Rick Perry, Sarah Palin and Cast: Why the Republican Race Will Make a Captivating Reality Show

Analysis

   on August 22 2011 11:50 AM
U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry
U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Reuters

The Republican presidential nomination race is starting to take shape as one of the most captivating competitions and reality shows we've seen in years. Think America's Biggest Loser meets Extreme Makeover meets Jon and Kate Plus 8.

Mitt Romney as a front-runner didn't do much for ratings, but Rick Perry and his Perryisms changed that. Now, Sarah Palin appears set to come on board as a leading cast member -- and we already know from previous experience she rarely provides a dull moment.

Former Bush advisor Karl Rove says Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate turned conservative commentator and celebrity, is more likely to run for president than not.

Rove hinted at a formal announcement as early as Sept. 3. And even that had a captivating flair, as Rove, speaking on Fox News, suggested that Palin has been a presidential-run tease to date.

Rove said it's time for Palin to stop hesitating and show whether she's serious about a run. All indications are that she is about to announce that she's doing just that.

In a Fox News interview Sunday, Rove said a video released on Friday by Palin's political action committee looked very pre-presidential. Rove is a key Republican activist and fundraiser, and Palin is a Republican with close ties to Rove. 

Her difficulty is, if she doesn't get in shortly after next week, then I think people are going to basically say she's not in, she won't be in, if she gets in, I'm not going to be for her, Rove said. You can only tease so many times in the political process, and I think she is getting to the end of that. 

When Palin joined Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, in a run against Barack Obama, the campaign was marred by disorganization and lack of a clear message to resonate with the public. In the years since, Palin has become a recognized conservative spokesperson and celebrity.

She became known during her VP candidacy as a loose verbal cannon, and the media loved her, whether they would admit it or not, because she was always reliable for a good quote.

As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America -- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border, Palin once famously said, explaining why Alaska's proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience.

Another famous Palin quote: 'Redudiate, misunderestimate, 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it! Palin sent that tweet in response to being ridiculed for saying the word redudiate.

But now, after several years of experience on the front lines, she's perhaps the refined, experienced candidate compared to Perry, the Texas governor who last week called Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke treasonous, and is coming under fire for news that he had a stem cell treatment.

Perry has questioned if President Barack Obama, a Democrat, is passionate about America, and he's hinted that states should have rights over the federal government if the federal government can't get it right.

Palin has been coy on whether or not she's running for president, but Rove says it appears she's likely in.

The schedule she's got next week in Iowa, it looks like that of a candidate, not a celebrity, he said on Fox News Sunday.

Palin has a major speech scheduled for a Tea Party event in Iowa on Sept. 3. Rove suggested that speech is prime for announcing a presidential bid.

A recent poll in New Hampshire showed Romney, the former Massachusets governor, remains in the GOP lead, but that Perry was catching up fast after announcing his official bid for the Republican party's presidential nomination the week before. In his first week on the campaign trail, Perry had a throng of reporters following him and he was a lead search word on Google -- as his quotes and flair for the dramatic statement had journalists hanging on his every word.

Now that it appears Palin is entering the Republican race within two weeks, it holds the promise of a captivating realty show. The winner will likely face Obama in the general election, but getting there will be a stiff challenge fraught potentially with bold, if not wild, statements and edgy conservative views colorfully stated on what is right and wrong with America -- all along the way.

 

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