Sarah Palin is slated to speak at a Labor Day Tea Party rally in New Hampshire, two days after a similar speech in Iowa failed to clarify if the former Alaska governor will run for President or not.
Palin will deliver her remarks in Manchester -- just after leading GOP candidate Mitt Romney is expected to leave the state on his way to South Carolina.
Some are wondering if it is already too late for Palin to announce her candidacy.
Former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, who is already campaigning in New Hampshire, dismissed Palin’s impact on the election.
“She won't step on our parade,” Huntsman told local reporters. “I don't anticipate anybody doing that.”
University of New Hampshire political science professor Dante Scala told local media: “You tend to get a sense now that the times have passed by [Palin]. People are looking elsewhere.”
Kevin Smith, executive director of Cornerstone Action, a conservative group, concurred, telling reporters: “Some people have become so weary of her stringing the media along and stringing voters along as to whether she is or isn't going to run, that they're kind of over Sarah Palin at this point.”
Smith added: “Her coy game of, ‘I'm not telling anyone whether I'm running but I'm going to visit the early primary states,' I think is turning people off, quite frankly.”
However, at least one prominent political commenter disagreed.
Michael Dennehy, who advised John McCain's presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2000, told local media: “[Palin is] a celebrity in the Republican Party, and her coming to New Hampshire continues to showcase the importance of our position in the nominating process. So I think it's wonderful to have her here to help promote the primary.”
Indeed, Michelle Bachman’s decision to bypass New Hampshire in favor of South Carolina and other states, may open up a whole new slate of potential voters for Palin.
“History shows that New Hampshire tends to reward candidates who have more of a populist tone, regardless of ideology, and candidates who work their butts off here,” said Smith of Cornerstone.
Dennehy commented: “We have no idea what kind of campaign Palin] would run. The one thing we do know is that she has paid the most attention to Iowa and so one would have to think that would be her focus.”
In addition, the publisher of the influential New Hampshire newspaper, the Manchester Union Leader, Joe McQuaid, has warned Palin (and other candidates) she should not ignore the Granite State.
In an editorial McQuaid wrote: :While I would be happy to see Gov. Palin in the race, I wonder if she might need to learn to walk before she runs. By that I mean I wonder if the former Alaska governor understands the New Hampshire Primary process. More than a few candidates over the years, including high profile ones, have come undone in the Granite State.”
He added: “New Hampshire truly is a place where candidates can set themselves apart from the crowd and connect with the voter. By the same token, candidates who take the state for granted, rather than granite, do so at their peril.”
Palin, who said she will make a decision on a potential presidential run in late September, also visited New Hampshire in June.
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