By CNN's Jack Cafferty:
"It's time for Mitt Romney to man up, pick up the phone, and ask Sarah Palin to the dance."
That's a quote from a Daily Beast piece that argues Romney should invite Palin to speak at the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida, next month.
Palin is complaining to Newsweek that she hasn't been asked to attend the convention yet. She said, "One must remember this isn't Sadie Hawkins and you don't invite yourself and a date to the big dance."
Maybe the Republicans are thinking the downsides to inviting Sarah Palin - anywhere - are pretty obvious:
The former VP candidate and half-term governor of Alaska is a wild card and her off-the-cuff remarks could create headaches for Romney. Palin is polarizing and she could turn off independent voters. Plus she doesn't seem to have much love for Romney so there's always the risk that she could go "rogue."
Never mind all that. Romney might be making a big mistake by not inviting her. It's not like he has this thing wrapped up.
Sarah Palin can do something Mitt Romney can't: fire up the base.
The party faithful went wild when she delivered her "pit bull-hockey mom" convention speech in 2008. And let's face it: Romney could use something to spice up his campaign. So far, electric it ain't.
There are few, if any, other Republicans in 2012 who generate the kind of enthusiasm Palin does.
Plus Mitt Romney was never a tea party favorite. As Newsweek describes it, party activists "feel stuck with a guy served up by Republican elites who speak conservatism with an establishment accent."
Bringing Sarah Palin on board in Tampa might help in this department, too. Her accent is anything but establishment.
Here’s my question to you: Should Sarah Palin be invited to speak at the Republican Convention?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
As the Florida primary comes down to the wire, Newt Gingrich finds himself trailing badly in the polls but getting support from two high-profile Republicans.
The question is whether it will do him any good.
Former presidential candidate and businessman Herman Cain endorsed Gingrich over the weekend.
He called Gingrich a "patriot" who is not afraid of bold ideas.
Cain – who pulled off a surprising win in a Florida straw poll last summer – remains popular among grass-roots conservatives.
But he dropped out of the race in December amid allegations of sexual harassment and marital infidelity.
Then there's Sarah Palin. While she hasn't formally endorsed anyone, it sure seems like the former governor of Alaska is rooting for Gingrich.
Palin is calling on Republicans to vote for Gingrich to "shake up" the establishment "if for no other reason to rage against the machine, vote for Newt, annoy a liberal."
Palin has described the establishment Republicans backing Romney as "cannibals."
While Palin says she respects Mitt Romney, she says there are serious concerns about his record as a conservative. Palin says this primary should not be rushed to an end, adding, "we need to vet this."
You mean the way Palin was vetted for the vice presidency four years ago?
Meanwhile, Gingrich may need all the help he can get in Florida.
Four polls in a row there show Romney with a double-digit lead over Gingrich; the latest one shows Romney up by 14 points.
Here’s my question to you: How much will Sarah Palin and Herman Cain help Newt Gingrich?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Here's something that should keep the Democrats up at night:
Sarah Palin isn't even a candidate for president - yet - and she's gaining major ground on the president.
A new McClatchy-Marist poll finds that the half-term, dropout governor of Alaska trails President Barack Obama by only 5 percentage points – 49% to 44% in a hypothetical matchup. Three months ago, Palin trailed Obama by 26 percentage points.
And even more troubling for the president: Palin now leads him among the all-important independent voters.
Let me remind you: Palin hasn't even announced she's running. She tells the F-word network that she's "one of those still considering" a run. She acknowledges she will have to decide soon since some of the early-voting states have a November deadline to get on the ballot.
But it's not all good for Palin. The bad news is that 72% of Republicans and independents who lean Republican don't want her to run.
As for the president, there are other disturbing findings in this survey:
A majority of those polled say the president will lose to the Republican nominee, whoever it is. Also, 49% say they definitely plan to vote against Obama. For independents, that number is even higher at 53%.
Pollsters say this shows how "the middle" is not Obama's right now. In order to win re-election, he will either need to win back independent voters or energize the base - in ways he hasn't so far.
Other hypothetical match-ups in this poll show the president leading Mitt Romney by a mere 2 points and Rick Perry by 9 points. These two men actually are candidates for president.
Here’s my question to you: What does it say about President Obama's chances in 2012 if Sarah Palin is within five points of him in one poll and she isn't even in the race?
Turns out "drama" may be Sarah Palin's middle name.
A source close to the half-term, dropout governor of Alaska tells CNN that Palin will, in fact, appear at a tea party rally in Iowa on Saturday.
This comes after Palin's staff indicated earlier today that her appearance was being put quote "on hold."
They cited "issues with the planning," and said event organizers had been "dishonest" about the speakers.
