By Jamal Laoudi
By Jamal Laoudi
Washington, D.C. – With less than two weeks to the 2016 primaries kick off with the Iowa Caucus, Donald Trump, the overall leading Republican nominee according to polls, has injected his campaign with a dose of what is tantamount to a 5-Hour Energy drink, in the form of Sarah Palin, the former 2008 vice-presidential nominee and governor of Alaska. His campaign should see an immediate spike in activity and excitement should rise. She should be helpful to him in the primaries but, it should have the opposite effect in the general elections given the relationship Sarah Palin enjoys with the independents and the Democrat voters.
In Iowa, Trump’s numbers and those of his immediate rival, Ted Cruz, are too close for comfort for Trump. He is either leading with a slim margin or losing. Realclearpolitics.com reports recent polls as follows: DM Register/Bloomberg and FOX News have Cruz leading by +3 and +4 respectively while Gravis, PPP (D), ARG, and Quinnipiac have Trump up by +6, +2,+4, and +2 respectively.
Nationally, however, Trump is fairing much better. Recent NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl, CBS/NY Times, IBD/TIPP, and FOX News polls have Trump leading more comfortably by +13, +17, +16, and +15 respectively.
These are poll numbers and momentum in elections can have a funny effect at times. If Ted Cruz were to win Iowa and ends up winning New Hampshire, the second voting state, tables could potentially turn on Trump.
Trump seems to want to leave nothing to chance and has strengthened his Tea Party Evangelist weak spot by bringing in Sarah Palin, a heavy weight of the category. Since 2010, she has been a major force in the Tea Party, and has helped many Tea Party candidates to various political offices.
Those are the pros that Donald Trump has considered, but what about the cons? Sarah Palin was heavily ridiculed after her performance as a vise-presidential candidate for the Republican Party in 2008. Saturday Night Live has done a series of sketches portraying her as utterly clueless and incompetent, so much so that “Sarah Palin moment” has been coined. Case and point, the New York Post describes Congresswoman and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s mishap in an instance as a “Nancy Pelosi’s ‘Sarah Palin’ Moment.”
One can argue that was the past and Palin must have adapted but, recent signs suggest otherwise. In stating that she would be interested in a Secretary of Energy position in a Trump administration, she told CNN “I think a lot about the Department of Energy because energy is my baby…Oil, gas, minerals, those things God has dumped on this part of the earth for mankind’s use instead of us relying on unfriendly foreign nations for us to import their resources.” James Conca, a contributor to Forbes magazine, debunked her statement that the U.S. relies on unfriendly countries for oil by pointing that “We import more from Canada than all those other unfriendly foreigners combined. And we don’t import much gas at all, except a little from our actually friendly neighbor to the north. Less than 1% from all others.”
Since the start of his campaign, Trump has been unconventional from main stream, a riot of sorts. His latest move with Sarah Palin is delicate in the long run. The double-edged sword nature of her support is going to prove one tricky undertaking. She is useful now, but in the general election if/when it gets to that, she may prove a distraction.
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