Sometime Alaska Governor Sarah Palin took time off from her Culinary Adventures tour Thursday to cruise on up to Bunker Hill, Mass. to aid the colonists in fortifying their defenses against Mitt Romney's individual mandate. This happened hours before Romney himself formally announced his intentions to run for president, so, as they say, "shots fired!"
"In my opinion, any mandate coming from government is not a good thing, so obviously ... there will be more the explanation coming from former governor, Romney, on his support for government mandates," Palin said.
Can we hold on for just one minute? Sarah Palin -- she's on vacation, right? With her family? And it's not supposed to be some sort of publicity tour? Okay. Just checking. This is, I guess, simply the strangest vacation ever undertaken. Carry on!
Someone -- a reporter, who was just hanging around, looking for vacationers to talk to I guess? -- pointed out that Romney's "explanation" of "his support for government mandates" is to argue that his state-run CommonwealthCare is distinct from the federal mandates in the Affordable Care Act. Palin admitted that Romney had been making "a good argument," but added:
"However, even on a state level and even a local level, mandates coming from a governing body, it's tough for a lot of us independent Americans to accept, because we have great faith in the private sectors and our own families ... and our own businessmen and women making decisions for ourselves. Not any level of government telling us what to do."
She went on to suggest that the Tea Party would have something to say about it, as well:
"That perhaps will be a big challenge for [Romney] because Tea Party activists are pretty strident, in a good way, in making sure that the candidate that many of the Tea Party patriots will support -- the candidate has a record of living out the principles that tea party patriots do embrace," she said.
The Romney campaign responded thusly: "Mitt Romney's focus is on lifting the nation out of its recession, making America number one again in job creation and taking the fight to President Obama over his failure to end the misery that unemployment has brought." That's just the sort of mild rejoinder you'd expect from someone who can't afford to lose the general election vote of any Palin supporter.