Palin had been talking for months about attending and keynoting this event. Supporters from around the country have booked plane and bus tickets to attend.
But - it looks like Ms. Palin wasn't happy that former Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell was also supposed to speak at this event. Perhaps Palin thought the stage wasn't big enough for both of them.
Well guess who's no longer speaking at that tea party rally? Once palin threatened to pull out of the event, organizers removed O'Donnell from the program - for the second time in 48 hours.
Meanwhile - O'Donnell is another winner. she walked off the set of Piers Morgan's program because she didn't want to answer questions about public statements she's made which are in the book she was there to promote.
So now... O'Donnell is out and palin is in. Guess Sarah Palin got her way.
The whole thing is pretty puzzling... and petty. This tea party event has been highly anticipated since palin is expected to make a decision about a 2012 run by the end of September.
It's all so high school.
Here’s my question to you: What would you like to hear Sarah Palin say?
The race for the Republican nomination for president is finally starting to get interesting.
Tt looks like it's shaping up to be a three-way race among Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann - whose campaign was fueled by her victory in the Iowa straw poll. Texas Congressman Ron Paul also remains a player following his strong second place finish in Iowa.
And now - the big question mark remains whether Sarah Palin will decide to make a go for it.
The half-term, dropout governor of Alaska managed to steal the spotlight in Iowa on Friday when she made a surprise visit to the state fair. Palin says she thinks there's "plenty of time" to jump in the race... and there's "plenty of room for more people."
Maybe so - but she said all that before Bachmann went on to win the straw poll.
It's worth pointing out that there's a lot of overlap between Bachmann and Palin supporters. Both charismatic women are tea party favorites who appeal to anti-Washington and Christian conservative voters.
And it's no small feat that Bachmann won the straw poll in Iowa, a key early voting state. The Iowa caucuses have been known to catapult politicians to the White House. Does Barack Obama ring a bell?
This all means that the clock is ticking for Palin to make up her mind. Working in her favor: Palin remains near the top of the pack in the polls... and she would be the best-known Republican in the field if she decides to do it.
Also - by waiting until the fall to jump in - Palin could spare herself months of media scrutiny and sparring with the other GOP candidates.
Here’s my question to you: Does Michele Bachmann's Iowa victory make it tougher for Sarah Palin to get into the race?
(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
With the 2012 election sneaking ever closer, there's still a chance Sarah Palin and Donald Trump might throw their hats in the ring. Which would tend to fit nicely with the political insanity we've been experiencing the past couple of weeks.
Trump says he would consider running for president if the economy continues to be bad and if the Republicans pick the wrong candidate. Trump would be the wrong candidate.
Nevertheless, he tells CNBC he would give it "very, very serious thought," adding, "there are so many people wanting me to do it." That list would fit on a cocktail napkin.
We've been here before. Trump flirted with the idea in the past, including this year, before deciding against it. At the time, he blamed many of the economy's problems on "foolish leaders" who let countries like China steal American jobs.
As for Sarah Palin, she'll be keeping herself in the spotlight when she headlines a tea party rally near Des Moines, Iowa, over Labor Day weekend.
The "I quit after half a term" former governor of Alaska says the U.S. needs a "restoration of all that is good and strong and free,” whatever that means.
The September appearance will mark Palin's second in Iowa this year. In late June, she and her husband, Todd, attended the premiere of the pro-Palin documentary "The Undefeated."
Meanwhile, turns out that film has been soundly defeated at the box office. The movie, which opened nationwide mid-July, earned a lousy $5,000 this past weekend, the worst performance yet. The popcorn stand at the theater took in more.
Palin recently said she plans to decide about 2012 in late August or September. God help us.
Here’s my question to you: Are Sarah Palin and Donald Trump the answer to the country's problems?
For a second straight day, a new poll of likely voters in the Iowa caucuses has Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann as the front-runner of the current field of GOP candidates.
She's big with Tea Party voters, running on smaller government, no new taxes, but she's come under criticism most recently by fellow Minnesotan and GOP hopeful Tim Pawlenty for not having much of a record on anything in Congress. She also has some strong views on social issues that will likely turn independents and more moderate Republicans off.
Last week Bachmann signed something called "The Marriage Vow" penned by a conservative group in Iowa. It's a vow to be faithful to one's spouse and to the Constitution. It condemns adultery, "quickie divorces," and pornography. It also describes homosexuality as a choice. And the initial draft suggested that life was better for black children under slavery because more African-American children are born out of wedlock now than they were back then. Lovely. That part was later edited out and the group claimed it was a misinterpretation.
Is someone who would sign a document like that really the best Republicans can do? Apparently a lot of voters in Iowa think so.
