Last week, a poll suggested that the overwhelming majority of conservatives think Sarah Palin ought to stay out of the 2012 presidential race. Today, however, CBS News notes that while she's not even a GOP presidential contender, Palin manages to draw crowds double the size of the likes of Mitt Romney:
On a big day in presidential politics, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on Monday gave another of her presidential-stump-like speeches to a presidential-rally-style crowd in an important presidential primary state. She did not say she's running for president. Again.
"It's great to spend Labor Day with you," Palin told a large crowd of tea party supporters in Manchester, N.H., on the traditional kick off day of the presidential primary season. "You could be grilling up some steaks with your neighbors and instead, youíre concerned about your country and taking a stand."
Palin drew about 600 people, more than double the number that turned out for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at a tea party event in Concord, N.H., on Sunday. Many had hoped to hear the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee announce her candidacy, some of them chanting "Run, Sarah, run." She smiled. "I appreciate your encouragement. I do," Palin told them, with well-practiced coyness.
There's no doubt that Palin has become a political rock star/powerhouse, but conservative recognize that the best place for her to make a difference is using her voice as an advocate, not a politician.
In my personal opinion, Palin has recognized this fact and doesn't plan to enter the presidential race. But until we get official word, the media will continue to speculate and Palin will continue to draw national attention for every move she makes.