Sarah Palin and Herman Cain embrace at Iowa State Fair. "Have heard Herman Cain is warm and energizing in person. I fell for him way back when, used a quote in Tea Party sign," we twittered Ginny aka ginthegin this afternoon, quoting the man with a plan: "Stay inspired: We the people are still in charge."
"King or kingmaker, her heart and mind will energize seekers of wisdom and truth," we twittered libertarian twitter friend Doug Mataconis this afternoon in response to his smiley-snarky challenge to our abiding faith in the Mama Grizzly who beckons us to "woman up" and "fight like a girl":
If you think Palin has any chance in a General Election, I want some of whatever drug you're trippin' on :)."
Even as Texas Governor Rick Perry upstaged the usual Iowa Straw Poll suspects with a rousing call to arms this afternoon — throwing his hat in the ring at the Red State Gathering of bloggers [!] in South Carolina and putting the democrat smear-mongers on high alert — Sarah Palin was playing hard to get. But not to worry. She's biding her time, disintermediating the powers that be with her usual flair, shooting to where it's going, not to where it's been. We loved this after-the-break teaser from CNN's Candy Crowley this evening in the aftermath of Michele Bachmann's winning the straw poll and write-in candidate Perry's outpolling Mitt, Newt, Jon and Thaddeus:
So what's Palin's goal? Why's she getting all the attention?
Put aside the purely Republican primary politics of it for a moment. Also, I'm not endorsing her, or anyone at this point. But what happened in Iowa yesterday was electric, not just for any Palin faithful, but for many Conservatives and especially the media. For better, or worse, Sarah Palin has star power — whatever that is.
Palin has two critical qualities, unique in that they combine in her. Beholden to no one, without fear, or restraint, Palin articulates today's conservatism in a prudent, positive and cogent manner. More than that, the media, while much of it both loves and hates her, conveys her message to an audience far more broadly than they do for any other contemporary politician.
It's the electricity, stupid? As we twittered Mary Katherine Ham this afternoon in response to her praise of Rick Perry's storytelling skills:
We need storytellers to tell our side of the story, capture the mushy middle's imagination with powerful memes and narratives.
Enter, stage right, Sarah Palin. King or kingmaker? Just like the Tea Party itself, she is recasting the terms of the debate. Will inattentive citizens finally notice the disconnect between the Palin-is-stupid narrative and what they can see with their own eyes?
Update: Linked at Conservatives4Palin in the comments to a related post citing our buddy Smitty of The Other McCain, who writes:
I agree with Dan’s whole post, but a third point (maybe a variation on the first point) is that she has already borne the brunt of an unbridled propaganda assault without crumbling. The more the minions of the Progressive Cthulhu strike at her, the stronger she becomes, and the more openly craven and stupid they appear. She rises like a phoenix from their ashes.
Why the continued hesitation, then? She has more to gain by not explicitely declaring.
Update II: Doug Ross's Larwyn's Linx links.
Crossposted at Riehl World View.