But you wouldn’t know it, not after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s early and, to many, surprise endorsement for president of fellow easterner Mitt Romney.
However, after the 10/18 Republican debate in Las Vegas, more than a few of us veterans of the campaign battlefield took a break from our guffaws over the Romney-Perry on-air spat to ponder whether another surprise, early endorsement might be on the horizon. And this one would indeed shake up the race more than Herman Cain’s tax plan.
Post-debate, on FOX News, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin appeared on “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren”. When she picked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich as the debate winner, I’ll admit being caught off guard.
Of course, she’s correct that Gingrich would “clobber” the president “in any debate, any forum that had to do with substance when it comes to policy and solutions for the challenges America faces.” I’ll admit my bias now, I worked at the NRCC when Mr. Gingrich was House Speaker.
That said, Mrs. Palin opined regretfully that party nominations too often go to who has the most money, not who is best qualified. “I don’t want to believe that this is going to be the case this go-around,” she added.
And what better way might the Queen king-maker see that it doesn’t than by throwing her considerable clout behind a candidate with tremendous substance at a time when most of the rest of the pack are bickering like Ritalin-addled school children? If that’s her thinking, a Gingrich endorsement might indeed be how she best flexes her own muscles now.