Sarah Palin will run for the White House in 2012 and conduct an “unorthodox, grassroots campaign the likes of which you’ve never seen”, according to the man who has spent the past eight months organising for her in Iowa.
Speaking to me after the premiere of the film “The Undefeated” in Pella, Iowa, Peter Singleton, a California lawyer who has been assiduously courting Republicans across the state where the first contest of the 2012 election will be heard, said it was “unthinkable” she would remain on the sidelines.
“She’s the right person at this time,” he said. “If you look back at Churchill’s time, in 1938 Churchill was unelectable, in 1940 he was indispensable.
“I can’t see her sitting this one out,” he said. “The stakes are too high. It goes back to 1940. Can you see Churchill sitting it out? It’s unthinkable. Can you see George Washington in 1776 sitting it out? Unthinkable. He wanted to be back on his farm but they said we need you to be president of the republic.”
Mr Singleton, 56, tall and urbane, is a man of considerable mystery. He represents the national Organize4Palin group and has been ubiquitous in Republicans circles building up a network for the former Alaska governor, whose presidential intentions have kept Americans guessing for months.
Mr Singleton also spoke about narratives that were incorrect. “The narratives are: she’s not running; she’s about to endorse another candidate; it’s too late for her to get in; she’s going to run as a celebrity candidate; she’s got no support here; support is attenuated; she’s yesterday’s news,” he said. “All that is comically inaccurate.”
Mrs Palin, he said, would work to connect with Iowans. “Her support is latent. When she runs, whether she wins or loses will be dependent in part on how well she campaigns.
“It’s not like all she has to do is announce and then do a couple of rallies. It doesn’t work and way and it shouldn’t . She will need to work diligently and campaign. Her people are going to have to campaign in every town and every county. That’s what we’re doing.”
For her part, Mrs Palin told RealClearPolitics that she would commit “110 percent” to the Iowa caucus process if she does run for president.
Mr Singleton predicted Mrs Palin “will have hundreds of thousands of volunteers, 10 times more than any other candidate and I think that’s why she’ll win”.