Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is still not running for president. She just doesn’t want you to forget she might, though, however slim her chances may be.
Palin, greeted by cheers of “Run, Sarah, Run” at a Tea Party rally in Iowa on Saturday, attacked President Obama, Washington, and her fellow Republican rivals, but declined to announce whether she would enter the race in 2012.
“The truth is, Barack Obama is adrift with no real plan,” Palin said. “He doesn’t make sense.”
As a testament to the large degree of media influence she still enjoys, Palin’s rousing speech fueled even more speculation about the possibility of challenging President Obama - even though her aides already acknowledged the decision wouldn’t be announced until later this month. Unless she delays her decision, yet again. But why say no to a run when it would cost her relevance?
In what was perhaps her most candidate-sounding speech yet, Palin wowed a star-struck audience but also defended the influence of the Tea Party and her own viability on the national stage. A recent Fox poll found that even 71% of Republicans do not wish her in the race.
“They’re for strippers and cross-country skiers,” Palin said of polls in general.
Palin told the audience that the challenge is not simply to replace President Obama in 2012, “it’s who and what we will replace him with.”
To that end, she knocked the “permanent political class” and her fellow GOP rivals - perhaps aiming at Mitt Romney and Rick Perry - on raising big campaign money from corporate donors, saying she would like 2012 candidates to fight “croney capitalism.”
“Our country cannot afford more trillion dollar thank you notes to campaign backers,” she added. “Just like you, I’m not for sale.”
Palin also introduced her own prescription for the ailing economy - total elimination of the corporate income tax.
Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.