Don’t underestimate the importance of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Donald Trump.
As Breitbart News has noted, when Palin praised former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in 2011 (she didn’t even endorse him.), Santorum was at four percent in the polls. As the RealClearPolitics average of the polls shows, Santorum started to surge in the days after Palin’s positive comments about him on Fox News and went on to win the Iowa caucuses. In the 2014 election cycle, Palin endorsed Joni Ernst, who ended up winning the GOP Senate primary in Iowa before cruising to a general election victory.
Her endorsement holds significant sway in South Carolina as well, of course. Nikki Haley would have never been elected had it not been for Palin’s endorsement. And in 2012 election cycle, Newt Gingrich, like Santorum in Iowa, won the Palmetto State’s primary simply after Palin praised him—she never endorsed Gingrich either.
In choosing Trump over Cruz, Palin is banking that Trump is best able to combat crony capitalism and the permanent political class. That’s Palin’s signature issue and something she single-handedly injected into the political bloodstream. In what will go down as one of the most significant speeches of the modern political era in Indianola, Iowa in 2011, Palin railed against crony capitalism that enriches the bipartisan permanent political class. Nearly every candidate talks about that now, but it was because of Palin that the media started covering those issues and why GOP politicians had to start at least talk about combating “crony capitalism” if they wanted to get elected or not get primaried.
When she endorsed Trump, Palin said that Trump is “not a politician” who comes from the private sector and is “beholden to no one but we the people. He is perfectly positioned to let you make America great again.”
Palin said that Trump has torn the veil off of the establishment and revealed how “the establishment really works.”
She added the “permanent political class has been doing the bidding of their campaign donor class and that’s why you see the” the borders kept open for cheap labor, bloating budgets for the “crony capitalists to be able to suck off of of ‘em” and “lousy trade deals that gut our industry for special interests elsewhere.”
Palin said America needs “someone new who has the power and is in he in the position to bust up that establishment, to make things great again.” She said Trump’s candidacy is “a movement, a force, a strategy” and blasted politicos who “don’t really care who wins elections” so long as they get to keep their titles and perks
On Monday, Palin, when introducing Trump at an Iowa event, again said Trump is in the perfect position to “tell the Washington good old boys that the status quo is going to go.”
During her landmark speech in Indianola, Iowa, Palin arguably ushered in this era of populism/nationalism/economic and political patriotism that has been fueling Trump on the right and Sanders on the left. She eviscerated the permanent political class:
No, they don’t feel the same urgency that we do. But why should they? For them business is good; business is very good. Seven of the ten wealthiest counties are suburbs of Washington, D.C. Polls there actually – and usually I say polls, eh, they’re for strippers and cross country skiers – but polls in those parts show that some people there believe that the economy has actually improved. See, there may not be a recession in Georgetown, but there is in the rest of America.
Yeah, the permanent political class – they’re doing just fine. Ever notice how so many of them arrive in Washington, D.C. of modest means and then miraculously throughout the years they end up becoming very, very wealthy? Well, it’s because they derive power and their wealth from their access to our money – to taxpayer dollars. They use it to bail out their friends on Wall Street and their corporate cronies, and to reward campaign contributors, and to buy votes via earmarks. There is so much waste. And there is a name for this: It’s called corporate crony capitalism.
And then, taking a not-so-veiled shot at big-business and corporatist Republicans, differentiated between capitalism and crony capitalism:
This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts, of waste and influence peddling and corporate welfare. This is the crony capitalism that destroyed Europe’s economies. It’s the collusion of big government and big business and big finance to the detriment of all the rest – to the little guys. It’s a slap in the face to our small business owners – the true entrepreneurs, the job creators accounting for 70% of the jobs in America, it’s you who own these small businesses, you’re the economic engine, but you don’t grease the wheels of government power.
So, do you want to know why the permanent political class doesn’t really want to cut any spending? Do you want to know why nothing ever really gets done? It’s because there’s nothing in it for them. They’ve got a lot of mouths to feed – a lot of corporate lobbyists and a lot of special interests that are counting on them to keep the good times and the money rolling along.
Palin’s banking that Trump, because of his financial independence, will screw over the permanent political class and stand up for American workers like he has fought for himself and his business interests. Cruz’s non-disclosure of his Goldman Sachs loans, which is hurting him among Iowans more than his Canadian birth, doesn’t help Cruz make the argument that he can better combat cronyism than Trump.
Trump needs to bring in new voters from outside of the political process to win tonight in Iowa. And they need to show up as inclement weather looms. To that end, Palin’s endorsement may be one of Trump’s best organizing tools in the last days of the campaign. And that may be way Iowans like Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who has endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), has been losing his marbles by suggesting that Trump bought Palin’s endorsement. King later refused to answer whether he had any evidence for what Palin said was a false accusation and a lie that was way off base.
Even Nicolle Wallace, the backstabbing GOP operative who endeared herself to the mainstream media elite by bashing Palin, conceded recently on MSNBC that Palin’s endorsement of Trump “has the potential to tip the scales in his favor.”
Though Trump is not as conservative as Obama is liberal, Palin’s endorsement has all the potential to be to Trump what the late Ted Kennedy’s (D-MA) endorsement was to Obama in 2008 or what an Obama endorsement would mean to a Democrat running for president in this cycle.