Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Donald Trump may help solidify his support among hard-right Republicans. But it could turn out to be the kiss of death for his presidential campaign, should he win the party’s nomination. Either way it puts her back on a national stage.
How far this new-found political romance goes remains to be seen, raising a question.
Will Trump pick Palin as his vice presidential running mate? GOP Sen. John McCain selected her as his running mate in 2008. She proved to be a highly polarizing figure and he lost to President Obama. Not much has changed since then.
Palin has been mostly a shadow figure in Republican politics, surfacing now and then as a commentator on Fox News. She still remains popular, however, among hard-right voters and evangelicals.
The party’s biggest fear about Trump is that he won’t advance a conservative agenda, should he win the White House. Politically, he’s been all over the map over the years.
He favors such liberal policies as a single-payor health care system and has supported Planned Parenthood and abortion in the past.
He also wants to raise taxes on the wealthy, which is anathema to hard-right Republicans, and supports expanding the social safety net for the poor.
Concern about his commitment to conservatism has been so acute, some hard-right Republicans have been talking about sitting out the election. Primary opponent Ted Cruz question his credentials during the last debate.
Embracing Palin may be his way of signaling to the right that he is in-sync with their agenda. It also steals some of Cruz’s thunder.
Still they made an odd pairing.
Trump grinned like the Cheshire cat during her endorsement announcement. Palin, however, was rambling, disjointed and almost scatological in her remarks. (See below)
The endorsement may also be a double-edged sword. Palin is perhaps one of the most polarizing figures in politics. Plus, her family troubles could weigh.
Daughter Bristol just had her second child out of wedlock and is engaged in a bitter custody fight with the baby daddy, Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer.
Son Track was just arrested for a barroom brawl and waving a gun around. He allegedly slugged his girlfriend as well.
In the general election, she could become a major liability because Trump needs to appeal to Democrats and minorities to win.
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