JONATHAN CHAIT OCTOBER 21, 2010
I've been assuming for a while that Sarah Palin is fairly likely to run for president, and reasonably likely to get the nomination if she does, and then if the economy is still bad she could win and then the country will crumble and suffer some apocalyptic disaster and the survivors will envy the dead. Anyway, Jonathan Martin has a terrific piece collecting some reporting about the flakiness, bordering on total dysfunctionality, of Palin's political operation. This is a huge relief:
Take, for example, the case of Palin’s interaction with the campaign of Sen. Chuck Grassley, an iconic figure in the Iowa GOP who has served continuously in elected office since 1958.
After contributing money from her political action committee, Palin indicated that she would also be willing to campaign for him. With the Alaskan coming to the state last month to raise money for the state GOP, a Palin aide offered Grassley’s camp a two-hour window earlier that same day for an event.
Recognizing the money Palin can raise, Grassley’s team said it wanted to have her do a luncheon fundraiser. Palin, however, indicated that she didn’t want to raise money, but preferred a “message” event on a policy issue. So no event took place.
Grassley aides remain puzzled as to why she would offer her help, then refuse to do what the veteran senator thought was most beneficial to his bid for a sixth Senate term.
“It says to me she’s not serious about running for president,” said a source close to Grassley, suggesting that a real White House hopeful would not have snubbed a figure like the senior senator in the state that begins the nomination process.
Similarly, the Iowa GOP was in discussions with Palin’s camp leading up to her appearance at its fundraiser to have her do a rally in the state’s conservative northwest corner. Rep. Steve King, who represents the area, got involved, and Palin indicated she was open to it. But she never gave the party confirmation. Finally, on the Wednesday before what would have been a Friday event, she indicated that she wouldn’t do it.
This is in Iowa! And Martin has numerous other examples. Either Palin has no interest in running for president -- ever -- or she is so terrifyingly disorganized she couldn't win in even the most friendly landscape. Okay, "couldn't win" is too strong. But even if she can get organized, she is digging a very deep hole.