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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Palin’s Clout

“Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings - give us that precious jewel, and you may take every things else! Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.”  “The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.”  “It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth—and listen to the song of that syren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty?” —Patrick Henry

Sen. Lisa Murkowski declared Wednesday that "it ain't over yet, folks" as she faced the prospect of being ousted by a conservative challenger backed by Sarah Palin amid widespread anti-incumbent rage this year.

Joe Miller leads Murkowski by about 2,000 votes with several thousand absentee ballots still to be counted, putting him in position to potentially be the latest political newcomer to defeat a well-known incumbent.

At a news conference in Anchorage, Murkowski mentioned that then-Sen. Ted Stevens in 2008 went to bed one night in the lead and learned later he had lost his Senate seat of 40 years to Mark Begich. She said U.S. Rep. Don Young also reminded her of a race he had won after going into the election thinking he would be the clear loser.

"There is much, much yet to be counted," she said.
Full the full story click here

Regardless of who prevails, the Republican primary is a sign of Palin's clout in her home state and on the national level. She endorsed John McCain and Jan Brewer and they won by sizeable margins in Arizona. Even if Miller losses this is a win for Palin. Just a few weeks ago Miller was trailing Murkowski by as much as 30 points. Palin’s endorsement, her posting on her Facebook page and the robocalls she made in Miller’s behalf along with $500,000 from the Tea Party Express pushed Miller even in the polls a few days before the election. Many believe it was Palin’s last minute support that pushed him over the top.

If Miller wins it will be major upset in Alaskan politics and an even bigger win for Palin. Probably the most hated conservative by the left, social progressives and liberal Republicans, Palin is becoming the most powerful woman in politics today. She even eclipses Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) at the national level. Her endorsements, Tea Party involvement and the ability to raise funds for Conservative Republicans are reminiscent of Ronald Reagan.

After Reagan’s support of Barry Goldwater and his failed presidential bid in 1976 he went into the fields of the hinterlands to raise money for Republican candidates. Along the way he gathered enough IOUs to garner the Republican presidential nomination in 1980 and beat Jimmy Carter.

Is Sarah Palin on the same track? To me it appears so. Only time will tell if she can parley her support and popularity into a competitive run for the presidency in 2012. Palin is good on domestic policies but will need to increase her image on international issues. This may not be a negative in 2012. After all Obama had no experience in either.

The other would be Republican candidates all have issues with the voters and little if no Tea Party support. If there is a Republican landslide in November in no small part it will be due the efforts of the various Tea Parties and Palin. This fact cannot be lightly dismissed.

Palin and the Tea Parties have energized the Republican voters to a point not seen since 1926 when Calvin Coolidge was restoring sanity and fiscal responsibility to the federal government. Right now, according Carl Rove, former political adviser to George W. Bush, the primary elections have seen Republicans turn out in numbers surpassing the Democrats, in some states by a margin of 3 to 1. If this trend continues there should be a big turnout of Republicans at the polls in November.

This is the Democrats largest fear – lack of voter turnout for their side. They can’t campaign on their record or with Obama. In fact in many ways Obama is disengaged and doesn’t seem to care about his Democrat minions. He has no real accomplishments to tout with the exception of his ill advised and conceived health care bill, for which members of his party will pay dearly in November.

With a national jobless rate hovering around 10% and in some states as high as 15% and no indication it will improve by November the Democrats have a lot to be fearful of. If the Bush tax cuts are repealed it will get worse. All the spin and class warfare in the world cannot encourage businesses to invest when they do not know what is going to happen.

The next 69 days will tell a great deal the future of the Republic. The spinners with spin and the strategists will strategize, but in the end the voters of the Republic will set our course.

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