First of all, I'm a huge admirer of Sarah Palin. I'm still undecided as to whom I'll support for the nomination, but she's in my top 3. And her courage in standing up to the slander and vituperation of the left and the MSM, as well as speaking the truth about the important issues of our day has been key to revitalizing the conservative movement in the country. And what follows is not in any way a criticism of Palin, rather a first attempt at an honest assessment and comparison.
South Carolina's new governor, Nikki Haley, has been featured prominently in the media, and in every instance she has performed superbly. Bright, photogenic, intelligent, forceful, and articulate, she's a star. No doubt about it. It was Red State, and Erick, that first brought her to national attention, when her candidacy was all but ignored, and it was Palin's endorsement that helped make it viable.
So Red Staters know well both of these ladies. Which brings me to my question. Right now, if you had to choose, which one would make the better candidate? I've thought about it, and honestly, it's not even close. It's Haley, hands down. One could say she is a nascent Margaret Thatcher. She displays an intense resolve, coupled with a steel-trap mind, and she is fearless, willing to mix it up in the areanas of politcal discourse and public opinion. She projects as more serious...heck, let's say it...more PRESIDENTIAL than Palin.
Let's be clear. Haley is NOT running for President. But she will be a star over the next two years, helping to fundraise and campaign for GOP candidates. Her profile will rise, and if Palin is running, it is inevitable that comparisons will be made.
Let's assume that Palin enters the race, and wins the South Carolina primary. Haley endorses her, in a stirring speech. Be assured that millions of Republicans will be looking at their TVs and wondering if they've chosen the right lady to be the candidate. I hesitate to use the Reagan/Ford imagery, because some might think that I'm implying that Palin in any way resembles Ford.....but only do so to convey their relative abilities as communicators.
And let's be honest here. If Palin is our nominee, it will be the first time a woman runs for the White House, and even more important, a CONSERVATIVE woman..the first conservative to run since Reagan. So if we choose to go that route, we have to make sure that we pick the best one possible.
So I think ultimately that Palin won't run. She's enjoying herself immensely as a commentator on FOX. That, along with speaking engagments, and book deals, will let her achieve a degree of financial independence for herself and her family. She will be a dynamo on the campaign trail, in great demand, and will help across the board, as she did in 2010. And with a Republican in the WH, and a Republican controlled Senate, if she wishes to then return to public service, she'd be a superb Energy or Interior Secretary.