Look, it’s no news to anyone that I’m a strong supporter of former Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK). If she enters the race, I will undoubtedly support her through the primaries for as long as she’s part of them. Nothing, politically speaking, would make me happier than a Palin Presidency.
And then there’s Governor Rick Perry (R-TX). Despite my lukewarm support for his candidacy, there’s no doubt that he offers much of what Palin brings to the table. In one way, at least, he surpasses it, having been governor of TX for almost 10 years. But he’s a strong conservative. He has good fiscal and social conservative credentials. It appears that he’ll likely be a fantastic fundraiser, and he’s willing to take the fight to President Barack Obama (D-USA).
Yes, there are some things he’s done in the last 10 years that I don’t agree with 100%. But that’s part of governing. The longer a record someone has, the more likely they are to have done something that you don’t like. You need to look at the overall record, not one or two things.
He doesn’t bring the “reformer” credentials that she has, and I think she’s a tad bit to his right, but possibly not much.
In a perfect world, Palin would not have been forced, due to left wing lunacy, to resign from her governorship, and would still be governor of AK, while considering this Presidential run. And she’d have two more years of AK’s record to run on. In that world, there’s no contest in my mind. Palin’s the better candidate, and the better future President.
But that’s not the world in which we live. We live in a world where the left has done everything possible to bring down this woman over the last 2 1/2 years. They managed to twist AK’s ethics laws to work in their favor against a woman who has done everything possible to remove corruption in politics in her state, on both sides of the aisle.
This has taken its toll on the once most popular & highly approved governor in America. She is a lightning rod for the left, and instead of introducing herself to independents, she will have to re-educate them. This will be an uphill climb. Not an impossible one, but difficult. She is no longer the woman that could ride the coat tails of her 80%+ approval rating into the White House.
In other words, we live in William F. Buckley’s world.
And, here in the Buckley world, the Buckley rule must be considered. “Support the most conservative candidate who is electable.”
If Palin enters the race, she will have my support. However, if someone believes that she has electability issues and wants to invoke Buckley as their reason for supporting Perry, I can’t argue with that decision. In this case in particular, it is more than fair to consider Palin’s electability. I personally think that she’s still quite electable, but there’s no doubt that her road to the White House will be a rougher one than Perry’s.
Having said that, I think one mistake conservatives continuously make is invoking the Buckley rule too quickly. We’ve done it far too often in our history. And we end up with weak candidates because we assume that they are “electable”. If we’re going to turn this country around, it’s going to take strong conservative actions. And that requires electing strong conservatives. Which means we’re going to have to throw the dice sometimes and take a chance on the ones lower on the “electability” scale. This is true at all levels of politics, possibly even more so at the lower end than the upper.And, it’s worth mentioning that there’s also the Limbaugh Rule.