**Written by Doug Powers
Many Beltway Republicans will say that Washington needs to think and operate differently in order to tackle the crushing debt, economic turmoil and all manner of problems that our country is enduring. But when somebody comes along who operates slightly outside the box and doesn’t follow the status quo rulebook — even at something as trivial as a bus tour — some of those same people criticize that person as an blundering, unserious neophyte for not falling into the traditional line. With the definition of insanity guiding the way, it isn’t difficult to see why the country’s problems are perpetuating.
MANCHESTER, N.H. – As it played out on TV this week, Sarah Palin’s “One Nation” road trip of U.S. historical sites was a masterpiece of political mischief-making – a wild dash up the East Coast that delighted her fans and cornered the market on 2012 coverage for days on end.
That’s not how the bus tour looked to Republicans on the ground, many of whom are more convinced than ever that the former Alaska governor is simply not serious about running for president.
Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason, whose state hosted Palin on visits to Gettysburg and the Liberty Bell, voiced a common exasperation about Palin’s tour: “I don’t think theater wins elections.”
“Running for president is a very serious thing and you need to deal with it as such,” Gleason said. “I’m looking for party builders.”
In New York – where Palin stopped at Ellis Island – GOP Rep. Peter King mused that the Alaskan “probably has more hard-core support than any other candidate.”
“But she needs to show that she can go beyond that, and this tour doesn’t accomplish that,” said King, who is urging Rudy Giuliani to enter the 2012 race.
Former New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen, who noted that “the normal laws of political gravity don’t seem to apply to Sarah Palin,” said the catch-me-if-you-can act has to end sooner or later.
“At some point, the establishment has to be paid its due,” he said. “She gets sort of an initial pass, but at some point the goodwill gets used up.”
Political theater doesn’t win elections, Sarah, so give it up before you do something crazy like build a fake Greek temple from which to deliver a speech, because nobody who takes part in that kind of theater will end up as president. Wait, nevermind.
High profile bus tours — or “political theater” as some call it when Sarah Palin does it and draws crowds they can only dream of — might not always win elections, but it sure can dominate a news cycle. Here’s the front page of the New Hampshire Union Leader the morning after Sarah Palin visited the state and Mitt Romney announced there that he was running for president:
So when’s Romney’s bus tour going to start?
Maybe Palin isn’t running for president, but the GOP establishment would be wise to observe and learn something from her instead of pointing out what they think she’s doing wrong.
**Written by Doug Powers
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