With the Perry campaign throwing up all over itself, the Bachmann campaignâ€™s failure to launch and the complete lack of enthusiasm surrounding the Romney camp, the timing for the Wasilla Wonder to step into the race couldnâ€™t be better ÂÂâ€“â€“ but she wonâ€™t.
And part of the reason she wonâ€™t is exactly that â€œperfectnessâ€: If she did run, she might actually win the nomination, and nobody wants that less than Sarah Palin.
Take Newt Gingrich for example â€“â€“ heâ€™s not running for president; heâ€™s running for relevancy.
He knows better than me that he has no chance at actually winning the nomination, no less the presidency, yet he runs anyway. And itâ€™s a smart move on his part.
He keeps Newt in the news, which keeps Newt relevant, which keeps Newt paid.
Palin, on the other hand, boy does she want us to pay attention to her. Much like Newtie, she would love to use the race for the presidency as a platform to acquire said attention, but she doesnâ€™t actually want to be president. And who could blame her? What a thankless, crappy job â€“â€“ just ask the guy who thought he wanted it last time.
Clearly this is a woman who has no interest in actually governing â€“â€“ remember when she so valiantly served her full term as governor of Alaska? Yeah, me too.
Then consider her other options. She could literally spit on a piece of paper, title and publish it, and it would become a best seller. Or, Mama Grizzly could just plop down in front of a television camera in the studio Faux News built in her house, spout off some standard conservative talking points and collect a nice check from Uncle Rupert. Pretty sweet gig if you ask me.
Now, if you somehow have missed the constant â€œwill she or wonâ€™t sheâ€ speculation on a Palin 2012 run, let me sum up the two basic trains of thought.
On one train, you have the likes of me and Ann Coulter (weird combo huh?), who acknowledge what a terrible job being president would be â€“â€“ she once compared it to being a dog walker in an interview with Piers Morgan. (And, if you think about it, her analogy is actually pretty good â€“â€“Obama has spent the last few years trying to clean up the mess the last guy left behind.)
While Coulter probably believes Palin is too smart to run for Dog Walker in Chief, I know that silly-Sarah is just too lazy. But Ann and I do agree on the premise and conclusion, and for us two polar opposites, thatâ€™s notable.
Then, you have the people who are even sillier than Sarah: the ones who actually believe in her, and are still unsatisfied with the current Republican roster. Now in this group there are some (many?) who are still holding out hope that Sarah will make that 2012 run. Never mind the time constraints, and Sarahâ€™s clear lack of interest in governing â€“â€“ for this group, thereâ€™s still hope!
But in this case, hope is quickly turning to delusion as the tea bagger base grasps for straws in its search for their perfect candidate.
Perryâ€™s status as the governor of Texas forced him to adopt realistic immigration policies â€“â€“ apparently, disqualifying him as a real conservative. The Mittster is justâ€¦bleh. Ron Paul canâ€™t shake his â€œconspiracy theorist uncle who scares the family at Thanksgivingâ€ image. Bachmann just never took off. Herman Cain is fun to hang out with but not someone you actually take to the dance. And Huntsman believes in science, destroying his credibility with the base.
And down the line of GOP candidates it goes. Goldilocks canâ€™t seem to find her â€œjust rightâ€.
So the pleading for Palin and Christie (who is waiting for 2016) to come save them from the sinking ship: Keep it coming. And they will probably keep coming until just before Nov. 1, when South Carolinaâ€™s filing deadline passes. And then Romneyâ€™s money machine will take over, Perry will continue to implode, and the Republicans will have their very own version of the Demodonâ€™tâ€™s 2006 John Kerry.
Of course, I could be wrong (I thought I was once), and Palin could enter the race, immediately assume front-runner status, somehow not completely embarrass herself, win the nomination and be Barackâ€™s 2012 competition.
And then that, my friends, will be how Barack Obama wins his second term.
Jesse Benn is a senior political science major who got a year older this week. His column appears Thursdays in the Collegian. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.