Sarah Palin for the Senate? Tea Party says: Run, Sarah, Run

Mainstream Republicans seem to be holding their collective nose: no more Sarah Palin. Photo: Is a Senator Palin a real possibility?

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2013 — The Tea Party wants former Alaska governor Sarah Palin to join their favorites in the Senate, Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). They say she can win and they have a poll to prove it. Yikes, is America ready for a Senator Palin?

The Tea Party Leadership Fund commissioned a Harper Poll that shows Sarah Palin leads the Republican field in Alaska for the upcoming Senate seat. It is only by 2 points (32 to 30%), but that is without her even saying she is interested.

Not that Democrat Sen. Mark Begich is planning to go anywhere, but his seat is up in 2014 and Alaskan Republicans are jockeying for position to take a run against him. An earlier Harper poll revealed that Begich leads Palin by 7 points, 47 to 40%.

Until the Harper Polling survey on May 6 and 7, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell was presumed to be the front-runner. But now the Tea Party is salivating at the very thought of a Sarah Palin in the Senate and the havoc she could cause. Sens. Cruz and Paul are almost amateurs in comparison to the Mama Grizzly.

Tea Party activists want Palin in the Senate AP photo

The Tea Party has already collected 60,000 signatures calling upon her to throw her hat into the ring. As Dan Backer, the fund’s treasurer said:

“The Tea Party Leadership Fund has a broad audience of grassroots conservative activists, and they feel very strongly that she’s a champion of their values and would love to see her run, and we’re doing everything we can to see her run.”

However, most Republicans are not rushing to join the call for Sarah Palin to re-emerge on the national political scene, much less charge into Congress. The response so far has been lukewarm. In fact, you could say, Republicans are holding their collective nose at the very thought of Palin, who was more of a thorn in the GOP’s backside than an asset.

The chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee has admitted that he has had no conversations with Palin to see the level of her interest, while saying he knows that she could quickly raise millions of dollars in campaign cash very quickly. But he, like most Republicans, does not appear to be ready to chant: Run, Sarah, Run.

Also like most Republicans, he has to be sensitive to how divisive she was to the John McCain presidential campaign and worse how she couldn’t be bothered after the election to even fill out her first term as Alaska’s governor, abandoning it with a year and half left to go. Add to that she couldn’t even keep her job with Fox News.

Sarah Palin speaking to the Tea Party Express.

But the Tea Party is undeterred and actually energized just at the thought of Sen. Palin speaking from the floor of the Senate and grilling unhappy witnesses appearing before a Senate Committee.

An email send out by the Todd Cefaratti who heads the Tea Party Leadership Fund reads: “You and I both know that Sarah Palin is a fighter who will stand up to [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid and his pals in the Senate to protect our Constitution in issues like amnesty, gun control and our nation’s crushing debt. We know that, with Sarah in the Senate, conservatives across America can rest a little easier at night knowing that she’s at the watch.”

But don’t look for the current Republican Senator from Alaska, Lisa Murkowski, to endorse Palin, much less encourage her to run. Sen. Murkowski, whom Palin has called the L-word in the past, a Liberal, explained her reasons with deadly precision:

“I think there are a lot of outside interests that would like to see Sarah Palin in some form of elected office. Most in Alaska recognize our former governor is really not involved in or engaged in the state anymore, that she’s moved to other interests. In order for you to represent the state of Alaska, you’ve got to be in the state.”

So is Palin even a real Alaskan anymore, spending more time in Arizona than she does in her home state, trading in glacial snow for the high desert? That may be a moot point if the election bug bites and she can’t resist the call of the Tea Party.

If the Republicans are wringing their hands and going “Woe is me” over the selection of E.W. Jackson to be the Lt. Governor standard bearer in Virginia, imagine the nightmares a Sarah Palin in the political spotlight would cause them. And while Cruz and Paul might say they would welcome the addition of Palin to their Right Wing inner circle in the Senate, ten to one they don’t.

Palin is the kind of politician that sucks the oxygen out of the room — and thus media attention. Who would care what Ted Cruz’s latest rant is when there will be an even juicier quote from Sarah Palin?

So while Tea Party activists are gathering names on petitions for Palin and raising tons of money in her name, Republicans are probably reaching for a Xanax.

To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.


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Catherine Poe

Catherine was named one of the top Progressives in Maryland along with Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congresswoman Donna Edwards. She has been a guest of President Obama in the Rose Garden.

As past president of Long Island NOW, she worked to reform women's prisons in New York, open the construction trades to women, change laws to safeguard battered women, and protect the rights of rape victims. 

Long active in Democratic politics, she served as the presidentof the Talbot Democrats in Maryland for six years and fought to getthe Health Care Reform bill passed.

Catherine has been published in a diverse range of newspapers and magazines, including Newsday, Star Democrat, Rocky Mountain News, Yellowstone News, and the Massachusetts Review.

If Catherine has learned anything over the years it is that progressive change does not come easily, but in baby steps. 

Contact Catherine Poe

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