I am getting a lot of buzz on my blog on the eventual return of Hillary Clinton to the Presidential picture. She’s not the only serious woman candidate we will see again. Sarah Palin will be back, too! Mark my words.
I have been doing a lot of speaking engagements these days to promote my book. The mere mention of Palin’s name brings laughter from liberals. “Not so fast,” say conservatives who like her and think she has a future in the GOP. I agree with the latter.
On Friday, at the “Sacramento Seminar” at the North Beach Grille in San Francisco (What a great group!), someone in the crowd asked me, “What would you say to both parties about Sarah Palin?”
My answer was this: “For Democrats, don’t underestimate Sarah Palin. And for Republican’s, don’t overestimate Sarah Palin.”
Palin can be a force in politics long after the Tina Fay parody has faded away; but if I were her political advisor, I would say “no” to a run for President in 2012. In my opinion, she would be more viable in 2016, if she follows my game plan.
Palin is up for reelection as Governor in 2010. I think she should pass, and run instead for the U.S. Senate against current GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski. Sounds risky? Perhaps, but Palin made her name by ousting Lisa’s dad, former Republican Governor Frank Murkowski. The senior Murkowski served twenty-two years in the U.S Senate. Then, when he was elected Governor, he appointed his daughter to fill his vacated Senate seat, in what critics felt was the ultimate act of nepotism.
So, Sarah Palin took on the incumbent Governor of her own party and won a “David vs. Goliath” battle. For her part, Lisa Murkowski was miraculously reelected to the Senate seat in 2004. That means she is up for reelection next year. If Palin challenges her and wins, Palin could--as a U.S. Senator--gain the foreign policy experience she so glaringly lacked in the last election.
Imagine it's 2016 now; Sarah Palin has served four years as governor and six years in the U.S. Senate. She'll be only the ripe old age of 53. And if she waits until 2020, she’ll have that much more experience and will be only 57. My point is this: Don’t count her out. She has a solid political future if she wants it, but she has to time it right. That’s why I think a Presidential run in 2012 would be premature and could end her career.
A lot of Republicans like Palin; but if they push her too hard too early, she may be little more than a shooting star who fades before her prime.
In the meantime, you can read more on my assessment of Sarah Palin in my new book, “Age of Obama: A Reporter’s Journey with Clinton, McCain and Obama in the Making of the President 2008.” To buy it, just click on the blue book button on the right side of this screen!