Can Sarah Wait? - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Can Sarah Wait?

Timing is (almost) everything in politics, which is why I find myself in disagreement with John O’Sullivan, Philip Klein and Jennifer Rubin over the question of whether Sarah Palin can afford to skip the 2012 presidential campaign.

As I said in a comment on Phil’s post, Jack Kemp might have been president if he had been willing to challenge Bush 41 in either the 1988 or ’92 primaries, but instead waited until ’96, by which time his star had faded. I would also cite the case of Bill Clinton, who was smart to launch a bid for the Democratic primary in 1991, when Bush 41 looked unbeatable, thus allowing Clinton to run against a relatively weak primary field. For that matter, when Barack Obama announced in January 2007 he would challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, a lot of people (including me) thought he was nuts.

If Obama has a successful two-term presidency — almost by definition, including national health care — I don’t see where there’s much point in conservatives caring who wins the White House in 2016. The only real hope for the preservation of economic freedom is for the Obama presidency to be a one-term political debacle of Carteresque proportions, followed by a Republican president with the kind of political charm necessary to push for real free-market reforms.

Sorry to be so obstinate about this, and granting all caveats about Palin’s shortcomings, I really think she needs to be in a full-immersion cram course to be ready to announce by January 2011. Otherwise, it may be too late for her — and too late for freedom. As Palin herself put it, “Don’t let me miss an open door.”

Robert Stacy McCain
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