Palin’s Non-Candidacy and “Anyone but Obama”

Oliver North on Thursday’s Hannity said he is supporting “ABO” (Anyone but Obama) for the 2012 GOP nomination.  This seems to be the dominating narrative among many conservatives these days.

Of course, many in the grassroots have been making this point since 2009.  Conservatives articulated it by pointing out many of Obama’s failures.  With truth on our side, we transcended the message to independents.  This helped us win a sweeping victory in the House of Representatives for 2010’s midterm elections.

Today, we still understand it’s important to replace Obama.  Yet, many of us who have been commenting and writing for the last couple of years have graduated from “anyone but Obama” to “a real conservative who inspires us.”  Conservatives had the luxury of doing it after Carter.  We have earned the right to do it now.

We’ve endured a failed stimulus and watched our government print money out of thin air.  We saw the massive hike of unemployment and energy prices.  In addition, we had ObamaCare rammed down our throats.  As such, our message continues to resonate with independents.  This is why someone needs to tell Fox News we can do better than “ABO.”  Don’t get me wrong, “anyone but Obama” is a great one-liner for a chuckle.  Our country is hurting and part of pulling ourselves up by the boot straps involves the philosophical need for a sense of humor.

But amidst the chuckling last week from what seems to be an overly-confident GOP-establishment, Sarah Palin announced on Wednesday that she would not seek the GOP nomination for President in 2012.

As Mark Levin spoke to the former-Governor right after her announcement, Matt Drudge e-mailed him in response to her decision saying it was “a sad day for America.”  He wasn’t kidding.

As I have stated before, I support the fact that it was her decision and understand the efforts it would take to step up and begin the onerous task of putting our country back on the right track.  But for many of us, not only did Palin seem like the only one who truly understood the steps needed, she also had the track record of taking those steps previously in her career and executing them with success.

Not that a track record matters with the media.  In fact, Palin could take the easy road to the White House by taking Kyl’s Senate seat.  As a Junior Senator, she could vote present 100 times and rest easy.  Aside from erasing her executive experience and love of country, it’s apparently all that is needed these days to get the media’s blessing to be president.  Of course, a few heavy-hitting Wall Street backers wouldn’t hurt either.

These unpleasant realities to our electoral process have been challenged by Palin during her tenures as mayor of Wasilla, head of the AOGCC, and Governor of Alaska.  Further, she became a powerful advocate without the title she claims she never needed and made a difference via speeches, Facebook postings, and commentaries on Fox News since the 2008 campaign.

After months of suggesting she’d get in the race if she felt nobody else was prepared to step up and take on the Obama machine (along with the GOP establishment), she inspired many of us to sign on which we did willingly as we understood her “fire in the belly” spirit.

In truth, it was easy for Palin to proclaim she never needed a title when for three years it was highly probable that she would be a potential 2012 frontrunner.  With that momentum, the media continued to obsess and her critics continued to rant.

So what happens to that power now?  Now that she is no longer perceived as a political threat to the establishment since she was thought to be as a potential 2012 contender, can we expect the media to suddenly rally behind her?  Where is her influence going to come from?

While many of us will continue to support Governor Palin’s ideology and efforts, it’s hard to not question the consequences of her decision.

Additionally, we are all aware of the worst case scenario if she chose a run.  She could have lost the primary.  Even so, her voice would have been vital alongside the remaining candidates by holding each and every one of them accountable to the tough issues that are difficult to talk about such as crony capitalism and track records – in lieu of cordially agreeing that “anyone but Obama” is the answer.

Also, Ronald Reagan lost the Republican primary to Gerald Ford in 1976.  At the time, the establishment believed that Reagan was just a little too conservative to win over independents.  They were wrong and our nation got four years of Jimmy Carter.  Of course, his second try in 1980 carried weight and experience from his first go-around and he emerged victorious in two consecutive landslide wins.

Even candidates like Mitt Romney prove that it’s possible to lose a primary and come back four years later with more political weight.

Similarly, Palin would have kept her core constituency of supporters who are now left feeling frustrated at their remaining choices.

Yes, all candidates in the GOP field are better than Obama.  But it shouldn’t have taken the remaining candidates throughout the course of debates and the politicos over at Fox News to waste our time attempting to inform us of something we already knew.  It shouldn’t be the platform.  The platform should exist to reward us for our contributions as conservatives and voters who come together to make a real difference.

Palin is not required to step up to fill that void in 2012.  But the fact remains, it would have helped considerably.  Especially since many of us patiently waited until October of 2011 for her to make filling the void a non-reality.

And while we’ll all have to wait and see what she does in the future, it remains our responsibility as grassroots conservatives to ensure that the “anyone but Obama” narrative-cliché doesn’t become official campaign policy for the duration of the 2012 primary process.