Sarah Palin speaks at a "Patriots in the Park" tea party rally… (Bill Pugliano / Getty Images )
With only a month to go before the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Sarah Palin must be beside herself at all the possibilities.
Sarah P. has not won an invitation to the big show. But that should hardly be a barrier. Mama Grizz has a way of pawing into the limelight. Recall the former Alaska governor's attention grab in New Hampshire as Mitt Romney declared his candidacy, or her soaking up the glow of the Ames straw poll, even though she never entered.
The political pros at her SarahPac have already rented space at a mall a mere five-minute walk from the convention center where the GOP regulars will gather. So how best can Sarah from Alaska draw cameras from all over?
A check of the Tampa-area community calendar for Monday, Aug. 27 -- the convention's opening day -- shows a welter of opportunities. Florida Blood Services has many blood donation locations, a chance for Gov. Palin to give back. Acropoli restaurant in nearby Dundee will be welcoming photos of members of the military past and present. Wouldn't Army son Track look handsome on the military honorable mention wall?
When she threatened to overshadow Romney’s rollout last year, it was during what was billed as a family road trip and a stop for a clam bake in New Hampshire.
So a bit of family frolic in Tampa might be in order. Little Piper might enjoy the Mummies of the World exhibition at the city's Museum of Science & Industry. In nearby St. Petersburg, the Power and Sailboat Show will be in full swing. Any "Sarah Palin's Alaska" viewer can tell you, the Palins -- whether by snow or by sea -- love to roar about on their power vehicles.
Looking at the landscape more prosaically, Palin could simply sign on for Unity Rally 2012, a tea party gathering on the eve of the convention that will feature former presidential candidates Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann.
Also participating will be Niger Innis, national spokesman for the Congress for Racial Equality and a frequent critic of President Obama. "I think Sarah Palin fully understands that for the tea party revolution to continue to be successful it needs to be a team effort," said Innis, inviting Palin to join in. "We’ve all got to be engaged in the next few months."
Everyone wants to absorb a bit of the Palin juju -- from the Tampa strip club that expects a big bump in revenue by featuring a Palin-look-alike dancer, to the many bloggers who can't resist a click-friendly Palin post.
But Innis and others still hope Palin, despite her pallid acceptance of Romney at the top of her party, will get a speaking role inside the main convention hall. Fox News colleague Sean Hannity practically pleaded for such on his show Wednesday night. "She's having a huge impact in the primary and her endorsements," Hannity enthused. "She gets bigger crowds than anybody else. Of course, you have you to have her."
Political consultant Doug Schoen told Hannity that he had it all wrong. The Republicans already can count on stalwart conservatives, Schoen said, but they need to bring in moderates who will decide the election. “Her negative is about 60%. She’s been attacking Republicans and Democrats," Schoen said. “Bottom line, she would be a divisive force, and she would remind swing voters about everything that's wrong."
Conservative commentator Jedediah Bila cut Schoen off: "She's been painted as divisive and polarizing and all these things because she takes on what's wrong and she's not afraid. ... Bold colors, no pale pastels!”
No more pastels, indeed. We've laid out some colorful alternatives. We're sure you, Politics Now readers, can offer many more. So offer up a suggestion about how Gov. Palin should best conduct herself during the Republican Convention. Musing about the possibilities, best be inspired by Palin's own words: "Don't retreat, reload!"