Then there's the question of who else may enter the race...specifically former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin who has been playing games with the media for months now. In this week's Newsweek cover story, Palin says she thinks she can be president. She made these comments following the premiere of a documentary produced by a conservative filmmaker highlighting all the positive aspects of her political career. It's not a long film. Palin also said that even if she's not the nominee - she's not even in the race yet - she thinks President Obama is beatable in 2012. Maybe so…but not by her or Michele Bachmann.
Here’s my question to you: Michele Bachmann's leading in Iowa and Sarah Palin thinks she can be president. Are the Republicans in trouble?
Her "One Nation" tour may be taking a brief pit stop in Arizona, stop but the dust Sarah Palin has kicked up along the way has yet to settle.
The former Alaskan governor started off a well publicized family bus tour in Washington on Memorial Day weekend on the back of a Harley Davidson. From there is was on to visit some national historic sites, pizza with Donald Trump, a testy game of cat and mouse with reporters, and upstaging fellow Republican Mitt Romney the day he announced that he's running for president.
Palin later said she did not mean to distract from Mitt Romney's presidential announcement by visiting New Hampshire on the same day. Sure. She said it was a coincidence she ended up in the first primary state on the same day. Sure.
And then there was her elementary American history mistake over the ride of Paul Revere. While visiting Boston, Palin insisted the essence of Revere's midnight ride was to warn the British soldiers they would have a fight on their hands if they tried to take arms away from Americans. Not exactly.
It's true we all make mistakes. Henry David Longfellow's famous poem about Paul Revere has some historical inaccuracies in it - but at least he got right which side Revere was warning.
Palin defended herself yesterday on Fox News Sunday saying "I know my American history," and gave a long-winded explanation of what she really meant. It's like every time Palin makes a mess, she runs to Fox News where they try to kick sand over it.
She may not know a lot about history, but what she does seem to know how to do is draw attention to herself. And that's not necessarily a good thing for the Republicans whether she decides to run for president or not.
Here’s my question to you: Is Sarah Palin's publicity stunt helping or hurting Republican chances in 2012?
Just when we thought maybe she had decided to just go away comes news of Sarah Palin, the movie. Next month, a secretly produced, two-hour feature film about the former Alaska governor will be released in Iowa, where the 2012 presidential campaign will kick off with the Iowa caucuses in February.
The $1 million dollar project was produced by conservative filmmaker Stephen Bannon. He agreed to make the film after Palin and her staff asked him in November to produce a series of videos that would highlight her accomplishments as governor and re-establish her as a GOP maverick. Probably a short movie. After its initial release in Iowa, the film will open in New Hampshire, home to the first official primary. She'd better hope it's a blockbuster. According to the latest poll of New Hampshire primary voters, Mitt Romney outpolls Palin by a margin of more than 6 to 1 or about 33% to 5%.
If you're looking for something besides Palin propaganda, there are two new books to read.
"Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of our Tumultuous Years," by ex-Palin aide Frank Bailey, is based on e-mails he kept while working for Palin during her run for governor in 2006 through her failed bid for vice president in 2008. He says Palin loved to play the victim and he calls her leadership style "chaotic.”
I would also recommend "The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power" by investigative reporter Geoffrey Dunn. This book, which I have read, chronicles a lifelong pathology of deceit and makes the claim that she's lied about almost everything her entire life.
There's also some juicy personal stuff in there.
The book is well researched and should be required reading for anyone considering supporting a presidential run by this woman.
Here’s my question to you: With the GOP field so weak, should Sarah Palin run for president?
Political buttons featuring Sarah Palin were sold at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in DC last month. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
You can't see India from Sarah Palin's house, so the former governor of Alaska who quit halfway through her first term is going to go there and get a firsthand look. Palin will be on her way to New Delhi next week.
She's been invited to deliver the keynote address at a two-day leadership event called the India Today Conclave. It's an annual conference that attracts business and political leaders from around the world. Attendees this year will include Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, one of the possible replacements for Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Last year's keynote speaker was former President Bill Clinton.
The title of Palin's speech is My Vision of America, and Politico.com reports it comes as no surprise the group invited Palin. India is fascinated with American politics because so many Indians have immigrated to the United States and found success here. Many still have relatives in India. The Indian press regularly follows the careers of Indian-American politicians like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and newly elected Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina. Both are Republicans. Palin's support for Haley has been credited with giving her campaign a boost. But the media in India also follow closely what's going on in Washington as well as outside the Beltway. Maybe Palin can learn from them while she's there.
Here’s my question to you: What can Sarah Palin teach India about American politics?
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
About Jack Cafferty
Subscribe | Send Feedback