Could Sarah Palin Break From the Republicans?

Chris Cilizza at The Fix draws our attention today to an interview Sarah Palin did with conservative talk show host Lars Larson. When Larson asked whether she would consider running as a third party candidate, she told him "That depends on how things go in the next couple of years." When pressed she added that if the Republican Party gets back to its conservative base, there wouldn't be a need for a third party, but that she would "play that by ear in these coming months, coming years."

Cilizza remarks that it sounds like she's "leaving the door wide open." While running as a third party candidate might not seem to make much sense—she would have almost no chance to win and it would badly split the Republican vote—Palin certainly seems capable of striking out on her own. It is not simply that it would be in keeping with her maverick persona or that she has never been shy about furthering her own ambitions at the expense the of the party. As I have written before, there is a battle for control of the Republican Party. The so-called conservative base—whom Palin represents—feels strongly that a more moderate Republican Party hardly worth supporting. As they showed in New York's 23rd District by backing Doug Hoffman against the more moderate party nominee, they are willing to risk hurting the party's chances to see their candidates win. So they may be willing to consider the nuclear option of supporting an independent Palin, even if it means sabotaging their own party.


It probably would ensure another victory for Obama. As I wrote yesterday, Palin's negatives are high and her appeal to swing voters is limited. She would have a hard time winning even if she ran as a Republican. As a third party candidate she would have almost no chance. Only former President Teddy Roosevelt, running in 1912 against incumbent President William Howard Taft, ever placed as high as second. And with 27% of the electorate voting for him, Roosevelt essentially gave the election to Woodrow Wilson, who won with a mere 42% of the popular vote. Because Palin speaks for a large and alienated number of conservatives, she would probably siphon off enough conservative votes to make it next to impossible for the Republican nominee to win. Of course, conservatives would prefer to use the threat of a split as leverage to demand that Palin or someone with similar views be the party's nominee. But if they don't get their way, we really could see Palin running as an independent in 2012.

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
Sponsored
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less

Juice is terrible for children. Why do we keep giving it to them?

A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.

Pixabay user Stocksnap
popular

Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you. 

Keep reading Show less

A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Mind & Brain
  • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
  • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
  • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Keep reading Show less