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Palin Lays Out What Her Campaign Would Look Like

Palin Lays Out What Her Campaign Would Look Like

By Scott Conroy - August 12, 2011


DES MOINES, Iowa -- Though she said that she has not yet made up her mind about whether to launch a presidential run, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Friday demonstrated that she has done some serious thinking about her potential strategy, should she launch a campaign in the coming weeks.

Palin answered questions from reporters for over an hour as she strolled through the state fair here alongside her husband, Todd, and prominent Iowa GOP fundraiser Becky Beach. The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee was asked several times whether the decision by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to enter the race meant that the window to throw her hat into the ring has closed, and she was emphatic that it has not.

Asked to compare her record to Perry’s, Palin noted that Alaska’s Constitution provides for a “very, very strong governor’s office,” which she said is not the case in Texas. Though she took issue with the suggestion that she was creating a contrast between Perry and herself, Palin has clearly been thinking about how she would run a campaign against a soon-to-be announced candidate whose base of support might overlap heavily with hers.

One of Palin’s most reflective answers of the day -- and one that seemed especially revealing of her current thinking -- came when RCP asked her what kind of campaign she would run. Her response is reprinted in full below:

“Each campaign that I’ve ever run in these 20 years of elected office have been kind of unconventional -- right, Todd? We’ve always been outspent two to one, 10 to one, five to one; never won any polls heading into election night but usually won the election. So it would be unconventional and very grass-roots. Very grass-roots. And I wouldn’t be out there looking for hires out of that political bubble that seem to result in the same old ideas, the same old talking points, the things that Americans get so sick and tired of hearing and kind of suffering through.

“You know, we want new. We want new energy. We want conviction and passion and candidness -- even if through that candidness you make mistakes and you say things like ‘the executive power in Texas is different than the executive power in Alaska.’ . . . I’m just saying that candidness, not fearing so much what the interpretation is going to be when it comes to the comments and positions you’re articulating but just speaking from the heart and saying, ‘Here’s where I think America needs to head, and here’s how I think we can turn the economy around, and here’s what I’ve done in the past to show you truly a foundation of where my beliefs come from of what works in a small town, in a state, in a big industry like oil and gas -- what is it that can be done to turn things around.’ I’ll express that and not fearing what the ramifications of the expressions would be.” 

Scott Conroy is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at sconroy@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearScott.

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