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The mounting momentum of 'The Unstoppable Sarah Palin'?

July 12, 2010 |  2:22 am

Republicans South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley and Sarah Palin

Apparently some folks who don't like Sarah Palin but spend an awful lot of time tracking her online anyway read our recent item about how extraordinarily rich Sarah Palin isn't and objected to her e-mailed fund-raising link being in there. More properly that link should go to the SarahPAC site itself. So here is that link.

In yet another fund-raising e-mail to supporters Friday, Palin boasts of helping other "commonsense conservatives" with the donations from that site:

Through SarahPAC, we have been able to provide conservative candidates around the country with over $150,000 in campaign contributions. This money goes to support the campaigns of strong, conservative leaders like Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Marco Rubio of Florida, and John Kasich of Ohio.

Palin has been dismissed as a serious Republican candidate by numerous urban know-it-all's, who haven't noticed a new development in U.S. presidential politics: The last three consecutive presidents were all elected on their very first try.

Thanks to candidates' personal books (a new Palin bio for teens) and 21st century non-traditional communications media such as the Internet, YouTube, Twitter, texting and Facebook, where Palin's nearly 2 million fans can feel they're following her every move and statement at any hour, Americans have obviously become comfortable now -- for better or worse -- choosing national leaders with much shorter job resumes than in previous political history.

Like Mitt Romney and several other potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates, Palin is,....

...with only episodic media attention, methodically traveling the country making speeches and doing fund-raisers for local Republicans (see Palin above with South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley).Palin has not impressed political veterans with her staff/campaign organizational skills.

But such stops help the local candidates and party. And they energize and expand Palin's own followers, while also collecting political favors that could be called in come party primary/caucus time in 2012. Palin has chosen to position herself, down to her down-to-earth images and language, as the non-establishment, outside Washington candidate. The one who looks and sounds different from all the others, actually connected to real people.

Ask yourself, who stuck out as that kind of in-touch candidate in the 2007-08 cycle, the one who looked and sounded different from all the other talking-point talking heads in their tailored suits and pantsuits, tainted by long, seemingly unproductive years in Washington?

On this new kind of playing field, having a short political resume, no ongoing elective office, no 747-entourage and no responsibility for this current partisan, oil-stained, jobless, deficit-ridden, D.C. mess actually becomes a plus-size plus.

Speaking of the former Alaska governor, the respected Andrew Sullivan over at The Atlantic -- no fan of SP's --  headlined an interesting Friday blog item, "The Unstoppable Sarah Palin."

He was taken by a John Ellis column that describes Palin as having cleverly positioned herself as the conservative counter-revolutionary to anything and everything being done by those D.C. suits. Ellis makes a compelling argument that by this December Palin becomes the de facto GOP front-runner for 2012. He notes that the Republican base doesn't just like Palin; it loves her, especially the women.

Which brings us to Palin's latest campaign video right here. It's calibrated like a....

...rifle's telescopic sight at "commonsense conservative women" taking back control of their country and party. And it's colored with the former governor's telltale Mama Grizzly image so easily dismissed by political elites. Yet someone's watched it nearly 300,000 times in recent days.

According to Ellis' credible scenario, Palin captures, say, half the women in the opening Iowa caucuses. Add some males there and she could easily aggregate a winning 35-40%. Next up then is the primary in New Hampshire, where Romney is well-known and already investing heavily.

Then comes possibly a two-person race in South Carolina (see photo above again). That state is not known for its Mormon leanings.

None of which says anything beyond Palin positioning herself positively among Republicans to make her Go-No Go campaign decision next winter, like Romney and any others. Is Jeb Bush in the house? Whether after two more years of Democrat Barack Obama Americans at large come to feel Palin is capable of the presidency is an argument for the campaign after the '12 GOP convention.

But as hopefully far-fetched as that might seem to Palin's passionate critics, go back to this point in the previous presidential cycle, to the summer of 2006, 28 months before the 2008 election when Republicans still controlled the White House and both houses of Congress, as Democrats do now.

Who would have swooned then over the White House chances of a little-known ex-state senator who'd never even run a fishing boat?

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press

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