This week, Sarah Palin kept the guessing game about her White House intentions alive. Still thinking about it, she told her employer, Fox News, and, by the way, the media is not the boss of her timetable. She took to task her old buddy and White House hopeful, Texas Gov.
Rick Perry, for his past support of a program to vaccinate girls against a sexually transmitted and potentially cancer-causing disease.
And to top it off, she faced the prospect of another unflattering new book by the estranged father of the Palins' first grandchild, Tripp, son of Bristol of "Dancing with the Stars" fame. As Palin continues to hint that she might the pack of GOP hopefuls, the media glare is intense, and not always shining where she might like.
Reince Preibus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in an interview this week with ABC News that though he's "very satisfied" with the current GOP presidential field, it's not too late for someone to jump in. Putnam acknowledges that Palin's narrative has always been "unconventional politics," that the usual rules of the road don't apply to her. And though Palin hasn't missed any primary filing deadlines, he sees her prospects as already decidedly limited.
Lead us not into temptation
The Republican National Committee has no rules about how many primaries or caucuses candidates are obligated to compete in; they just have to win enough delegates to capture the nomination at the fall convention. Though the primary calendar is still in flux, perhaps the best guide for Palin's drop-dead date to jump into the race was provided by columnist Jim Geraghty of the conservative National Review.
That means Palin has a good six weeks to continue to tease about her intentions. She declined, but fueled — again — speculation about a possible run by criticizing Perry, with whom she forged a friendship while serving her abbreviated term as governor of Alaska.
Cookie consent and choices
Palin campaigned for Perry when Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison challenged him in a gubernatorial primary, and once wrote this about Perry: "He does what is right regardless of whether it is popular. He walks the walk of a true conservative.
He sticks to his guns — and you know how I feel about guns! But after Monday's debate, Palin called out Perry for what she characterized as the "crony capitalism" driving his executive order mandating HPV vaccinations for Texas schoolgirls. The state legislature quickly overturned the order.
Perry's former chief of staff was a lobbyist for Merck, the drug company that produced the vaccine, at the time of the governor's decision. Her language echoed that used by Rep. Michele Bachmann R-Minn.
That put a fork in what was once considered a dream team in some conservative circles: a Perry-Palin ticket. Or was that supposed to be a Palin-Perry ticket? The tabloids feasted on the salacious allegations about Palin's private life in the leaked excerpts of the McGinniss biography. A handful of newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, refused to run the "Doonesbury" strips that contained book excerpts read by the panel's characters.
And Palin and her husband, Todd, lashed out at the tome as a collection of "disgusting lies, innuendo and smears. Trudeau fired back, telling the Washington Post that the book was "meticulously reported" by McGinniss, who famously rented the house next door to the Palins while he worked on the book, The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin. Reviews have not been so kind.
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