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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 11:01 PM ET, 01/30/2012

Sarah Palin cannot endorse Newt Gingrich

Everyone’s been trying to pin down Sarah Palin on whom she’s endorsing in the Republican presidential race. Fox News’s Judge Jeanine Pirro, for one, thought she’d cornered the former Alaska governor on that question when she got her to say that Newt Gingrich would “clobber” President Obama on the debate stage.

But the judge should know better than that. Sarah Palin doesn’t do anything until she reaches the point at which sitting on her hands no longer works as an attention-getting device. Which is why she waited so long — early October, that is — to declare she wouldn’t run for president. Months of glorious speculation!

Same thing with her endorsement. On Monday night, Palin talked about the matter with Sean Hannity, who asked this:

When I asked you about South Carolina, you said if you would vote in that state, you would have voted for Newt. I asked you about Florida, and you said you don’t think your endorsement matters. Does that mean if you were voting tomorrow, you’d vote for Newt. Am I interpreting that right or not?

The answer from Palin, if it could be classified as such:

Yeah, and keep the process going.

We heard that rationale before, in South Carolina, when Palin said a vote for Newt is a vote for a good primary fight.

The guv probably hasn’t thought all of this through. She’s narrowing her options here to the point of a political dilemma: Whoever she ends up “endorsing” — quotes inserted to express doubt that she’s actually capable of such a selfless act — may not appreciate the gesture too much.

If she ends up “endorsing” anyone other than Gingrich, she’ll have some questions to answer. Why didn’t you endorse this person in South Carolina? And Florida? If she ends up endorsing Gingrich, she’ll have some questions to answer. In the past, you’ve stated that you’d vote for Gingrich, but just as a ploy to keep the process going — what’s up with that? Is that a genuine endorsement? Palin should just follow her heart and endorse the person she thinks is best to run the country, whether or not that man or woman is on any ballot. Wonder who that’d be.

By  |  11:01 PM ET, 01/30/2012

Tags:  sarah palin, newt gingrich, sean hannity, endorsement

 
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