Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin isn't speaking at the GOP convention in late August, but that doesn’t mean Palin will be out of the spotlight--and a continuing conversation topic.
In the history of former vice presidential candidates, Palin, 48, remains the exception rather than the rule. Most former VP candidates on losing tickets have faded away, or returned to their former jobs in politics after defeat.
Palin shows no signs of disappearing as a political figure, as she may just show up at the convention anyway. Also, her husband and daughter will appear on two high-profile reality TV shows soon.
Four years ago, John McCain surprised the electorate with Palin’s selection, and she soon overshadowed McCain on the campaign trail.
According to a report on RealClearPolitics.com, Palin wasn’t asked to speak at the 2012 convention by Mitt Romney’s team.
“Two Republican sources with knowledge of discussions between the Palin and Romney camps told RCP that Palin would not attend the convention after not receiving an invitation to speak in prime time,” said Real Clear Politics.
Instead, a roster of other young, conservative types such as Paul Ryan (Romney’s VP choice), Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, and Ted Cruz will be on the podium in Tampa.
The Tampa Bay Times says Palin had already rented hotel space in Tampa down the street from the convention and will be in close proximity to about 15,000 journalists.
Palin is still working as a contributor to Fox News as she appears to support local candidates who espouse her same ideas.
In a statement released to Greta Van Susteren, Palin said she was looking forward to doing some grassroots campaigning.
“As I’ve repeatedly said, I support Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in their efforts to replace President Obama at the ballot box, and I intend to focus on grassroots efforts to rally Independents and the GOP base to elect Senate and House members so a wise Congress is ready to work with our new President to get our country back on the right path,” Palin said.
While Palin’s critics say her convention absence is another sign of her political decline, in historic terms, Palin is one of the most high-profile ex-VP candidates in decades.
Since 1912, not many losing vice presidential candidates have come back to have significant public roles.
The little-known Franklin Delano Roosevelt was on the losing Democratic ticket in 1920--obviously, he bounced back with his subsequent four terms in office as president. Earl Warren lost as a VP candidate in 1948, then later became the chief justice of the United States.
Bob Dole, Lloyd Bentsen, Estes Kefauver , Joe Lieberman, and Walter Mondale resumed their careers after their unsuccessful races for the vice presidency.
Other former candidates, like John Edwards and Geraldine Ferraro, struggled with legal issues.
As for Palin, she is still making headlines, has the avid support of the Tea Party, and is frequently mentioned as a potential 2016 presidential candidate if Mitt Romney doesn’t capture the White House.
Recent estimates put her net worth above $10 million, thanks to her reality TV deal for Sarah Palin’s Alaska, her books, and her speaking engagements.
The web site The Hill says Palin’s recent endorsements in Senate primaries helped four of five candidates win in tight elections.
So while Palin won’t be a featured speaker in Tampa, her presence there will draw a lot of media attention, if she decides to go to Florida.
The Tampa Bay Times expects Palin to be in Tampa, after her political action committee spent $4,500 on hotel rooms.
How Palin handles the spotlight, if she decides to make any public statements, will undoubtedly make headlines.
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