Here we go again: Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is getting supporters and detractors all riled up, telling Fox News that if the GOP goes into its August convention without a clear nominee, we "could be looking at a brokered convention" and that "all bets are off." The Alaskan polarizer referred to other dark-horse candidates "willing to offer themselves up...in service to their country," adding ambiguously, "I would do whatever I could to help." Does that mean Palin wants the primaries to end in deadlock, with none of the four remaining candidates equipped with enough delegates to win? Here, three theories on why that may be exactly what Palin's hoping for:
1. A brokered convention would make Palin relevant again
In the "very unlikely" event of a brokered convention — in which a nominee is selected through political horse-trading and backroom deals — the GOP would be engulfed in "total chaos," says Rachel Weiner at The Washington Post. That, in theory, could be good for Palin. She has faded from view and her clout has diminished, but she likely figures that a scenario in which her name is bandied about as a potential nominee would offer her a "return to relevance." She thrives on primary voters' dissatisfaction with their current options, and the longer GOP voters fail to rally behind one candidate, "the more attention she will get as a standard-bearer for unhappy conservatives."
2. She still thinks she can be the nominee
"Oh man, do we feel like idiots!" says Jim Newell at Wonkette. Now we see that "lazy ol'" Palin has always wanted a brokered convention so party officials would "ask her to jump in the race" after she got to sit out the actual campaign. Yeah, "this way she didn't have to do the hard stuff like campaignin' and debatin'," says TBogg at Firedoglake. Joke if you must, says Jules Witcover at the Baltimore Sun, but "in this crazy Republican year, it seems anything is possible."
3. She legitimately wants to help her party
Palin really has something to offer if she wants to be useful, says Brandon Kiser at The Right Sphere. It pains some Republicans to say it, but she has undeniable "pull" with conservatives, and she could use it to get supporters of Newt Gingrich, say, or Rick Santorum to "coalesce" behind one candidate, even if it's an establishment candidate like Jeb Bush or Mitch Daniels. "'They may be establishment,' she'll say, 'but they're conservative — and that’s what we need to defeat Barack Obama.'" I, for one, would "like to see that speech."
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