Is Time Really Up?

It’s funny how some people get hung up on imaginary deadlines.  You can bet the media loves to create them, but what should you and I make of them? For months now, we have had the media and establishment DC-insiders try to tell us when Governor Palin should get in, or when it was too late, and all the rest of their game.  Worse, from my point of view, among some supporters, there’s an impatience that while understandable enough, always seems to gravitate toward the theme that “she must jump in NOW!”  Ladies and gentlemen, please permit me to suggest that there’s nothing to be gained from an entry now.

Today, in the blog section of the New York Times Online, the headline proclaims that “Palin is on the Verge of a Decision about Presidential Run.”  Well, knowing that, we should…do what?  The author of the piece again pumps up the expectation game, and again seems to push her toward entering sooner rather than later, and then another piece appearing in the Washington Post Online relegates Palin to “second tier status” based on a CNN poll that shows Palin over 20 points behind Obama in the head-to-head, which is at significant variance with that Marist/McClatchy poll of last week that finds Palin within 5 points of Obama.  So while one side tries to encourage her entry, the other side tries to dissuade her.   Both publications are establishment outlets.  When one observes the establishment presenting conflicting narratives, what you can guess with some confidence is that they’re hoping is to make something stick.  What neither of them suggests is that she should wait.  It’s either “jump now” or “go away.”

I’m not offering advice, but I’ll be honest: I like Governor Palin’s strategy of waiting.  Having waited this long in what seems a strategy to let some of this sort itself out, now that this strategy is beginning  to pay off, it’s no time to accept an arbitrary notion about some date on a calendar.  Late September?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Middle October?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Elections seasons are fluid, and the most successful candidates remain adaptive and flexible.  If you wish to succeed, you must adjust your plans to suit the situation on the ground.  I think the message to take from Governor Palin’s refusal to be trapped into some arbitrary time-table is this:  She wants to remain flexible to make her announcement when it will have the most impact.  A candidate committed to victory should do no less.

Be patient, my friends. Election seasons are fluid. Circumstances change.  Who would have predicted Perry’s verbal melt-down, excepting me and a few others, even three weeks ago?  Things change.  The unexpected happens.  People and situations are not perfectly predictable, or we wouldn’t bother with elections.  Our preferred candidate should do her best to remain flexible, and not getting pinned-down to a certain date or range of them is a great way to keep her options open.

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