Coincidentally, on the day New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie held a formal press conference to again announce that he would not officially enter the presidential contest, DVDs of a documentary titled The Undefeated, an independent film about former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s record of reform in taking on the crony capitalists and the political establishment in Alaska, went on sale at Walmart stores and online outlets such as Amazon.com.
A new national CBS poll, has Herman Cain tied with Mitt Romney with 17% of the vote. What may be more striking though, is that 18% of those polled were still undecided, a greater percentage than any candidate received.
The indecision among many Republican primary voters is a major reason supporters of Christie urged him to run, and Christie himself gave serious consideration to jumping into the race at the 11th hour, with hopes of consolidating a plurality of voters who are unhappy with the current field of candidates.
“My job in New Jersey is my passion,” Christie said. “I’m doing the job I love, in the state I grew up in, on behalf of the toughest, greatest people in the country.”
Christie would have faced organizational hurdles in addition to questions about his liberal rhetoric on immigration, climate change and Sharia law, in an election cycle in which much of the conservative base wants a pure candidate that reflects their values,
“There have been people passionately calling on me to consider … a run for President, and I had to consider their advice,” Christie said. “Now is not my time.”
So could it now be Palin’s time?
From now until the end of October, when candidates must meet the first official filing deadline to get on the primary ballot, the eyes of the political world will be on Palin, who, unlike other candidates who have shown a public sense of indecision, has never gone on record to say that she would not run for President.
In recent weeks, books that have sought to potentially undermine Palin have been thoroughly discredited.
For instance, Joe McGinniss, an author of an anti-Palin book, had an e-mail he wrote to a source discovered in which he wrote that a “legal review of my manuscript is under way, and here’s my problem: No one has ever offered documentation of any of the lurid stories about the Palins.”
McGinniss’ shenanigans and vindictiveness are representative of the frivolous ethics charges Palin was confronted with when she came back to Alaska after the 2008 election, which The Undefeated documents.
In an unconventional cycle in which candidates have seen rapid and wild swings in their poll numbers in a matter of weeks, Palin is the only Republican figure with enough clout, name recognition and grassroots support to enter this late and be a contender.
In fact, one difference between Palin and Christie is that while the Republican and financial elite have backed Christie, Palin’s support comes from her fervent grassroots supporters who disdain and loathe the GOP establishment and what Palin has referred to as the “permanent political class,” almost as much as they love Palin. Another difference is Palin’s bold conservatism, as opposed to Christie’s more pastel brand, the former’s fitting the spirit of this cycle way more than the latter’s.
The chattering class who gave plausible reasons for a viable Christie candidacy only laid out the arguments for why a Palin run could also succeed.
The only questions that remain are whether Palin will run and, if so or not, when will she make a formal announcement of her intentions.
Until she does, all eyes will be on Palin, and the GOP field is not yet set.