CAUTION: LONG COLUMN...BUT PLEASE READ THE WHOLE THING (The best stuff is at the end)
The dust has settled. Barack Obama is the President-Elect, Joe Biden is moving into the Naval Observatory, John McCain is headed back to the Senate, and Sarah is going back to Alaska...hopefully to continue the dramatic progress she has made in upsetting the political establishment and making government work for the people.
Meanwhile, those of us who supported Sarah in her run for Vice President get to begin the process of moving forward. So, as we launch a new phase in our movement, I think it's time to start talking about what we want to see in the future from the Republican Party, Sarah Palin, and our own movement. I have a few thoughts on each. Some of this is stuff I've already read, some of it isn't.
WHAT I WANT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY TO DO
Forget about the 2012 presidential race for two years. We're never going to unseat Obama if we don't unite the party and build a solid foundation. Instead of lining up behind our respective horses for the next round of primaries, we need to focus on getting good leadership in place in Congress and the Republican National Committee (RNC). In Congress, I think this means turning the House Leadership over the the "Young Turks" of the party. More than likely, this will involve the eventual installation of a new Minority Leader from a younger generation (likely Eric Cantor of Virginia). For the time being, John Boehner has indicated his desire to remain Leader, and Cantor is probably going to run for Minority Whip. However, in the next few years, there should be moves to eventually replace Boehner with Cantor and trade the aging leadership team in for dynamic new faces like Paul Ryan (Wisconsin), Thad McCotter (Michigan), and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Washington). They will be able to produce and market 21st Century conservative alternatives to President Obama's proposals.
At the RNC, there needs to be a new Chairman who can rev up the party faithful, rebuild the GOP fundraising machine, and help new Republicans win election. The Democrats figured out how to find such a person in 2005 when they elected Howard Dean, a charismatic former presidential candidate who could barnstorm the country. We could replicate that phenomenon by turning to Fred Thompson or Rudy Giuliani.
WHAT I WANT TO SEE FROM GOVERNOR PALIN
1. Don't pay much attention to 2012 speculation and focus on being Governor. Cement yourself as a presence on the national scene, but top priority is getting that gasline built (thereby giving yourself another major accomplishment as Governor and potentially lowering energy prices down here in the lower 48...you can run on that in 2012)
2. Launch "SarahPAC" as soon as possible. You are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fundraising potential, and lots of people will be happy to give you lots of cash to distribute to candidates around the country (this also gives you an excuse to occasionally go on campaign trips). You can use SarahPAC (or whatever you decide to call it) to establish a reputation for helping other Republicans win, and gain some loyalty from the Congressmen that you want to endorse your eventual candidacy.
3. Write a bestseller. The subject is irrelevant, though including a good deal of policy talk would probably be helpful. The American public needs to know that you are an intelligent and capable leader, so show them how smart you are. Plus, it never hurts to have to do a bunch of interviews to promote your new book, and if you wrote on energy policy, you could establish yourself as a "preeminent authority" on the subject.
4. DO NOT RUN FOR THE U.S. SENATE. You need to stay far away from Washington and continue to build your resume (and ensure that you get the credit for that shiny new gasline). If you want to run for something, run for re-election.
WHAT I WANT TO SEE FROM OUR MOVEMENT
Sarah cannot start openly tooting her 2012 horn for at least two years, and frankly neither can any other high level GOP operative or major media personality. On the other hand, we "internet nuts" are bound by no such standards of propriety. Our job moving forward is to wave pom-poms and yell "Sa-rah! Sa-rah!" at the top of our lungs for the next few years. We're the ones who will be making sure that Sarah's accomplishments in Alaska continue to be highlighted (need I mention the gasline again?) and that she stays at the top of any and all lists of potential 2012 candidates. This is what we do best, and we need to get back to that sort of operation.
We also need to pursue two objectives from an operational standpoint: institutionalization and decentralization. Institutionalization means putting in place mechanisms to ensure that the Palin Movement remains intact and cannot be broken up. Decentralization means making sure that there are multiple sources of pro-Palin chatter. We've already done well at decentralizing, with a plethora of Palin sites popping up earlier this year (Palinforamerica.com, Palinforvp.com, mccainpalin2008.blogspot.com, etc.), but we need to continue to build stronger networks and more sites. This will ensure that we cannot be shut down by the departure of one or two bloggers. I'll be honest here, I have no clue what I will be doing in four years or whether my career path will allow me to continue an independent partisan blog. We need to make sure that NO ONE can kill this movement or this site, not even me. Hence, I will be looking to build a stronger network of Pro-Palin blogs and re-networking with some of the connections that I have not been able to keep up during the recent frenzy. I will probably also be looking to add new bloggers the team here at palinforvp.blogspot.com.
If we take these steps, we should be able to set up a sustainable movement that, God willing, will help propel Sarah to the Presidency in four years.
God bless America.