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Palin to Rip "Crony Capitalism" in Iowa Speech

Palin to Rip "Crony Capitalism" in Iowa Speech

By Scott Conroy - September 2, 2011


DES MOINES, Iowa -- Though she won't be a candidate when she delivers a major address at a tea party rally in Iowa on Saturday, Sarah Palin will make it clear that she if enters the presidential race later this month she will vociferously challenge Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s engrained image of solidarity with the tea party movement.

In her speech at the bucolic National Balloon Classic field in Indianola, Palin will lean on loaded phrases like “crony capitalism” and “permanent political class” in laying out her view of the U.S. political system’s deep-rooted ills, according to a source close to Palin and familiar with the content of the speech.

Though she will not call Perry out by name, Palin’s carefully couched rhetoric will leave the impression that she may soon draw more overt attention to one of the Texan’s potential vulnerabilities as a candidate: his history of doling out plum positions and other benefits to generous campaign donors during his nearly 11-year tenure as the nation’s longest serving governor.

“Part of what she’s going to be addressing is the frustration that many Americans feel that nothing gets done in Washington, D.C.,” a Palin source told RealClearPolitics. “We know that we have a debt problem and that we need to rein in government waste, and yet nothing ever gets done. Why is that? What special interests are involved?”

Palin’s speech before what will likely be one of the largest crowds of the campaign season to date will come on the third anniversary of her 2008 Republican convention address in the Twin Cities, when she accepted the vice presidential nomination in an almost universally acclaimed speaking performance.

In another likely indication that she still has her sights set on a White House run, Palin will also tout her record as governor of Alaska, particularly in ushering in what an aide described as “sudden and relentless reform” to state government.

“She’ll also address her own record in the sense that she has fought the powers that be her entire career in taking on the political machine and a corrupt political class in her own state,” the aide said.

Though she has lagged in third place in most recent national polls, Palin’s entry into the race would almost certainly turn the Republican field on its head and immediately alter the strategies of both Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- the two front-runners for the GOP nomination.

A Palin campaign would also threaten to further sap support for Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who has sought to position herself as the ideologically purest small-government contender in the contest but who has faded in the polls since winning the Ames Straw Poll last month.

In her speech Saturday, Palin will “more clearly” and “more boldly” offer policy prescriptions that she has laid out in Facebook posts over the past few months.

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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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