In The Hill, Bernie Quigley writes that the future of the conservative movement is essentially the Tea Party movement, and Sarah Palin is the movement’s natural leader.
“If Obama wins this year, Palin will lead (against Christie/Bush) in the Republican primary in 2016,” Quigley writes. “If Romney wins and yields to the tradition (which he will because his life is stuck in 1972) Palin will bring a challenge.”
Quigley’s observation here is of note, and may be more important if Romney wins the presidency.
If Romney wins the presidency, conservatives would be fearful that Romney will morph back into the moderate-to-liberal Massachusetts politician he once was. And regardless of what other conservatives think, only one person will have the clout to ensure Romney advances the conservative agenda: Palin.
Here is why.
If Romney wins the presidency, the threat of a primary challenge from Palin will always loom. Romney certainly will not want what happened to George H.W. Bush, a figure to which Romney is often compared, in 1992 (when Pat Buchanan mounted a primary challenge from the right, leading his famed pitchfork brigades) to happen to him.
To date, the only force that has caused Romney to adopt conservative beliefs or not stray from them has been the electoral one.
Without a potential primary challenge from Palin looming on the horizon, there would be no check against Romney's turning his back on the conservative movement, like many establishment politicians have done once elected.
According to Quigley, there is a battle for the future of the conservative movement, and it is between those that believe in states’ rights, sound money, and constitutional government versus what Quigley calls “the National Review crowd, the neocons, the Bush apparatus, the entire Eastern Conservative Establishment.”
Quigley writes Chris Christie is the front man for the latter group, represented by Jeb Bush, and his selection to be the convention speaker represents a party that temporarily spited the future to choose the past.
“Obviously, they should have chosen former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as their lead speaker,” Quigley writes.
Quigley has a point. If Romney is going to beat Obama in the fall, he will need two groups of people to turn out for him in droves: the Tea Party base and white, working class Reagan Democrats.
No politician excites those two groups more than Palin.
Quigley writes that in time while the “last half century was represented as a proxy fight between Marx and Keynes,” the next battle will be between Keynes and Hayek, and Palin “is the natural leader of this new direction” on the Hayek side.
Quigley writes that the “key here is we are at a generational shift as large and vital as that of the ‘60s, but it is a conservative shift.”
“They just didn’t get the memo yet in Tampa,” Quigley writes.