Posted by: Ali Davis | March 28, 2011

Palin 2012 and Peer Pressure

I don’t make political predictions very often. They just seem like an excellent way for Fate to prove one wrong in the weirdest and/or most hilarious way possible.

However, I’ve realized that I can make one. Or, rather, I believe I can make an accurate political if-then statement:

Sarah Palin will definitely run for President if Michele Bachmann runs.

For a long time, I’ve been assuming that Palin definitely wouldn’t run. She’s clearly noticed that being just about to run is way better than being an actual candidate.

Her opinions carry weight because she’s a high-level politician, but she doesn’t have to deal with the consequences of anything she suggests actually getting implemented. She gets to talk a whole lot more than when she was a candidate and with way less scrutiny from the media, and she gets paid very good money to do so.

I think Palin would almost find running more appealing if she had an absolute guarantee that she wouldn’t win. She’d love the extra mojo that another campaign would give her future (highly paid) speaking engagements, but I’m sure she doesn’t want to risk the tedium of actually having to run the country.

So it seemed like she had things pretty well figured out: Play it like Gingrich. Make faces like you’re going to run every few years, maybe even go right up to that starting tape and pump your arms. Then back out, sell some books, and scoop up the Being a Prestigious Vaguely Political Figure dollars.

That would be the shrewd way to play it. And, while heaven knows Palin is no fan of the Sunday New York Times crossword, she has been known to display an impressive every-woman-for-herself cunning every now and then.

Unless her ego gets in the way.

And that’s when her glacier goes a little melty.

Sarah Palin is a classic high school Mean Girl. She’s a walking catalog of tells on that point, right down to her adolescent use of the term “lamestream media.”

More to the point, she’s gotten used to being the Queen Mean Girl.

Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi, as wonky, focused nerds who actually seem to care about stuff, never really counted, so Sarah Palin got to be the highest-ranking Mean Girl of Politics almost from the moment of her nomination, and certainly the highest-ranking Mean Girl Republican.

I watched her appearances with Michele Bachmann with interest. They did seem to enjoy the kinship of getting team up, even as they were uneasily aware that they occupied the same ecological niche: Two pretty far-right political ladies with lots of children and folksy northern accents and a base that actually seems to love them all the more for saying the craziest possible things they can gumball straight from their brains out of their mouths.

But their pecking order was always clear. Bachmann is a Congressional Representative, of which there are 435 but there seem to be hundreds more than that, each a little more nutball than the last. Palin was a Governor, which is way more swanky, and was Almost Vice-President, which is a very exclusive club indeed.

So when Palin and Bachmann made an appearance, everyone was always clear on who outranked whom. And I suspect that was a crucial way to keep the peace.

But if Bachmann runs for President – and, though she is an unbalanced, completely uninformed dingleberry, political analysts are beginning to take the possibility of her run seriously – she will leapfrog Palin’s rank automatically.

Which would leave professional political analyst Palin to comment wisely on Bachmann’s campaign from the sidelines.

I cannot imagine a world in which Palin has either the perspective or the self-control to let such a thing stand.

If Bachmann officially enters the 2012 race, I guarantee that Palin will run too. Even though it will put the easy money, fame, and talk shows in jeopardy, Palin won’t be able to stop herself.

And the fight for supremacy will be awesome. Or at least hilarious.

Run, Bachmann, run!



  1. Excellent points. I kinda figured Palin was going to sit this thing out, but between being dissed by GOP establishment figures and the possibility of being upstaged by the upstart Bachmann, Palin might not be able to resist.

  2. […] Now it looks like she won’t even do that. However, Ali Davis thinks that she will definitely run, no matter the cost, if Michele Bachmann runs… […]

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