Continetti is guest-blogging for The Post.
Well, she’s back. The occlusion of Sarah Palin lasted from Jan. 12 to April 16. After her video response to those blaming her for the assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Palin has kept a low media profile (for her). But last weekend she reemerged with a stinging, campaign-style address to Tea Partyers in Madison, Wis. She’s changed some staff. She redesigned the Sarah PAC Web site. And now everybody’s wondering: Is Palin running for president?
Your guess is as good as mine. In fact, your guess is as good as Palin’s. While researching my book, I learned that Palin is an impulsive politician who makes snap decisions — often risky ones — with little preparation. Witness her decision to challenge Republican Frank Murkowski in 2006, her acceptance of the vice presidential nod in 2008, and her abrupt resignation from the governor’s office in 2009. I suspect she hasn’t decided whether or not to run for president.
But then, she really doesn’t have to. Her positions mark the center-right pole in our political debate. Her post-feminist populist conservatism has given us the likely candidacy of Rep. Michele Bachmann. She fused reality-television celebrity with Tea Party politics long before Donald Trump dusted off his toupee and entered the race. The 2010 campaign demonstrated her power to set the media agenda and elevate issues and candidates to national status. I’m sympathetic to the view that a presidential candidacy would be a demotion for Palin. Who needs the trouble when you can be the conservative Oprah? We are already playing by Sarah’s rules.