Sunday, December 05, 2010

Perry/Palin in 2012

What do you call it when you put a state governor who has spent too much time in that office on the same presidential ticket as a state governor that couldn’t even serve out her full first term as state governor?

A dream ticket.

A dream ticket, that is, for Democrats.

Rick Perry is running for president. He hasn’t declared it, not yet. But actions speak louder than words. When Rick Perry ran for re-election in this past mid-term election he didn’t debate his Democratic opponent or anyone else for that matter. And that, as it turns out, was not because he was afraid of what Bill White could do to him, although he would have been turned into mincemeat by a more thoughtful debater, it’s because Rick Perry wasn’t running against Bill White in the past election.

He was running against Barack Obama.

His landslide victory was not a result of a Texas electorate that was elated over his record as governor – they had no idea what his record was – it was about how Perry took up the battle cry of anti-federalism. Rick Perry is a “Tenther” of the first order – a states’ rights proponent of an order that we haven’t seen since the Lincoln-Douglas debates. And this hits an emotional chord with Teabaggers.

Teabaggers and Texans.

And now, according to this article in the Chron, Perry is taking his argument with the Feds to the national stage.

From the Chron:

“Perry is preparing to revamp the Republican Governors Association to focus more on policy and energize states' push-back against the federal government.”

“‘There's just no question that Rick Perry views his upcoming term as chairman as an opportunity to raise his issues and his national profile,’ says Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University.”

Rick Perry is running for president.

And nipping at his heels for the role of the populist candidate of greatest appeal to Teabaggers is former semi-governor of Alaska Sarah Palin. Her well-timed book signing tour will keep her in the forefront of Teabagger politics as we head toward the inevitable hat-tossing contest that will occur early next year. With the Iowa Caucus only 14 months away, we will soon see the field of GOP candidates emerge. And you can bet that Perry and Palin will be there at the forefront.

Now Sarah Palin scared the bejesus out of independent voters in 2008. She is sure to do so again. Should Rick Perry be his party’s choice to run against Barack Obama in 2012 he would be insane to include her on his ticket. But who knows, that’s a year and a half away. Lots can happen.

What would happen, for example, if Rick Perry gets the nomination and chooses “Anyone but Palin” to be his running mate? Would this be enough to inflame his base and cause the schism in the GOP that I have been expecting?

Tax cuts for the rich that run up the deficit. Earmarks. Medicaid cuts. All of the things that Teabaggers are against Republicans seem to be for, but so far there has been no organized opposition to the Republican agenda by Teabaggers. But this would personify it for them.

Facts and issues don’t concern Teabaggers. But slighting Sarah Palin, the darling of the poor-spelling wearers of teabags and tricorn hats just might be the spark that we Democrats have been anticipating for some time now.

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