On Super Tuesday, Governor Palin stated with little fanfare that she had voted for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to be her choice to be our nominee to go against President Obama this November.
Her statement was met with the kind of derisive response from some of our very favorite people in the GOPe, such as Karl Rove, who declared that Palin’s endorsement “wasn’t worth snot.” (As an aside, if you missed Stacy’s takedown of “Bush’s Brain”, please click here to read it.)
While Governor Palin did not explicitly endorse Newt, she did announce that she voted for him. Now, why do you think she did that? She certainly didn’t have to. She could have played coy and found a way out of answering that question if she wanted.
Does anyone really believe that Governor Palin is truly unaware of what sway her opinion holds or that she didn’t think the press would report her statement?
While sometimes I feel that she downplays the power she holds a little too much or that she doesn’t fully acknowledge how influential she truly is, she must be aware that people listen to her thoughts, consider her views and take her ideas and opinions to heart.
To me, there is no greater endorsement than pulling the lever for someone. So for her to do so and then announce her choice publicly, I have to believe she knew full well that people would hear what she said about voting for Newt and her reasons for doing so.
As Palin supporters, I believe it is imperative for us to review her reasons for voting for “the cheerful one” and then contrast those reasons with why she might not have chosen someone else.
On Tuesday night, she highlighted some of the reasons she voted for him. Firstly, She appreciates Newt’s ability to cut through the leftist propaganda to the heart of the issues that face our Republic, which she discussed with Neil Cavuto:
I considered who can best bust through the Orwellian Obama rhetoric that we heard more of today in Obama’s press conference talking about another insolvent and unconstitutional bailout that has no funds to finance — another program that he wants to kind of forced down our throat.
Then there’s Newt’s position on energy and government’s place in society:
Who can best bust these ideas of America never taking steps towards energy independence and we have the natural resources here and can do it and who can best bust through that radical left dispensation and desire to mistreat those who are defenseless, mistreat those who perhaps have some disadvantages by making them more beholden to government? Who best can contrast themselves from that? I thought who best could do that — my own personal opinion — is the cheerful one, Newt Gingrich.
Later with Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier, Governor Palin went a little further:
I voted for the cheerful one, for Newt Gingrich, because I believe that he is spot on on his energy policy, understanding that the price of a barrel of oil doesn’t just effect gasoline in our car but every petroleum product…increases costs with the price of oil going up. All these effects on our everyday life. Newt Gingrich has some solutions on how to lower those prices and allow us to be economically and energy independent.
Previously she noted that Newt is a fighter:
You know that is what I’m saying today. I’m saying that David because Newt has learned through that school of hard knocks. And you know that is where character is shaped and that is where character is revealed. In times of controversy and conflict. Not at a time of convenience and comfort. I see that in Newt that he has learned, that he has been sharpened and strengthened through all of that and I think that would bode well for what it is that we need in terms of fighting that Obama machine that we’ll be up against.
As has Todd:
Like Sarah, Newt can take hits from his opponents and the media, and keep on fighting. He’s tough as nails, and he is still standing today because of the power of his ideas, not because he had the most money!
Governor Palin has highlighted that Newt was not of the establishment and was in fact a target of them:
How can he say he’s not a part of the establishment? Well, look at the players in the establishment who are fighting so hard against him. They want to crucify him because he has tapped into that average, every day American Tea Party grassroots movement that has said enough is enough of the establishment, that tries to run the show and tweak rules and laws and regulations for their own good and not for our nation’s own good. Well, when both party machines and many in the media are trying to crucify Newt Gingrich for bucking the tide and bucking the establishment that tells you something.
Governor Palin has repeatedly called for an agent of reform:
We need somebody who is engaged in sudden and relentless reform and is not afraid to shake up the establishment. So, if for no other reason, rage against the machine, vote for Newt, annoy a liberal, vote Newt, keep this vetting process going, keep the debate going.
And Todd also has recognized that Newt is an accomplished reformer and a true leader:
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
Who else has 4.5% unemployment on their resume? Or entitlement reform? Or national balanced budgets?
Who else can claim to have saved the Reagan supply-side revolution and engineer the Republican takeback of Congress of 1994?
So why not Santorum? He is after all recognized as a solid social conservative. But what about the rest of his record?
Why didn’t Governor Palin choose Rick?
It could be that she doesn’t see him as being as strong as the current numbers suggest. In February, she talked about how she didn’t see Santorum as being a threat to Romney:
When asked by Anneke Green of the Washington Times if she thought a surging Sen. Santorum was a threat to front-runner Mitt Romney; “Palin answered that she wouldn‘t consider him a threat but was still ’a good competitor.’”
Perhaps she was aware of his call for a federal mandate for ethanol. In 2008 Santorum wrote the following:
What we need is a government mandate! We need to mandate that all cars sold in the United States, starting with the 2010 model year, be “flex-fuel vehicles” – that is, they should be able to run on a blend that is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline (the so-called E85 blend), or even a coal-derived methanol/gas mixture. This mandate would cost a fraction of the new fuel economy standard with the added benefit of saving barrels more oil.
Or perhaps it could be that she was aware that Santorum has some big spending issues that he’s swept under the rug, such as his support of the grossly over budget Pittsburgh tunnel project:
One complaint is that Mr. Santorum’s claim of being the only truly small-government conservative among the three top GOP nomination contenders is undermined by his support of big-government spending while in the Senate — especially when it comes to the mile-long Pittsburgh tunnel project that was part of a deal with Mr. Brooks and his union.
In exchange for helping push through federal support for the project, Mr. Santorum won the endorsement of the state’s building and construction trade unions — including Mr. Brooks‘ 14,000-member carpenters union.
