[…] One difference so far between the tea party and the great wave of conservatives that elected Ronald Reagan in 1980 is that latter was a true coalition-not only North and South, East and West but right-wingers, intellectuals who were former leftists, and former Democrats. When they won presidential landslides in 1980, ’84 and ’88, they brought the center with them. That in the end is how you win. Will the center join arms and work with the tea party? That’s a great question of 2012. – Peggy Noonan
Legitimizing the Sharron Angle, Carl Paladino, Christine O’Donnell Tea Party wing has begun. You knew things had shifted when Karl Rove was forced to retract his review of O’Donnell or have his future destroyed. Now Peggy Noonan has started readying the Tea Party for Reagan canonization. It hardly matters that the Fox News candidates readying for 2012 have no resemblance to anything for which Ronald Reagan stood, or the fact that he couldn’t get elected dogcatcher in today’s Republican Tea Party.
Beyond GOP 2012 hopefuls speaking to “values voters” in D.C., a new question has popped up about Sarah Palin. Can she do retail politics or will she be the first politician to be able to skip the 20th century tradition? In an interactive media environment, it’s a good question. As she readies to keynote the Iowa Reagan dinner tonight, anyone expecting her to run for president in 2012 can only hold out the hope that she’ll break all the rules if she does. Because so far there is absolutely no evidence she’s interested in, capable of, or intends to do the traditional retail politicking required to court Iowa primary voters. A coveted group that would need to be a cornerstone of any Palin run for president.
Could Sarah Palin be the first interactive media politician capable of skirting traditional retail politics, even in Iowa?
From the DesMoines Register:
Kim Schmett, a Clive Republican, said Palin’s popularity may allow her to campaign differently, should she run. Palin has been able to stay relevant despite giving up her elected position and has remained visible without engaging widely in traditional media, Schmett noted.
She frequently uses social media, for instance, with 253,660 followers on Twitter as of Thursday.
“I think Sarah Palin has really mastered an unorthodox style. She doesn’t do what normal campaigns do,” said Schmett, who ran for Congress from Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District in 2008. “Her style is not what you would expect from someone running for president.”
After Palin’s speech tonight she’s reported to make a quick exit, no schmoozing.
This post has been updated.