The tea party is still pining for Sarah Palin.
By MJ LEE
The grassroots conservative movement has yet to throw its support behind a Republican presidential candidate because “we don’t have the female Ronald Reagan running — and that’s Sarah Palin,” said Amy Kremer, chairwoman of the Tea Party Express.
“We haven’t engaged in presidential politics yet because the movement hasn’t coalesced around anybody, so we’re just sitting back and waiting,” Kremer added.
Predicting that a good slice of the country’s conservatives will not make up their minds until they are standing in front of the ballot box, Kremer singled out the former Alaska governor as “the only person out there right now that can truly excite the base.”
“Certainly some candidates bring their own energy and excitement. Michele Bachmann had it early on when she won the [Iowa] straw poll, and then when Perry got in,” she said. “But there’s no one that is electrifying as Sarah Palin.”
Kremer is the leader of one of many tea party groups. But while she is far from being the authoritative voice of the movement, she suggested a sense of ambivalence and frustration is widespread among conservatives.
Earlier this week, tea party darling and former Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell announced her endorsement of Mitt Romney, and on Friday, another tea party favorite, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, also threw her full support behind the ex-Massachusetts governor.
But Kremer said she doesn’t believe Romney and Gingrich will be the last men standing.
“I think it’s possible that Rick Perry could come back. I also think Michele Bachmann could rise back up. I wouldn’t count them out,” she said. “I don’t accept he premise that it will be Romney or Newt. What I [think] back to is Jan. 2010 – everyone said Scott Brown couldn’t win.”