Sarah Palin: “I Have the Fire in My Belly,” But Will She Run?

Politics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 20, 2011   |   10:29AM   |   Washington, DC

Last night in a Fox News interview, former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin confirmed she has the “fire in my belly” to make a run for the Republican nomination for president. Still she gave no clues whether she will do so.

During her Thursday night appearance on “On the Record” with Greta Van Sustren on the Fox news Channel, Palin was asked if she had the “fire in the belly’ for a GOP presidential campaign. The question is particularly important given that two of the people who had secured a good percentage of the vote among Republicans looking at likely presidential candidates — Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump — both announced recently they will forgo a presidential run themselves.

“That’s a great question,” Palin said. “I think my problem is that I do have the fire in my belly. I am so adamantly supportive of the good traditional things about America and our free enterprise system and I want to make sure America is put back on the right track and we will do that by defeating Obama in 2012. I have that fire in my belly.”

Yet Palin pointed to the kinds of hurdles she would have in waging a battle to capture the Republican nomination — the same one that made it so Haley Barbour, the Mississippi governor, decided against a campaign himself:  family considerations.

“It’s a matter for me of practical, pragmatic decisions that have to be made,” Palin said. “One is, with a large family, understanding the huge amount of scrutiny and the sacrifices that have to be made on my children’s part in order to see their momma run for president. But yeah the fire in the belly — it is there.”

Depending on one’s perspective, Palin has either made the right moves to line herself up for a presidential bid or has not. Earlier this month, the former Alaska governor skipped the White House Correspondents Dinner to attend a pro-life event to raise funds for pro-life billboards and commercials.

Palin used her draw to bring an audience to the event for Heroic Media and noted how she was skipping the D.C. gala featuring President Barack Obama and top elected officials and media elites.

“The pro-life cause or White House Correspondents’ Dinner? I choose life,” she said. “You really see evidence of that influence out there of — you know — the celebrity, how the news is, and the political arena, and how it all kind of meshes together. That’s what the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is.”

But Palin added that her decision doesn’t mean pro-life advocates should abandon attempts to influence the public within the media confines.

“We’re not going to be absent from that arena… I think we kind of want to infiltrate it. We want to get in there and affect that change,” she said.

During the event, Palin presented an aware for Lila Rose, the Live Action president credited with exposing Planned Parenthood and different kinds of abuses ranging from giving out incorrect information on abortion to covering up sexual abuse cases involving minors to helping arrange abortions for girls victimized by sexual trafficking.

“Planned Parenthood doesn’t empower women, or offer women who find themselves in less than ideal circumstances any kind of real choice. What they offer is not real choice or female health care,” Palin said, according to a Politico report.

Palin headlined the $250-a-plate dinner featuring about 300 people in attendance. During her 45-minute speech, Palin focused on the difficult decision women make when facing a crisis pregnancy and explained how she can understand how, “even for a split second” a woman might consider having an abortion.

As she has done at previous Heroic Media events, Palin spoke of her son Trig, who has Down syndrome, and told the audience of how 90 percent of Down Syndrome children are killed in abortions. She also spoke of the recent efforts to deny federal funding to Planned Parenthood and said they should continue.

Trig recently came under attack by a liberal blog that came under considerable conservative criticism for calling him “retarded” and “somewhat alive.”