Photo Credit: Peter Kramer/NBC
It’s not often you see political ads for a candidate featuring the picture of another politician, but that’s precisely what’s been helping one Texas candidate gain traction. And the politician whose face graces his online ads – Sarah Palin – is being given credit for every inch his campaign advances. Palin may not be running for elective office this year, but others are turning to her in hopes that the uber-conservatives who love her will love them, too.
The ‘mavericky’ former Governor of Alaska has always been a Tea Party favorite, but no one could have predicted how powerful her endorsements would be just four short years after her debut on the national stage. Texas State Senate candidate Ted Cruz was trailing his opponent by 12 points until he got Palin’s blessing. Then donations started flooding into his campaign. Palin has also given her official stamp of maverick-ness to Richard Mourdock, a contender for Richard Lugar’s U.S. Senate seat in Indiana, as well as Deb Fischer, an underdog in Nebraska’s GOP senate primary. Both won their respective primary races after Palin agreed to work on their behalf.
Coincidence? Not likely.
Palin beamed with pride on her Facebook page about those outcomes. "As recently as a week ago, Deb Fischer was dismissed by the establishment. Why? Because she is not part of the good old boys' permanent political class. The message from the people of Nebraska is simple and powerful: America is looking for real change in Washington, and common sense conservatives like Deb Fischer represent that change," Palin wrote.
So is Sarah Barracuda the new political king (and queen) maker? From where I’m sitting, Sarah is looking better and better every day. She’s been true to her anti-establishment roots through thick and thin, and seems to be choosing candidates that fit that same bill. If Palin plays her cards right, her political clout could make her a major player at the Republican National Convention. And with every win, her endorsements mean that much more, possibly setting up a scenario for a 2016 presidential run.