Should Sarah Palin Run for RNC Chair?

The founder of the Tea Party Nation thinks Sarah Palin should replace Michael Steele

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Gaffe-prone Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has not yet confirmed whether he will participate in the upcoming RNC election, but party members are already vying to replace him. Unsatisfied with the existing group of potential candidates, Tea Party Nation leader Judson Phillips has drafted a letter to Sarah Palin in which he refers to her as "a superstar" and insists that "your country needs you as the Chairman of the Republican National Committee."  The letter was posted on the group's website (and can be read in full at Talking Points Memo) with a note clarifying that it would be sent to the former Alaska governor in the next few days. Phillips' plead included some dramatic points:

We are in a fight for survival of our country. The Democrats have walked off the socialist cliff and are driving the country headlong into the abyss. Unfortunately, there are many on the Republican side who do not seem to get it. They are the embodiment of the old political joke that says, with the Democrats you get more of the same and with the Republicans you get less of the same.

Phillips goes on to praise Palin's fund-raising and leadership skills, but some opinion makers question whether Palin can be persuaded to stray from Steele and her potential 2012 presidential campaign.

  • Palin and Steele Have Each Other's Backs  Alex Seitz-Wald at Think Progress is not convinced Sarah Palin would run against her pal Michael Steele. "Back in April, Palin expressed her support for Steele and said he was doing 'a great job' as RNC chair. For his part, Steele has rushed to defend Palin in the midst of criticism that she has faced from Republican leaders, telling them to 'chill out.'"
  • She Might Have a Prior Engagement  Sarah Palin is famously considering running for president in 2012. As Andy Barr at Politico points out, the next term for party chairman coincides with the time when she would be running for president. "Accepting such a post would effectively end her campaign before it starts," he says.
  • This Could Backfire  Sarah Palin may be a Tea Party favorite, but she isn't necessarily popular among the rest of the country. Gawker's Jim Newell, unusually serious in this post, suggests Palin as RNC chair may benefit Democrats more than Republicans. "This would not be good! Only 37% of Americans look at her favorably, and the rest *hate* her. The Democrats would love, love, love to exploit 'Sarah Palin as official head of the Republican party' to jack up their own donations, far beyond those of the RNC," he writes.
  • Phillips All Talk?  Apparently, as Evan McMorris-Santoro at Talking Points Memo notes, Phillips has been known not to follow through in the past. "For his part, Phillips is prone to making big promises on behalf of the tea party movement other activists often distance themselves from. Phillips planned to play host to the second national tea party convention in Las Vegas before the event collapsed under open hostility from Nevada tea party and what appeared to be a lack of ticket sales," writes McMorris-Santoro.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.