I gave an interview to Arizona Family TV-3 this evening regarding Sarah Palin’s move to Arizona and the liklihood she will launch a campaign based out of Arizona. Here is the video clip from that interview:
Now my thoughts on an Arizona-based Palin Presidential campaign:
Geographically and climatically, Arizona is far different and more conducive for a nationwide campaign than Alaska would ever be. Arizona is a state that has very little to worry about climatically other than the heat and a rare shutdown of Sky Harbor’s runways over the blast-furnace temperature we experience during the summer. Where else can a national campaign set up home base and not have to worry about earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes or crippling weather? An Alaska-based national campaign that would have to run until next November would have serious challenges during the upcoming 2011 winter months.
It also makes sense geographically for Palin to base a federal campaign out of Arizona. We are one of the fastest growing states and Arizona has major transportation hubs, modern infrastructure and a technologically savvy community. We’re in a region of the country that is highly accessible to and from other parts of the country making travel more of a convenience rather than a challenge to a national campaign.
I also happen to believe that the Palin’s fell in love with Arizona during their multiple visits here over the last three years. Arizona is a great place to raise a family and be a part of a broader community. Ultimately, Americans move to places where they feel comfortable and I’m willing to bet the Palin’s feel very comfortable right here in Arizona.
Now the politics.
Arizona will have 11 electoral votes up for grabs in 2012. That makes Arizona a high priority campaign state. Arizona is also guaranteed NOT to have a home state favorite running for President in 2012. John McCain will certainly not run again and Jon Kyl has already decided to retire from politics (although I think he could be coaxed into taking a seat on the US Supreme Court). Unlike Texas or Florida where Rick Perry, Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush have been rumored as potential candidates, Sarah Palin would not have to worry about competing for the nomination against someone who has been prominent in Arizona politics for years.
I like to say that Arizona is also a crimson red Republican state with a independent maverick attitude. Arizonans are conservative but they have a discernible mistrust of government and especially the federal government. In 2010, Republicans swept all statewide seats and took super majorities in both the State House and Senate. That makes Arizona a comfortable spot for any conservative political leader and Sarah Palin fits that mold.
Palin also has a huge following here in Arizona among women, conservatives in general and a thriving Tea Party movement. Having spoken with many conservative grassroots activists over the last year, it’s obvious to me that she would have no problem building a hardcore base of support among the grassroots and party faithful. Many would be proud to adopt Palin as their own.
The other thing that Arizona has to offer a Palin campaign is organization and structure. There are several proven campaign networks and organizations already in place and no shortage of talented political strategists and operatives here in Arizona. I would not doubt that Palin would also call in some political endorsements including several from our congressional delegation whom she supported during the 2010 election cycle.
Finally, a bit of insider politics that could make an Arizona-based Palin campaign a real game changer. At a national level, everyone knows that Palin poses a competitive threat to Michele Bachmann. Here in Arizona, a Palin campaign poses a serious threat to Mitt Romney. During the 2008 Presidential Primary, Romney did very well in the East Valley especially with the LDS community. Having Palin stake out home territory here in Arizona would clearly lay down a challenge to Romney’s campaign not to take Arizona for granted.
Will Sarah Palin run? As I said in my interview, my source indicates that she is ramping up very quickly. She’s just launched a bus tour of several states including a stop in New Hampshire and she’s due to release a personal documentary that is sure to draw crowds, interest and likely donors. There’s so many things right with an Arizona-based campaign that it only makes complete sense that another Arizonan will venture into the fast and furious waters of presidential politics.