After expressing interest in running president in The Washington Post, former Republican Alaska governor Sarah Palin could be the ultimate wildcard in 2016.
Palin, the former GOP vice-president candidate who rose to both fame and infamy as John McCain’s running mate in 2008, is the one Republican figure that is unpredictable, powerful and is capable of carrying her own brand of populism and “real American” values to the far-right wing, Tea Party factions of the Republican Party.
While she has had her many notable gaffes in the media, while campaigning for McCain in 2008, 2016 is a completely different political animal entirely, as people now know who she is—and for better or worse—Palin still has the influence and veritas with many right-wing political circles to be a force during the primaries.
Whether or not the GOP’s corporate puppet-masters in the Koch Bros are willing to get behind her, should such a scenario occur, is a completely different matter.
While many liberals and conservatives will laugh and scoff at the notion of Palin being a one-woman wrecking crew to reckon with in ’16, it would be wise to overlook or dismiss “Sarah Barracuda” so quickly, at the risk of being beaten by her. For Palin to be a factor, she will need a perfect storm of mediocre—to marginal—pool of contenders, a sagging economy, controversial executive orders by an unpopular incumbent president and a political environment ready to embrace a woman in the White House.
As much as it pains this Obama Democrat to admit this, but Palin has all of those elements, thanks to a somewhat laughable pool of GOP candidates in New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, Florida governor Jeb Bush, Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorium, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and Kentucky senator Rand Paul, Palin could—and I’ve saying this, casually—could emerge as the last woman standing.
Couple that with the increased involvement of women in politics, and the need for the GOP to rebrand themselves in being both racist and misogynist, and a potential Palin-Dr. Ben Carson ticket, would be enough to draw enough disgruntled Obama female and upper middle-class African-American leaning Democrats.
This may sound like a stretch now, but consider the changing demographics and political climates, and if the proverbial political stars were to line up like this, Palin could be the biggest beneficiary.
Based on their one-track and narrow-minded logic, it’s safe to say that no Republican would dare cross party lines to vote for the likes of Hilliary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren due to their deep-seated hatred towards the current Obama administration and its reckless abandon of both the Constitution and perceived lack of support of Israel.
Combine that with the ever-so unpopular executive orders on immigration and veto of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, and that would be enough to fire up an already angry and bitter voter base desperate to reclaim the White House.
As crazy as it sounds now, don’t be too shocked if Palin is the woman who ends up on top.