Sarah Palin Book Hints at 2012 Run

By Lindsey Ellerson

Nov 16, 2009 6:25pm

ABC News' Teddy Davis reports: Sarah Palin's new book, which was purchased by ABC News at a Washington-area bookstore on Monday, maintains that she wasn't motivated "alone" by an ambition to seek higher office when she stepped down as governor of Alaska. She suggests, however, that her resignation has left her in a strong position to run for president by touting comments to CNN by a well-known Republican strategist who thinks Palin's move was "brilliant." "One of the only commentators who called it right was Mary Matalin, who noted that my strategy would disarm my opponents and free me up to travel and raise money and awareness for worthy causes," writes Palin. The Matalin reference, which comes on page 381 of "Going Rogue: An American Life," is the closest Palin comes in the book to discussing her future electoral plans. The hint at a White House run becomes even clearer if you go back to what Matalin actually told CNN on July 3rd, the day Palin unexpectedly announced that she was resigning part-way through her term. In the interview with CNN, Matalin doesn't make a generic reference to "worthy causes" as Palin paraphrases Matalin as saying. Instead, Matalin explicitly speaks of Palin's decision as being "brilliant" because it will free her up "the way Mitt Romney is to run around, and get political chits." "Unlike the candidates — the potential candidates — in office," said Matalin, "she takes a big, fat target off her back with a good record to launch from." Listen to Matalin's comments HERE. If Palin decides to move forward with a presidential run, she has some major hurdles in front of her. According to the latest ABC News-Washington Post poll, 3 out of 5 Americans think Palin is not qualified to be president. Fifty-two percent of Americans say they view her unfavorably while 43 percent have a favorable opinion. Should Palin decide to run for president in 2012, she would undoubtedly be dogged by questions about whether she is too divisive to win a general election race. Questions about her electability are not just being drummed up by Democrats. Some of her potential Republican rivals are already beginning to raise questions about her. Speaking with ABC News on the condition that his name not be used, one Republican eyeing a presidential run in 2012 recently predicted that Palin, if she were to run, would win the nomination of a party that has grown more "militant." He quickly added, however, that he does not think that she will ultimately go forward with a presidential bid because, in his view, there is no way that she would be able to win a general election race against President Obama.  While Palin certainly has her detractors, she is still widely viewed as the biggest star in the Republican Party as evidenced by the large crowds she drew during the 2008 campaign as well as the heavy advance sales of her book, which will be available everywhere on Tuesday.  If Palin moves forward with a 2012 bid and is able to put together a political organization, she could do well in the Iowa caucuses thanks to her strong following among socially conservative voters who admire her decision to have Trig even after she learned that he was going to have Down syndrome. But as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) learned in 2008, the Christian conservative base, though highly influential in Iowa's lead-off contest, is not enough to win the nomination. That's why most of the policy content in her book emphasizes economic issues. In particular, she uses her memoir to ingratiate herself with the TEA Party – or Taxed Enough Already – movement which vigorously opposes President Obama's tax and spending policies. Her book is light on policy details but she does call for an "all-of-above" approach to energy development and a slew of new tax cuts. Without ever saying how she would fund her proposals, her tax recommendations include not only standard Republican ideas such as killing the estate tax and cutting capitals gains taxes but also a reduction in payroll taxes. If Palin jumps into a presidential race, one could envision these proposals plus her attacks on Obama's health care and cap-and-trade policies playing a role in her stump speech. For now, however, Palin is hinting at a White House run without making any definitive statements. "My dad’s quote I think, it sums it up better perhaps than I’m summing it up," she told Oprah Winfrey in an interview which aired Monday. "He says, ‘She’s not retreating, she’s reloading.'" ABC News' Lesley Lopez contributed to this report.

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