Is Sarah Palin going to announce she's running for president on September 3?

It's relatively late in the game, but GOP strategist Karl Rove predicts that Palin will jump into the 2012 presidential race. She could do it when she headlines a tea party gathering next month.

By , Staff writer

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    Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin greets the crowd after she was interviewed by Sean Hannity of FOX News at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, Friday, Aug. 12. GOP strategist Karl Rove predicts that Palin will jump into the 2012 presidential race.
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Sarah Palin will run for president, and will announce her candidacy sometime around Labor Day – perhaps September 3, when she’s scheduled to address a big Tea Party event in Iowa.

That’s what former Bush administration political advisor and all-around GOP smart guy Karl Rove predicts, anyway. In an appearance on Fox News Saturday he said he believes ex-Alaska governor Palin is going to run, in part because of a slick campaign-style video about her trip to the Iowa State Fair released by her PAC last week, and in part because of where she’s popping up.

Palin “has a schedule next week that looks like that of a candidate, not a celebrity,” said Rove.

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Rove's not Nostradamus – he's been wrong about stuff before. Still, it's possible he's right, and that months – nay, years – of feverish media speculation are about to end. Will Palin finally say once and for all that she’s in it to win it – the brass ring of the presidency, that is?

Could be. At the least, it looks like she is fast approaching a make-or-break date, when she will either have to announce, or announce that she is not going to announce a run, lest her coyness exhaust the patience of her faithful.

Just look at her recent video. If it’s a campaign commercial, it’s a good one. It starts with quick shots of her bus, a rolling Iowa corn field, and the Iowa State Fair midway in full swing. There are adorable kids on parental shoulders, and then Palin herself appears, as voiceovers from news reports of her visit come up on the sound track.

And then – and we think this is really clever – there comes a quick rolling shot of a blue ribbon. “Iowa State Fair, Des Moines. First Place”, it says.

You can guess how the rest goes, with shots of average Americans interspersed with excerpts from a Palin speech.

“I think we’re seeing an awakening of the American public, individual Americans who want to put the exceptionalism back into our country,” Palin says at one point.

At the end, suddenly there is a shot of a rising, roaring grizzly bear. “Thank you Iowa. See you again September 3,” appears on the screen.

That’s when Palin is scheduled to speak at a Tea Party of America gathering. This event, which is free to the public, has already been relocated to a bigger venue because local authorities are worried the turnout will clog roads.

After all this, if Palin does not announce, will she just annoy those who’ve showed up? After all, what’s she’s doing so far is perfectly normal if she’s going to run for president. But it smacks of exploitation if she’s just trying to remain a celebrity and sell books.

If she does not run for president than the video is “perhaps the most extreme example of narcissism I’ve ever seen,” writes Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic.

It’s possible that Palin will do something to clarify her political future that does not involve her running for president. She could announce she’s backing Rick Perry, for instance. Or Mitt Romney.

Just kidding about Mitt – that won’t happen.

At this point, what would be the practical effect of a Palin candidacy? That’s a subject for greater examination at a later date. But we’ll note that even some conservatives worry that at this point all Palin would do is take votes away from Bachmann, Perry, and other Tea Party favorites, making it easier for the current front-runner to cruise to victory.

“If Sarah Palin does decide to run, she will ultimately accomplish nothing other than completely sucking the wind out of almost all the non-Romney campaign operations on the ground,” writes Leon Wolf on the conservative RedState blog.

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