‘I believe that I can win a national election,’ Sarah Palin declared one recent evening, sitting in the private dining room of a hotel in rural Iowa. The occasion for her visit to quintessential small-town America was a gathering of the faithful that would have instantaneously erupted into a fervent campaign rally had she but given the word. Instead, it had been another day on the non–campaign trail, this one capped by a sweet victory: she had just attended the premiere of a glowingly positive documentary about her titled The Undefeated.
“The people of America are desperate for positive change, and deserving of positive change, to get us off of this wrong track,” she told me during a conversation that lasted late into the night and, inevitably, kept returning to the subject that has titillated the media and spooked Republican presidential contenders for months: her political intentions. “I’m not so egotistical as to believe that it has to be me, or it can only be me, to turn things around,” she said. “But I do believe that I can win.”
Family has been elemental to Palin’s national political identity from the moment she was introduced as John McCain’s running mate in 2008, accompanied by her outdoorsman husband, Todd, and four of their five children, including their youngest, Trig, who’d been born four months earlier with Down syndrome. The press’s fascination with this picturesque brood quickly turned so darkly speculative that candidate Barack Obama threatened to fire anyone in his campaign found participating in the conjectures.
Yet Palin, who is 47, now hinted that her family would not try to dissuade her from entering the race. “My kids know that life isn’t supposed to be easy, and it’s certainly not fair,” she said. “And they know that, even on their end, they have to make some sacrifices for the greater good.”
Track, the eldest son, who was deployed in Iraq during the 2008 campaign, is now married and running the family’s commercial fishing business in Alaska, living quietly out of the public eye. Willow, who turned 17 last week, seems amenable (“As long as her truck’s running, she’s fine,” Palin said), and Piper, who is 10, is a seasoned campaigner. Bristol’s all in. That leaves Todd, who sat in on part of the interview. “Do I want her to run?” he said. “It’s up to her. I mean, we’ll discuss it. But she’s definitely qualified to run this country. And she’s got a fire in the belly to serve.”
The whole thing is worth a gander and I’ll officially go on record stating I want her to run.
It’ll make for an interesting race… and I’m completely confident that she’d do much better… much, much better, than the current occupant.
Run Sarah, run.