Even Sen. Arlen Specter, then a Republican from Pennsylvania, turned against the project when its overruns climbed to $450 million and then hit $528 million.
Not to mention his support for the Bridge to Nowhere, which he voted for.
Twice. (Something he has in common with both President Obama and Joe Biden.)
And while Santorum speaks ill against the TARP legislation now, like RedState’s Leon Wolf, I cannot find any record of Santorum speaking out against TARP:
Everyone seems to take it for granted that [Santorum opposing TARP] is a legitimate defense of Santorum. What no one has produced thus far is any evidence that Rick Santorum opposed TARP at the time it was being discussed.
So this is my challenge to Santorum supporters who are using his alleged opposition to TARP to bolster his fiscally conservative bona fides – can anyone produce any evidence whatsoever that Rick Santorum opposed TARP before TARP was actually passed?
We can find numerous media references of a vigorous and forceful complaint, analysis and alternative proposals from Mr. Gingrich all while doing it in the voices of Jim DeMint and Milton Friedman. The only article to surface so far was from a Pittsburgh paper that covers the bailout and Santorum’s strong, conservative, principled objections to it this way:
Outside Rick Santorum’s office, rain was falling so hard it bounced. Sixteen miles away, the Senate in which he was once the conservative standard-bearer had taken the lead in crafting an economic rescue plan from which the House had recoiled.
It was a Beltway day fraught with excitement. Even the weather was dramatic. It was the kind of day on which many a losing candidate might be giving an important speech to his bathroom mirror, imagining what might have been.
He wants to talk about the movies.
Conversely, Newt spoke out vociferously against TARP. Rush Limbaugh summarizes Newt’s struggle with TARP:
September 25th, 2008, Gingrich appeared on Fox News and said that the TARP legislation was socialism. He said that it should be defeated. That’s September 25th. On September 28th, Gingrich was on This Week on ABC. He said the question was not whether something needed to be done but whether needed to be TARP, whether needed to be done the next 48 hours. He then stated that he probably would reluctantly vote for it but…. So everybody got captured by it. Then on October 1st of 2008 Gingrich wrote in Human Events that his solution would be to get rid of Secretary Paulson and to suspend the mark-to-market rule, which would give Congress the breathing room to develop a plan to replace TARP and to reestablish trust with the American people.
So Gingrich was opposed to TARP. Romney — everybody — was for it.
As you can see, it was only after Bush Secretary Henry Paulson issued more dire warnings and offered up specific promises on how the TARP funds would be used that Newt said he “reluctantly” would support it with certain conditions. It was a decision he almost immediately regretted. Just three days later, Newt stated that Paulson should be replaced and reiterated his concerns about TARP and that Congress should suspend mark-to-market requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley (legislation, by the way, that Santorum voted for) and then develop a plan to replace TARP.
Anyway, back to Santorum.
Perhaps Governor Palin was concerned about Santorum’s vote to increase the debt ceiling five times…or his vote against Right to Work laws.
Perhaps it’s because most people don’t know anything about Santorum, really, since he hasn’t been truly vetted or tested and the further you dig the more you see he’s not what he pretends to be. (Being socially conservative doesn’t necessarily mean one is fiscally conservative.)
Perhaps it was all of the above.
Or none of the above.
Perhaps it has nothing to do with Santorum at all, and that the Governor simply feels that Newt Gingrich’s record, history, accomplishments, platform and agenda are the right ones for America.
At the end of the day however, the decision I made to support and openly endorse Speaker Gingrich back in November seems to be continually confirmed by current events. While Mitt and Rick trade jabs, the White House is ignoring them and focusing on Speaker Gingrich:
Panicked by Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Obama was forced off his game and repeatedly tried to respond, only making matters worse for himself. He stayed true to the Democrats’ anti-energy agenda and mocked Republicans for wanting to drill for new oil. This made the president the butt of a joke for Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show”: Democrats claim that new drilling for oil won’t help us for at least 10 years, but haven’t they been saying that now for more than 10 years?
This is reminiscent of the Obamacare debates, when Obama repeatedly elevated Governor Palin by responding to her writings and comments, even during a joint session of Congress.
In other words, the left tells you who they fear.
And still in fact even now, Team Obama can’t help but take shots at Palin:
Why attack Palin now when she’s not running? And why attack Newt when he’s perceived to be down for the count by the “experts”?
Because Governor Palin and Newt Gingrich’s messages are that radical, relentless reform is needed and anyone who dares to call for massive change must be destroyed.
The establishment on either side of the aisle doesn’t want change. As Governor Palin has put it, they’re doing just fine. Speaker Gingrich further noted that those in the establishment only want to “manage the decay.”
But either we are headed for the cliff, or we’re not. Either we’re in the worst economy since the great Depression, or we aren’t. Either our spending levels are taking us to the abyss, or they aren’t.
And if those things are true, then we’ll need someone to implement massive change.
It’s up to us. Do we want an agent of reform who’s been vetted and has a long record of implementing the kind of change we need or do we want someone who’s skirted by any real vetting, who speaks a good game but who’s record doesn’t stand up to any real scrutiny?
If we truly are on the precipice, we will need a truly tested, battle hardened fighter with the knowledge, experience and ability to engage in and a record of relentless reform.
Our Warrior in Wasilla told us who her choice was and why.
What we do with that information is totally up to us.
Please note…I’m sure for many of you this is a given, but just in case it isn’t, let me state categorically that I’m not advocating for groupthink here. I would never suggest that individuals do what Palin does just because she does it. That isn’t how we work here. As a site, we support her policies and her endorsements but it’s up to you, the individual voter, to take into consideration her thoughts and words and decide for yourself how you want to apply such things to your thinking.