What Palin's New Chief of Staff Means for 2012
For anyone who still doubts whether Sarah Palin will run for president, consider this:
Palin recently announced that she has hired Michael Glassner to serve as chief of staff to her political team. Glassner, whose hiring was first reported by CNN, will be responsible for managing Palin's small, loosely organized team across a number of states.
While Palin has not formally announced her 2012 plans, hiring Glassner signals that she may be considering a presidential bid more seriously than has been thought.
Glassner was John McCain's director of vice presidential operations during the 2008 presidential election. Apparently, he is one of the very few former staffers from the McCain campaign who didn't think Sarah Palin was an astoundingly ignorant, lazy, egomaniacal, shopping-obsessed "diva." Or, as one anonymous aide described Palin and her family after the 2008 election, "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast."
Palin's announcement came during the same weekend that other potential Republican presidential candidates were sucking up to their base at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. Palin skipped the event, provoking fetus-obsessed former Senator Rick Santorum to criticize her for skipping it, which provoked Palin to insist that she wouldn't call him a "knuckle-dragging Neanderthal," leaving that to his wife. Oh, Sarah, you're so clever.
As Jake noted last week, even Palin's absence still dominated conversation at and about the convention. And with the announcement of her selection of Glassner as her new chief of staff, no one cares that Ron Paul once again won the utterly meaningless straw poll. Even though Palin came in ninth, with only 3 percent of the vote, she still managed to upstage the presidential hopefuls who finished ahead of her, like Governors Gary Johnson, Chris Christie, and Mitch Daniels, as well as batshit crazy Rep. Michele Bachmann.
Palin's perfectly timed announcement is yet another prime example of why she can, and will, run for president, even without going through the typical motions that other candidates are making. She already has total name recognition and an obsessively loyal fan base. And despite meaningless boycotts by a handful of pundits who have vowed not to mention her name, her every utterance still commands widespread media attention. Palin didn't need to appear at CPAC to keep her name in the headlines all week.
She can't win the White House, of course. No amount of deleting critical comments on Facebook or canceling appearances because people say mean things about her can change the fact that her unfavorable numbers have skyrocketed 46 points since the 2008 election, and the overwhelming majority of Americans, including conservatives, think she's not qualified to be president.
For Palin, running for president isn't about winning. She has already proven she has no interest in governing. But running for president does mean more shopping sprees; more TV appearances; more gratuitous attacks on everyone from Michelle Obama to Rick Santorum; more chances to promote her daughter's "career" (while, of course, insisting that the media should respect her family's privacy); and more opportunities to cash in on thenot-yet-trademarked Palin brand.
For Palin, those are certainly compelling enough reasons to keep up the appearance of wanting to be president -- until voters have their chance to finally, and in no uncertain terms, tell her to go away.