Originally posted on All Patriots Media.
By Tony Katz
We’ve heard the rumblings before from former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin that she liked what she heard in debates from former Speaker Newt Gingrich. But Tuesday she joined in with her husband Todd by endorsing Gingrich….if only in South Carolina.
If “going rogue” is the baseline from which Palin pushes endorsements, then it all makes sense. Gingrich has had an erratic campaign, and has an erratic campaign style. His early campaign missteps (including cruises, a ill-worded attack on Rep. Paul Ryan and losing his staff) were wiped away by consistent debate performances. Once Gingrich had established himself as the “zinger” candidate, and his poll numbers rose, he moved into substance and the numbers got even bigger.
That gave way just weeks before the Iowa Caucus, where a barrage of unanswered negative ads against Gingrich by Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul pushed him into a humbling fourth place finish. He shed the positive, “nice guy” approach, and went mean. Mean, in this case, meaning a blinding rage. His attack on Romney’s time at Bain Capital ended up being an attack on capitalism. The backfire was immediate, and even Gingrich admitted that his approach wasn’t a good idea. According to Craig Robinson of TIRNation.com, the film, “When Mitt Came To Town,” made by the Gingrich Super-PAC Winning the Future, “…could have been directed by Michael Moore.”
For all of that, Gingrich’s poll numbers did not suffer in South Carolina or Florida, holding at over 20% in both states. But that was before the debate in Myrtle Beach, SC, where Gingrich engaged his best performance yet. His answers on national defense and jobs were met with furious applause, and a standing ovation (to which, I have found no one who has ever seen one before in a debate.)
Palin has seen the ups and downs of a campaign, and seems to have an affinity for people who speak their minds, at nearly all times. When Palin gave her endorsement, she stated:
If I had to vote in South Carolina, in order to keep things going, I’d vote for Newt…I want to see this thing continue because iron sharpens iron, steel sharpens steel
Is that actually an endorsement, or is it something else? Why would Palin want to keep things going? Is it, as she puts it, to help the candidates make each other stronger? Is Palin using Newt as her chance to better vet the candidates in Florida? Conventional wisdom states that if Romney wins in SC, he will run the table to the GOP nomination. However, if he loses, the Florida contest on January 31st becomes pivotal, along with the two debates before the primary.
Romney has not agreed to those debates. His strategist, Stuart Stevens, said there are simply too many debates:
There are too many of these…We have to bring some order to it. We haven’t accepted Florida…It’s kind of like a cruise that’s gone on too long
Based on Palin’s South Carolina endorsement, it seems that she has not had enough debates. If her devoted fan base listens, and votes for Newt, the race will continue, and expect to see Romney campaigning hard in Florida.
Photo by Dave Davidson – Prezography.com
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