The media was all aflutter when it learned Sarah Palin wasn't going to attend the "Republican Debate" at the Reagan Library in May. Of course the "thought leaders" all saw this as a sure sign that Sarah wasn't going to run for President. This is know as wish-casting, something the naysayers do a lot!
The fact is, this "debate" is being hosted by two of the most leftist organizations out there: NBC and POLITICO. Might as well have the Daily Kos and Huffington Post host the thing. Experience tells us it won't be a fair debate, there is an agenda at work here, and the moderator will be working to craft the best "gotcha" questions imaginable.
Past that, it's way too early. May 2011 is 19 months, just a few months shy of two years, from the 2012 election. Can't we at least wait until 2012 to start this process?
Sarah Palin won't be the only Republican hopeful skipping the debate, but you'd think she was, considering the hand wringing.
Tim Crawford, SarahPAC's treasurer, issued a statement saying people shouldn't read anything about 2012 into her skipping the "debate."
Katrina Trinko from National Review Online reports:
Sarah Palin’s decision to deliver a speech in Colorado the same day as the first GOP presidential primary debate does not signal that she will not run in 2012, says an official with Palin’s PAC.
"It has nothing to do with a decision [about running for president in 2012]. The Governor said the other day that she will make a decision about that in the coming months," Tim Crawford, the treasurer of Palin’s PAC, told National Review Online.
Palin will be the keynote speaker at the Colorado Christian University’s "Tribute to the Troops" event, which the university describes as "a military and veterans appreciation rally and charity benefit." The benefit will be held in Lakewood, Colo. on May 2, the same day Politico and NBC News have scheduled the first GOP debate at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
It should be noted Sarah had scheduled an event in Colorado earlier to support the troops, and the event was canceled due to threats of violence from "loving and tolerant" liberals. It should also be noted that Sarah specifically chose this date, and is doing this appearance no charge, so every dime raised will benefit the group.
Even Allahpundit at Hot Air recognizes this is a smart move:
Good politics, actually, and if not for the location, I’d say it was great politics.
SarahPAC’s treasurer tells NRO that the scheduling had nothing to do with the debate. Okay, but raising money for families of deceased vets on a night when the Pawlentys and Gingriches of the world are chasing their personal ambitions on national TV is a pretty sweet contrast to draw. It’s also an opportunity to enlarge the shadow she’s cast over the field. Her absence at the library will be felt regardless, but if she says something provocative in her speech at the fundraiser that gets the media’s attention, she might steal the spotlight away from the debate the next day. That’ll drive her rivals nuts and build momentum for a splashy late entry into the race.
The only potential liability is that skipping a photo op with Nancy Reagan makes it a bit harder to claim the Reagan mantle. Even that’s a minor concern, though: None of the other top-tier candidates seriously present themselves in the Reagan mold, and since the debate’s being sponsored by two media outlets that grassroots conservatives loathe, her decision to skip the event is easily forgiven. It’s all upside. Exit question: If it’s wrong to read any political significance into the scheduling of the May event, is it okay to read some significance into the scheduling of this event in October?
We have to disagree with Allah on the Nancy Reagan photo op. We all love Nancy, but she has been co-opted by the party elites, and doesn't carry the heft that Ronnie did. Besides, Sarah had her real Reagan moment when she was the keynote speaker at the event celebrating Reagan's 100th birthday. The ranch really represents the very essence of Ronald Reagan, and Sarah was able to walk the paths and ride the trails of Ronald Reagan at the ranch.
The October event Allah refers to is the Extraordinary Women Conference. This will be a huge event that will be simulcast live to more than 1,000 churches nationwide. This has the potential to reach anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million viewers. [and that's a very conservative estimate] This is a powerful setting for Sarah to speak in. A powerful way to get her message of faith out.
From News Advance:
Sarah Palin will be the featured speaker at a women’s conference at Liberty University this fall.
The former Alaska governor will share her "personal testimony of faith" at the Extraordinary Women Conference, which will be held at the Vines Center on Oct. 7-8, according to a news release from conference organizers.
Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said in an e-mail Tuesday that the university is "honored to host (the conference) and to welcome Governor Sarah Palin to our campus."
"Governor Palin is greatly admired by our Liberty University faculty, staff and students for her patriotism and her determination to stand up for what is right despite vicious and unrelenting attacks against her and her family."
