Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Sarah Palin, the former Alaskan governor weighing a bid for the presidency in 2012, is keeping her attacks loud and her intentions quiet.
Palin, who claimed that the policies of the Obama administration have put the country on a “road to ruin” in a weekend address celebrating the centennial of former President Ronald Reagan’s birth, will bypass an assembly of the Conservative Political Action Committee this week in Washington. The event has become a proving ground for the Republican Party’s potential candidates for president.
Palin’s moves in the face of will-she or won’t-she questions about the 2012 campaign have captivated Washington, keeping fellow Republicans guessing.
While other possible candidates raise money, hire aides and woo supporters, Palin has made few visits to early primary states. Instead, she focuses on paid speeches, her role as a Fox News contributor, interviews in friendly media forums and Facebook and Twitter postings attacking the Obama administration.
Palin’s strategy has political observers questioning whether the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee is pioneering a new way to conduct a campaign in a political era dominated by social media.
“She understands it’s a new media and political environment, and she’s taken advantage of her greatest asset, which is the ability to command media attention and to raise money,” says Darrell West, an expert in politics and technology at the Brookings Institution. “If you decide to run for president that’s a powerful combination.”
Still, West notes, Palin’s celebrity status has made it tougher for her to “cross that threshold of substance that voters are going to require in any presidential candidate.”
Palin, 46, slammed President Barack Obama’s handling of the uprising in Egypt in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network released yesterday. She likened it to “the 3 a.m. phone call” that Obama’s one-time challenger and now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used in a campaign TV ad to question Obama’s readiness for an international crisis.
“It seems that call went right to the answering machine,” Palin said. “We need to know what it is that America stands for so we know who it is that America will stand with. And we do not have that information yet.”
Palin left the door open to a 2012 presidential bid, saying in the interview that if she ran she would “continue on the same course of not really caring what other people say about me or worrying about the things that they make up, but having that thick skin and a still spine.”
She spoke exclusively to the network in a brief interview following her remarks kicking off the weekend-long celebration of Reagan’s birth in Santa Barbara, California.
Palin focused on a speech Reagan gave in 1964 on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, in which he discussed the dangers of high taxes and government regulations.
“We face the same choices now as we did then, only now we are in even worse shape,” she said. “We must see where these unsound policies will ultimately end and that’s in decline and defeat.”