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Sarah Palin – more influence now than ever?

January 24, 2012
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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who I had high hopes for when he took over the governorship, has become an attack dog for Mitt Romney. Last Sunday on “Meet The Press,” he made some…stupid statements…about Newt Gingrich, especially about Gingrich’s problems while he was Speaker of the House. I’m not going to get into whether Gingrich did something wrong or not…that’s much more involved than I have time or space for here.

The issue is that he made statements that were simplistic, and therefore erroneous. I can’t imagine how a former prosecutor could be so flippant about the ethics violations Gingrich was accused of, as if “everybody knows” he was guilty. I think he would be borderline libelous if he was not talking about a political candidate. But as we know, if you’re a seeking the Republican Presidential nomination, you can say anything, no matter how damning – especially if it’s juicy media fodder.

Apparently Sarah Palin took Governor Christie to task for his remarks. Good for her…if Governor Christie, or anyone else, makes irresponsible remarks, others have the right to correct them just as publicly. The fact that this time it was someone with the visibility of Palin just made it that much better.

I’m not a Gingrich guy, but I may end up to be. I think, but I’m not sure, that Gingrich is finding out that showing some conservatism is not the kiss of death the scaredy-cat Republicans have generally thought. I think Rick Santorum is a much more conservative candidate, but I don’t think he has the visibility and organization to make it all the way. If he were to drop out right now and Gingrich would lurch a bit more to the right, Gingrich would probably blow Romney out of the water with the support of the conservatives hanging on to Santorum.

Fred Thompson has endorsed Gingrich. That surprised me a bit – not just that he endorsed him, but that he did so this early in the game. Maybe he senses a tipping point coming soon. He may be right about that. I believe in Thompson’s conservative credentials. I also think he knows Gingrich pretty well from his time in Congress.

Still, the endorsement that’s necessary to bring in the conservatives – especially conservative women – is Sarah Palin’s. She’s not done so yet; although Todd Palin endorsed Gingrich a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps that was the test – to see how Todd’s endorsement would be viewed by conservatives.

Make no mistake – Mama Grizzly has a lot of clout. She just might influence this election more in her present position than as an actual candidate.

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