Guest blogger Ronda Kaysen: If you thought you were almost done with Sarah Palin, think again. Her current vice presidential bid is little more than a coming out party for the woman who, on Wednesday, will be crowned the new face of the Republican Party.
Yesterday, she all but announced her 2012 candidacy to ABC's Elizabeth Vargas -- the interview airs tonight on 20/20. And the Republican Party has already planned a morning-after huddle in Virginia for next Wednesday. The main topic on the agenda? Sarah Palin. The election might be five days away, but the internal bloodletting has already begun -- and anyone who denounced Palin will be purged.
"There's going to be a bloodbath. A lot of people are going to be excommunicated," Jim Nuzzo, a White House aide to the first President Bush, told The Sunday Telegraph. "David Brooks and David Frum and Peggy Noonan are dead people in the Republican Party. The litmus test will be: Where did you stand on Palin?"
Sarah Palin, the self-proclaimed Hockey Mom from Alaska, has been propelled from obscurity to a position of tremendous power. Next Tuesday is a win-win situation for her. If John McCain wins the election, she will become a lifeline for social conservatives who will see her as their go-to person in the White House. If McCain loses, the gloves come off and Palin is unveiled as the most powerful woman in the Republican Party. And so begins the road to 2012.
"Conservatives have been looking for leadership, and she has proven that she can electrify the grass roots like few people have in the last 20 years," Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, told the New York Times. "No matter what she decides to do, there will be a small mother lode of financial support behind her."
If you watch Sarah Palin on the campaign trail these days, you'd think we were already in the 2012 primaries. While McCain is making his closing argument, her supporters are yelling "2012!" at her rallies. She's giving policy speeches, ignoring talking points and deriding her running mate for pulling out of Michigan and using robo-calls. You'd think she was running against McCain, given the Straight Talk Express chatter about the "whack job" who's "going rogue."