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Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.

The Republican contenders for the presidential nomination should by now, since the Midterms are over, be at the starting line. No runners so far, and why?

According to Alex Slater in The Guardian it has to do with the acquired influence of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement. He writes:

Palin is in no rush to declare. She knows that, unlike the others in the “phony race”, she has the advantage of massive name recognition and a tremendous “base” buoyed by her Facebook and Twitter engagements, her Fox News contract and her “reality” shows like the recent “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”, a sickly sweet documentary aired recently about the former governor and her family. The Palin factor is causing consternation among other likely candidates, who are understandably reluctant to get out ahead of a potential locomotive without first knowing how to apply the brakes.

The second, more important, dynamic speaks to the uncertainty of the Tea Party’s role in these primary contests. One thing is clear: the movement is unlikely to stay silent. And the candidates understand that even if they can’t win the endorsement of the fringe, they must at least secure a tacit truce. In other words, the Tea Party may (and likely will) endorse Sarah Palin, but Mitt Romney can remain a viable opponent if he avoids drawing their ire.

That’s a difficult task, and one that is further complicated by the fact that Republican candidates will have to square rallying extremist Tea Party support with tacking back to the middle of the political spectrum in a general election likely dominated by a president who will have carefully built his moderate credentials for the preceding two years (starting with his recent tax cut deal).

So much for the bully pulpit, if the president is unable to frame the terms of the debate, but of course as we know that is the role of the media, as is the determination as who is a viable candidate and who should get exposure. For some reason, Sarah Palin, has been promoted despite her merits.



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