Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are appearing together at the Dena'ina Center in Anchorage on Sept. 11, and nobody's sure why. Beck, on his radio show, confirmed the event but would say only, "I'm gonna give a speech up there, and Sarah's gonna give a speech, too, but that's it." Beck's coyness, along with Palin's silence and the provocative date, have only amped up the speculation about this "mysterious" event. (Watch a Russia Today discussion about the pair of leaders.) Here's five theories on what Palin and Beck are up to on 9/11:
1. This is the launch of Palin-Beck 2012
"The symbolic date of 9/11 invests this event with the inescapable possibility that he and Palin plan to announce their Presidential candidacy for 2012," says Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times. Such a ticket is "not exactly unexpected," but launching it on 9/11 is a cynical way to "benefit from the paranoia" they've helped create about a threat from America's Muslims and "Obama's fictitious Islamic religion."
2. This is the launch of a Palin-Beck roadshow
"The location, the size of the venue, and the secrecy around it are curious," but there's "almost certainly" no way they're announcing a presidential run, says Allahpundit at Hot Air. Trying to "co-opt 9/11 for something as self-aggrandizing as a campaign launch" would be political suicide, especially for Palin. "Presumably they’re going to announce some sort of joint lecture tour," or perhaps hold "some sort of 'honoring the victims of 9/11' memorial event."
3. Palin's running, Beck's not
"Ebert is half right," says Jim Wright in Stonekettle Station. Beck isn't running — he'd be a fool to give up his carefree, influential, and lucrative job as "chalkboard General." But Palin? She's going to "strike while the iron is hot," as are her brand and the Tea Party. With Beck as her "champion," and surrounded by his adoring fans, "September 11th in the Dena’ina Center in downtown Anchorage is the perfect launch site for Sarah Palin's presidential bid. If she doesn’t declare there, now, she never will."
4. It's a sequel to the Beck's 8/28 rally
"I don't buy it," says David Weigel in Slate. Palin wouldn't "suck the oxygen out of the GOP's midterm campaign" by launching a 2012 bid. My bet: "You're going to see a sequel to Beck's 'Restoring Honor' rally." Like the 8/28 event, this one won't be overtly partisan. But given the date, "his message will be transparently political": America "handed the presidency to a liberal community organizer, because it forgot the lessons of 9/11." (See coverage of the fallout of Beck's 8/28 rally)
5. They're just doing their jobs
The truth is that nobody knows what "Glenn and Sarah [will] be talking about at this upcoming event," says Alex Pareene in Salon. Given Palin's newfound interested in attending Iowa Republican events, she conceivably could be "running for president, or she and Glenn Beck are just embarking on another of the money-making schemes" they both excel at. But it's "almost certainly the latter."
SEE MORE OF THE WEEK'S RECENT COVERAGE OF GLENN BECK:
• Glenn Beck: The alcoholism question
• Glenn Beck's empire: By the numbers
• Glenn Beck's 8/28 rally: The fallout
• Glenn Beck is about to get somebody killed