Ever since the former republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin expressed her views late last year in December that she has joined the Trump bandwagon, a lot of discussion has been taking place in the media circles. It is because she became the first current or former statewide elected official ever to endorse Trump and to which he has expressed that he is ‘proud to have her support’. Palin announced her decision to endorse the Republican frontrunner at an event that took place at Iowa State University.
The noteworthy aspect of her speech is that she kept on praising him during her 20-minute speech, further expressing her wishes to “Make America Great Again” while using it as an opportunity to attack both parties. She also condemned Barack Obama’s foreign policies regarding the latest US-Iran deal as she kept on throwing her traditional conservative catchphrases while doing so.
Later on, Tuesday Donald Trump expressed his views through a statement that he indeed is “greatly honored” to receive her endorsement and is gratified to have her support. However, the importance of this endorsement lies in the fact that she is a controversial celebrity like himself, rather than the factor that she once held the elected office. However, Palin is not the only Republican who has endorsed Trump so far. Other noteworthy endorsements came from Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Ann Coulter, Ted Nugent, Phyllis Schlafly, Gary Busey, Hulk Hogan, Tila Tequila and Dennis Rodman. In the end, there’s a catch for her in endorsing Trump. Although, she’s still famous, she’s not nearly the Republican star she used to be once and she might need Trump more than Trump needs her.
After this endorsement Donald Trump has received a mixed reaction from the public especially as he visited college students after that. Often his speech was interrupted by protesters who shouted “a vote for Trump is a vote for hate” repeatedly, before being escorted out. After the endorsement internet filled with a series of tweets, memes and vines mocking Palin’s speech style. While many focused on the particular segments of her speech others commented on the larger ramifications of her endorsement.
Public fears that Palin supporting Trump might have happened because of the old-fashioned horse trading. They speculate that the expert in making deals must have offered some incentive to the former Alaskan governor to win her support – who knows maybe a vice presidential role or a cabinet position? We don’t know it as yet, but the fact can certainly not be ruled out that she would have indulged into campaigning without any sort of self-interest in this world of dirty politics.
It is also feared that as soon as Trump’s supporters will realize that, he is neither a conservative nor even a populist, they will switch sides. Conservatives will definitely turn towards Senator Ted Cruz. The populists, on the other hand, will start licking their wounds, scatter and will either continue with Trump as an idea to the bitter end or will start supporting Cruz after realizing he is the real fighter they wanted all along. Both ways their rebellion will be broken and the conservative revival will emerge.
It was being said that in the short run, it would certainly produce a lot of news coverage and Trump’s a master at that. This could be another masterstroke from him to use Palin’s endorsement only days before actual voting starts in Iowa’s caucuses. So does Palin’s endorsement mean anything? Obviously, as Senator Cruz has become a threat to Trump by getting closer in the polls. As Trump’s liberal track is exposed and public gets to know about it, the conservative supporters are definitely going to start having second thoughts about him. That’s why it makes perfect sense why Trump called for Palin’s endorsement as it would help him fight back the lead using a conservative’s endorsement. It was also being questioned that will Palin’s motivated endorsement be of any use to him when strong conservative voices like Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh are achieving more to expose Trump’s past record than to throw their conservative identifications behind him? Which is quite unlikely.
However, if we look at it historically, Palin’s support has certainly borne positive results for candidates in the past. She was seen endorsing many Tea Party candidates during the 2010 congressional elections who then she led to victory. This includes some of Trump’s biggest rivals in this current primary race i.e. Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Rand Paul and Senator Marco Rubio.
It should be noted that Palin’s endorsement for Trump just came just two weeks before the Iowa caucuses are going to be held. While Trump himself has been campaigning aggressively in Iowa and is currently neck and neck with Cruz, in an attempt to win over the state’s conservative Christian base. Therefore, Palin’s endorsement is seen as the tipping point that Trump needs to finally pull ahead in the state.
At that point, it was unclear whether her endorsement carried much weight or not. In the light of Republican consultant Rick Wilson’s remarks, “Her endorsement would be meaningless” and that “it was already baked into cake”. However, regardless of its political effect, as a result, Palin’s endorsing views for Trump are likely to keep him dominating the airwaves for days to come. Hence, rising the media sensation. Latter factor has been pointed out by the New York Times that Palin’s endorsement has certainly boosted his Iowa’s campaign at least as her support is seen as a high-profile backing for any republican till now.
Analysts were of the view that endorsement doesn’t mean that it will tip the scales and push Trump to victory in the caucus, but it is being seen as a welcoming gesture and has certainly amplified his election campaign. This was proven true after Reuters released a poll on Friday showing that only in past three days — from the day before Palin’s endorsement until Friday — Trump’s standing in the polls jumped up by 7%. Meanwhile, the poll showed that Senator Ted Cruz’s fell by 6%. If we talk into numbers, Trump’s support rose 33.4% to 40.6% while Cruz’s fell to as below to 10.5% from 16.3%.