The conference in Lynchburg is one of several stops on the 2011 "Everlasting Hope" tour, part of outreach efforts by the American Association of Christian Counselors, a Forest-based organization led by Liberty professor Tim Clinton. His wife, Julie Clinton, is the point person for the Extraordinary Women conferences.
"We are just thrilled to death," Julie Clinton said in an interview Tuesday about Palin’s upcoming appearance in Lynchburg.
Palin, who will speak at the conference on Oct. 8, was sworn in as the first female governor of Alaska in December 2006. In August 2008, she was named as Sen. John McCain’s vice-presidential running mate, making her the first woman to run on the Republican Party’s presidential ticket. She was named in TIME magazine’s 2010 list of "100 Most Influential People."
Her October appearance at Liberty will be broadcast live to more than 1,000 churches, Falwell said.
Sheya over at Conservatives4Palin has his own take: [emphasis mine]
Governor Palin to Politico: Take Your Liberal Biased Debate And Shove It!
Doing this fundraiser, instead of the debate, is a sign that Governor Palin will be a candidate for president in 2012.
Last month, we reported that the Governor was scheduled to do a fundraiser for the Patriots & Warriors Gala, an organization that tax records show had around $1,000 in revenue in 2008 and $2,204 in total assets in 2009. The event was canceled after the people who hate the Governor released an onslaught of personal attacks on the organisation.
[ ... ]
So what do we have here? First the Governor schedules a May 2nd event for a small organization with assets totaling around $3,000. She then asks the organizers of the newly scheduled event to hold the event on specifically the same date and does it for free.
There’s a pattern here. It’s not that the Governor won't be attending the debate because she’s doing the fundraiser. She’s purposely doing the fundraiser to not attend the debate. Governor Palin is sending a message to the far left NBC and Politico: you can’t suck up to Obama and trash her, her kids and Republicans in general all the time and expect a credible debate in return.
[ ... }
If Governor Palin wouldn’t be running she wouldn’t have gone out of her way to have an event on that night to avoid the debate. If she isn't a candidate, she wouldn’t attend the debate anyway and would have just stayed at home to watch it so she could make an educated decision on which other candidate to support. The fact that Tim Crawford gave his statement suggests that the Governor wanted the message out loud and clear.
Let us not mince words. It’s pretty clear that Governor Palin, with her years of experience in running a business, close to 20 years of public service, and her vast experience in energy, is running for President of the United States. She will be participating in a lot of debates but the liberal biased Politico/NBC debate will not be one of them.
Let the liberal and establishment heads begin to explode, George Will; I mean yours too.
Sheya is spot on. If Sarah was not going to run in 2012, she wouldn't have went out of her way to schedule the event at the same time as the "debate." As we all know, even if she wasn't going to run, she has signaled that she has every intention to be a major political force for years to come. She would have indeed sat back and watched this dog and pony show, to see how the candidates performed. The message is loud and clear: Sarah Palin is running for President!
Of course, this may be the worst kept secret on earth!
Read more of Sheya's take here.
The Denver Post has more on the tribute to the troops event:
When the original event was canceled, John Andrews, an enterprising sort, immediately called Palin’s people to tell them that Palin was, in fact, always welcome in Colorado.
Andrews was trying to get Palin to attend his Western Conservative Summit event, which last year was best known for producing the Lone Tree Declaration.
This year, Andrews was hoping to bring in some presidential candidates, such as, maybe, Palin.
"I remember that it was the day of the Super Bowl," Andrews is telling me about the call. "They [the Palin camp] said to make it quick because they wanted to watch the game. When I asked about July, they said why not do it on May 2, which was still an open date on Palin’s calendar, and why not do it as a tribute to the military."
Andrews says that Palin, known for her hefty speaking fees, is doing the event pro bono. And the affair will take place the same night as the first Republican primary debate at the Reagan Library in Santa Barbara
The NBC/POLITICO "debate" is a complete waste of time, and many of the "front runners" will be avoiding it like the plague! Sarah, once again, shows leadership and political savvy by steering clear of this disaster. [much like she did by skipping CPAC] You can bet that whatever happens at the "debate", coverage of her event at the Colorado Christian University will overshadow it.
Plus ... an organization that is helping the families of our brave men and women will get a much needed financial boost. And frankly, that is the most important thing about May 2, 2011, as far as all of this goes.