As the Republican Party prepares to challenge an incumbent President in November, it needs to have total unity in its ranks. One good way to solidify support from conservatives and Tea Party activists who are lukewarm toward presumptive nominee Mitt Romney is to invite former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to speak at the convention.
Over the past year, Palin has had the magic touch in her endorsements. Her endorsed candidates have won races all across the country, including the recent victory in the Texas Senate GOP primary. Conservative candidate Ted Cruz was not only endorsed by Palin, she made a highly publicized visit to the state to speak on his behalf. In many of these endorsements, Palin has supported underdog candidates with limited funding. As in Texas, Palin usually endorses candidates opposed by the Republican Party establishment. It is a way to support conservatives and at the same time challenge the moderate country club wing of the party that has been in control for so long.
Palin and her Tea Party supporters are tired of the Beltway elite running the Republican Party. Likewise, the GOP powerbrokers don’t care much for Palin as well. For example, in a recent CNN interview, former Vice President Dick Cheney criticized her selection as John McCain’s running mate in 2008.
Cheney’s disapproval only helps to generate more support for Palin. He is also dead wrong. In 2008, she brought enthusiasm and excitement to the McCain campaign. While some liberals claim she was the reason for his defeat, nothing could be further from the truth. She energized a dead campaign with a weak nominee. Right after her selection, the polls shot up for McCain. Palin gave a tremendous acceptance speech at the GOP convention and was well received on the campaign trail. While she made some missteps in “gotcha” television interviews, the fault lies with the McCain campaign which did not properly prepare her for the media grilling.
Once the 2008 campaign ended, she soon thereafter resigned as Governor of Alaska. Of course, she did not go away and actually increased her public profile. As a best-selling author, reality TV star and Fox News commentator, Palin has become the most popular advocate on behalf of the Tea Party and conservatism.
Whenever Palin arrives to campaign, the media and a swarm of supporters always follow. She is a crowd favorite because conservatives admire her strong principles and courage in standing up against a negative onslaught from the media and her political enemies.
To unify the party, excite conservatives and bring viewers to an otherwise dull convention, Mitt Romney needs to give Sarah Palin a prominent speaking role. While Romney is not conservative or affiliated with the Tea Party, Palin has the credentials to reach those voters on his behalf.
Political conventions are a time that parties come together to unite behind a candidate, but all factions of the party need to feel included. Romney won the nomination even though he is not conservative. In contrast, most of the convention delegates and GOP activists are clearly conservatives. These rank and file members of the Republican Party would love to hear from Sarah Palin at the convention, as would millions of Americans watching at home.
By giving Palin a speaking role at the convention, Romney will help ensure harmony in the party and give reluctant conservatives more of a reason to vote for him in November. Sarah Palin is ready, willing and able to give a knockout speech at the convention. She is just waiting for Governor Romney to make the call. If he wants to win in November, Romney needs to pick up the phone.
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