Romney stays within the Republican establishment, while Palin tries to build on her conservative base.
Just in case you missed the not-so-subtle message of Sarah Palin’s new video–”Loaded for Bear“–it appears onscreen fifteen seconds after the beginning and takes the form of a Politico headline proclaiming the one-time vice-presidential candidate a “kingmaker.” (Strangely, “kingmaker” is also one of the titles that pops up about fifteen seconds into the opening of the Colbert Report.)
In addition to the headline in Politico, her video also features this one from Buzzfeed:
At CPAC, Sarah Palin Shows She’s Still Got It
The Power of the Palin Endorsement
Jim DeMint: Sarah Palin Has “Done More For the Republican Party Than Anyone Since Ronald Reagan”
Palin at CPAC: “Mr. President, you lie”
Palin remains an important and, among some conservatives, even a revered figure. Republicans opposed to Karl Rove’s “Conservative Victory Project” may rally to Palin as an alternative leader in the party. Her speech at CPAC this year included plenty of barbs for President Obama, but she also took a few shots at her own party’s establishment when she said that “Washington” should not “vet” GOP candidates in next year’s elections. (Rove responded in kind.)
For Mitt Romney, however, the establishment wing of the party may be the only avenue left if he wants to continue playing a role in Republican politics. The Los Angeles Times reported this week that Romney is organizing a summer gathering in Park City, Utah, that will bring together “experts and enthusiasts” from the worlds of business and politics. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney’s former running-mate, are said to be attending.
Some of Romney’s post-election statements also suggest that he wants to remain part of the conversation about public affairs. During an interview on comedian Dennis Miller’s radio show, he said:
I’m still concerned about the country. And I keep looking for the most effective way for me to try and get the country on a course of remaining strong… But that’s the frustration with losing, which is I don’t have the influence I obviously could have had, had I won that election.
Of course, Romney and Palin aren’t the only ones looking for a role after suffering rejection at the polls. Former Florida Congressman Allen West says that the voters’ decision to turn him out of office in November has given him “new found freedom… to take my efforts to defeat the Obama liberal progressive agenda to the next level.”
Is there life after losing an election? Guest host Karen Finney talked about Palin, Romney and West with Dana Milbank of the Washington Post and Republican strategist Susan Del Percio. Watch their discussion here: