Sunday, July 15, 2012

Romney Team Stonewalls On Inviting Palin To Convention:Political Hara-Kiri?




Josh Painter at the Sarah Palin Journal  has this post up which explores the consequences of the Romney team prohibiting Palin from speaking, or even attending the Tampa convention. If they do that they are insulting millions of Palin supporters who, rightly, should just either stay at home or, more positively, vote only the down ticket as I explore in my comments below Josh's. If Romney wants to commit political suicide so be it.

Newsweek: Will Mitt Romney invite Gov. Palin to the convention?

It's no secret that Mitt Romney's campaign has not asked Sarah Palin to speak at the Republican National Convention next month. According to Newsweek's Peter J. Boyer, the Romney camp hasn't contacted her about even attending the Grand Old Party's party in Tampa:
Queries to the Romney camp about any possible Palin role at the convention meet with a stony silence. Palin does not seem surprised. “What can I say?” she responded in an email from Alaska, when asked by Newsweek about the convention, just before heading to Michigan to deliver an Obama-thumping speech. “I’m sure I’m not the only one accepting consequences for calling out both sides of the aisle for spending too much money, putting us on the road to bankruptcy, and engaging in crony capitalism.”

“In accepting those consequences,” she added, “one must remember this isn’t Sadie Hawkins and you don’t invite yourself and a date to the Big Dance.”

[...]

“Romney has said before that he doesn’t want to have to light his hair on fire,” Palin said on Fox last week. “Well, there are a lot of his base supporters, independents, who are saying, ‘Well, light our hair on fire, then!’” Palin’s objections to Romney are not so much about the man himself — she speaks of him respectfully, as he does about her — but about who, and what, he represents. Romney was the choice of the party’s elites, whom Palin has regarded with open disdain ever since her rough treatment during the 2008 campaign. They are some of the same people who anonymously disparaged Palin as a clueless bumpkin, and some of them are now helping to run Romney’s campaign.

[...]

The Romney camp will not comment on Palin, or on plans for the convention, but one adviser associated with the campaign suggested that Palin would be prohibited from speaking at the Republican convention by her contract with Fox News. “It’s true I’m prohibited from doing some things,” Palin says, “but this is the first I’ve heard anyone suggest that as an excuse, er, reason to stay away from engaging in the presidential race. I’m quite confident Fox’s top brass would never strip anyone of their First Amendment rights in this regard.” (Fox says her contract would not prohibit speaking at the convention if she sought permission.)

Palin is keeping the dates open in late August, just in case. In any event, she says, she plans to be politically active between now and November, starting with a Michigan Tea Party appearance, sponsored by Americans for Prosperity. “No matter the Romney campaign strategy,” she says, “I intend to do all I can to join others in motivating the grassroots made up of independents and constitutional conservatives who can replace Barack Obama at the ballot box.”

Palin’s admirers—and they are many, judging by Facebook and Twitter metrics, where her numbers are far greater than Romney’s — still hope for a rapprochement. “Palin is the female Ronald Reagan of our time,” says Kremer of the Tea Party Express. “There’s no one that excites the base, and energizes the base, the way that Sarah Palin does. There’s just not.”

Despite the risks, Team Romney may be well advised to consider bringing Palin inside the tent. Whether she’s in Tampa for the convention or not, she will be out there somewhere, and talking.

[Read More]
Even if Romney's campaign completely snubs Gov. Palin at the convention, she will have a presence there. As the Tampa Bay Times reported in April, SarahPAC has reserved space in Tampa the week of the big event at a plaza within easy walking distance from the convention hall. Team Romney can ignore her, but they can't get her to sit down and shut up. But hopefully, it won't come to that.

During the primaries, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum said things about Gov. Romney far more damaging than anything even hinted at by Sarah Palin. Yet the Romney people sat down with both of these former rivals and worked things out, even getting the two to campaign for him. Since Romney's forces were able to bury the hatchet with Newt and Rick, they should have no problem coming to an accommodation with Mama Grizzly. That is, if Romney really wants to reach out to her and the millions of Tea Party activists he will need on his side to defeat Barack Obama in November.

h/t: Ian Lazaran

- JP

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Even a casual perusal of the comments section at the Palin supporting sites like Conservatives4Palin will see a recurring theme. The attitude to Mitt Romney runs from grudging support to outright hostility.

For those expressing total abhorrence of the idea of Romney being the standard-bearer their negativity to him finds expression in a commitment to voting down-ticket (whilst writing in Palin) if not staying at home in total disgust at "having yet another RINO shoved down our throats." Even if Palin endorses Romney they still will not vote for him

On the next level there are those who consider that, as Palin states, "anyone but Obama" means they will hold their nose and pull the lever for him, whilst not expecting any real conservatism from his administration should he win. Even amongst those folks a number are waiting to see if Palin actually endorses Romney before making their decision.

However there is a common thread running through all the statements of those adamantly opposed, and the hold their nose groups, and that is how they will react to how Palin is  treated by the Romney forces at the GOP convention in Tampa.

Even amongst the hold their nose group there is a bitterness as to how they perceived Palin has been treated by the GOP establishment. They see her as being left out to dry by the etsablishment by not being defended over the "Game Change" hack job, the Gifford's "blood libel" incident, the backstabbing by the McCain forces, and the insult from the Bush clan.

They hold that if this lack of support is compounded by not giving Palin a key, prime time, speaking role at Tampa then all support for Romney will be withheld. Giving Palin a ten minute slot early in the afternoon, or late at night, would not cut it either. For such a high profile, former VP candidate with a massive and loyal following to be given any such fobbing off will be seen as the ultimate insult.

If the Tea Party/Palin following is so visibly insulted it would be suicidal for the Romney forces surely, especially in a close election. 

Palin has wisely rented a site near the hall where she can talk directly to her supporters, the whole GOP, and the media. This will ensure she will have a voice either inside or outside the convention. If the Romney forces drive Palin outside then on their heads be it.


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