It took her just a little less than three years to say it, but former Alaska governor Sarah Palin finally announced that she would not be seeking the Republican nomination for president. She appeared on Mark Levin's radio talk show Wednesday, October 5, after being prefaced with a letter supplied to and read by Levin on the air. Noting that she had deliberated with "much prayer and serious consideration," Palin wrote that she was putting her god and family ahead of country and opting not to run for president.
"As always, my family comes first," she wrote, "and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order."
She did not mention the polls, where she has been hard pressed to rise into double digits. The latest from ABC News/Washington Post put her at 10 percent support but only if New Jersey Chris Christie was not a candidate (with him included, she posted 9 percent support among Republican voters). In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released at the end of September, Palin only received 7 percent Republican support. Fox News, where Palin works as a political contributor, didn't even mention her in their last poll. And CBS News' most recent poll only asked if Palin should enter the race. An overwhelming 74 percent of Republican voters responded that she should not.
The former Alaska governor (she was still governor of Alaska when she ran alongside Sen. John McCain as his vice presidential nominee in 2008 and suggested after the lost election that she would return to run in 2012) said she based her decision on "a review of what common sense Conservatives and Independents have accomplished, especially over the last year." Although she did not elaborate on what was meant or go into detail about what the accomplishments were, she added that she believes she could be "more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office" and to combat "the 'fundamental transformation' of our nation and instead seek the restoration of our greatness, our goodness and our constitutional republic based on the rule of law."
And to drive home the idea that she would not be very far from the political battlefield in 2012, Palin closed with her intentions: "In the coming weeks I will help coordinate strategies to assist in replacing the President, re-taking the Senate, and maintaining the House."
Palin's announcement came after months of speculation on whether or not she would actually run for office, speculation that she fed by launching a couple bus tours (with the fanfare of "One Nation," no less) and making appearances during major political events (in New Hampshire the same day as presidential hopeful Mitt Romney when he announced his candidacy, at the Iowa State Fair during the Ames Straw Poll). Former White House political advisor Karl Rove predicted she would run and even became the target of Palin's ire when he said she would announce around Labor Day. But while some said she would commit to a run, others -- like Bill Kristol, Rep. Steve King (R-IO), and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) -- said she would not.
Ultimately, she did not, much to the chagrin of her supporters and radio talk show host Mark Levin, who admitted as much to Palin when he interviewed her after reading her letter. He asked if she was considering a third party venture and Palin quickly nixed the idea, stating she believed that all that would do was ensure an Obama victory on Election Day.
Still, Sarah Palin will not wander far from the political fracas that is the GOP nomination race. And she said herself she will be as involved as she can be in the upcoming 2012 races for various government positions in the House and Senate as well.
With Palin's announcement and governor Chris Christie's multiple "no" announcement yesterday, it would appear that the 2012 GOP presidential nomination field has been set. Although there remains time for another contender to enter the field (by the end of October, when deadlines begin cropping up for applying for inclusion on caucus and primary ballots), Palin may have been the last major name considering a run.
(photo credit: Roger H. Goun, Creative Commons)