* Or “How Mitt Romney Played Chess to Win the GOP Nomination in 2012"
At lot of speculation has been swirling around the news of Sarah Palin purchasing a new home is Scottsdale, Arizona. Some suggest this is a move to establish a "lower 48" base to launch a Presidential bid. Others say it's to run for Arizona's open Senate seat in 2012. And others say it is merely a chance for Palin to travel easier and be near her daughter Bristol, who also recently purchased a home.
All reasonable and viable theories.
Allow me to offer one, albeit more fanciful one.....
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on the Chris Wallace show Fox News Sunday, discussing Afghanistan and other foreign policy issues. While listening on satellite radio, I began to wonder, should Mitt Romney be fortunate and be elected President in 2012, would he select McCain as his Secretary of Defense?
Certainly McCain, with his heroic and compelling Viet Nam POW experience, a respected career in the Senate, specializing on Defense issues, and his reputation as a fierce cost cutter (“They call me ‘The Sheriff’”) would be more than qualified for the position.
For McCain, the SOD position would be a prestigious capstone to a long and successful political career. He would be able to step aside from the doldrums of Senate bickering and focus his energies on a segment of public policy near and dear to his heart. After some 25 years in the Senate chambers, a Pentagon office might be a refreshing change.
For Romney, he would be selecting a man with instant credibility, enormous respect, a fountain of knowledge and a patriotic tenacity to see victory, in any endeavor, is achieved. Romney has often cited his appreciation and admiration for McCain’s personal experience, as well as his professional opinion, on defense and military issues.
But before a President Romney can name Senator McCain as his Secretary of Defense, he has to be elected. And to be elected, he has to secure the GOP nomination. So, as in the game of chess, the political game is often played two or three moves ahead of the desired result. It takes foresight, planning and strategic thinking for both games to achieve a successful conclusion.
Let’s assume for a moment, Romney has discussed a role for McCain in a future Romney administration, should his efforts prove successful, in return for a hearty endorsement – at a strategic moment. The eve of the South Carolina primary, comes to mind, no? An amenable McCain agrees.
To further strengthen his hand, Romney also suggests Sarah Palin could be named as McCain's Senate successor, by Governor Jan Brewer. McCain would be able to move on from the senate, while helping his former running mate. Palin would get the opportunity to return to political office for 3 years, before having to endure an election. The move would also avoid a harsh primary fight with GOP's Jeff Flake, who is touted to run. Palin would not face re-election until 2016 and have plenty of time to build up her resume and image. Meanwhile, Brewer would have strong political allies in and out of the White House,as well as chits to cash in, for new economic programs designed to help Arizona’s economy and her political fortunes.
Oh yes, one final detail. When John McCain endorses Mitt Romney on the eve of the South Carolina primary, Sarah Palin would be right there at his side, doing the same.
The benefits for Romney are obvious. he gains the backing of the titular head of the party. He gains the support of one of the most dynamic political personalities in the party. He capitalizes on his his own organization and assets, to nail down the nomination at a critical point.
The Party is united; base is motivated, future career paths mapped out. It’s a gamble, but to unseat Obama, it may just take ideas like this to get everyone on board.
Win – Win – Win!!!
(I know this is the stuff of political drama and fantasy, but perhaps, just perhaps, this is the reason for Palin purchasing a new home in Scottsdale, Arizona)