I never expected Sarah Palin to run for president. She’s smart and knows that should she falter in the campaign, she would lose some of the cachet she has in certain conservative circles. Plus, it does seem she enjoys her life now as a conservative celebrity.
Allahpundit explains why, he believes, the accomplished Alaska reformer “did the smart thing by staying out“:
Just yesterday, CBS found that three out of four Republicans didn’t want her to run compared to just 23 percent who did. Her favorable numbers have been underwater for ages and she would have been hammered on the inexperience charge for failing to finish her term as governor. I do think she could have emerged as the “Not Romney” in the race over Cain and a weakened Perry, but realistically there was no way to beat Mitt once it was a binary choice. . . . . Worse, there was a chance that she wouldn’t even emerge as the “Not Romney”: If Perry or Cain ended up faring better than her in Iowa or South Carolina, it would have shattered her mystique as the ultimate champion of grassroots conservatives. By staying out, her supporters now get to say “she would have won if she ran” without ever having to test their theory and she gets to kinda sorta play kingmaker as people wait to see if she’ll endorse Perry, Cain, or (gasp) Romney.
Emphasis added. Sarah Palin can read poll numbers as well as any politician. She’s not in a strong position to win the Republican nomination (and in an even weaker position to unseat the unsuccessful incumbent). Should she falter in the primaries, her charisma would likely not be able to rescue her reputation.
She’ll remain a kingmaker. Her endorsement could well help decide the contest. Whatever the case, the former governor seems to be enjoying herself now. Having already experienced the rigors of a presidential campaign, she may rest a little easier that she will no longer have to subject herself to that grueling routine.
And she’ll still be able to make sport of the mainstream media.