Rove says Palin will run
He was largely responsible for getting George W. Bush elected twice so you can't just dismiss his speculation as the idle chatter of the political class.
Karl Rove thinks that Sarah Palin is gearing up for a presidential campaign and will announce it over Labor Day weekend in Iowa:
Former Bush advisor Karl Rove says he believes former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will enter the Republican presidential race sometime around Labor Day. Appearing on Fox News Saturday morning, Rove said Palin "has a schedule next week that looks like that of a candidate, not a celebrity." Rove also cited a new campaign-style video Palin has released on her recent visit to the Iowa State Fair as evidence Palin is gearing up for a run.
Palin will be the keynote speaker at the Tea Party of America's "Restoring America" event in Iowa September 3. The event location was recently moved from Waukee, Iowa, to Indianola, Iowa to accommodate a larger crowd.
"This is her last chance," Rove said. "She either gets in or gets out [after the Iowa visit]. I think she gets in."
A late entry into Iowa always raises questions about whether a candidate has the time to raise money, build an organization and meet voters face-to-face. Rove was asked whether a Palin candidacy might operate from "a different playbook" -- that is, one that does not touch the traditional bases in Iowa. "She thinks the normal rules don't apply," Rove said. "If you're Sarah Palin, you just show up and the money comes and the organization comes and the people come."
That sounds like a harsh assessment but essentially, that's what Palin is banking on. There's no doubt that the money will come if she declares. But Iowa is still a cacucus state and no matter how popular a candidate might be, it still takes an awesome organization to compete. A Palin Iowa candidacy will not lack for volunteers. But someone has to channel all that raw energy into productive political activity.
People who know the lay of the land, who can organize down to the precinct level, who can identify Palin supporters, and finally, get them to the caucuses on a cold, January evening - those people are worth their weight in gold. The question I would have is how many competent Iowa political operatives are still unemployed? No doubt there are a few who have hung back, waiting for Palin to declare, but I doubt whether there are enough to flesh out a statewide organization with a chance of competing with the Romney or Bachmann troops.
Will the money come in fast enough? How will Palin do in the rough and tumble of the GOP debates? She did well in her one on one debate with Biden in 2008, but standing on a stage with 5 other candidates is a different milieu. Lastly, if she gets in, does she have enough time to set up organizations in other early primary states like New Hampshire and South Carolina? She is starting from behind everywhere. Can she make up lost ground fast enought to compete?
All these questions may be moot. Palin may be giving herself every opportunity to declare at the Tea Party rally, but opt out of running at the last moment. As strange as it may seem, it doesn't appear that she has made up her mind yet. If she had, it would probably have leaked already.
In this, as in everything else, Palin follows her own counsel and marches to the beat of her own drum.