for the conservative movement: She’s an articulate, pro-life, pro-family woman who stands for her values and doesn’t back down.”
It looks like the “trailblazer for the conservative movement” is getting her ducks lined up.
Click here for info on CAP’s event featuring Sarah Palin.
-By Josh Coddington