The week from today, Labor Day, through next Monday, will have a dramatic effect on the Republican race for President.
Today, in South Carolina, six of the candidates (all but Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman) will participate in a Palmetto Freedom Forum, in which each candidate will sit on the stage for 21 minutes, and have questions shot at them by South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, Iowa Congressman Steve King, and conservative constitutional scholar Robert George of Princeton University.
DeMint will ask questions on how to make government smaller, while King will challenge the candidates on the subject of immigration. George will touch on the hot button social issues: abortion, gay marriage, and affirmative action. He is also likely to ask questions about federalism, the idea that some government agencies on the national level are not needed or allowed under the Constitution, such as the Education Department.
This is the kind of challenge that could make or break candidates, and then on top of that, there are two debates by next Monday night–one sponsored by MSNBC on Wednesday and the other by CNN next Monday, and it gives Rick Perry his first time on the national stage debate; but also allows Jon Huntsman his last real chance to start gaining notice and move up in the national polls; Michele Bachmann the chance to outshine Perry; Mitt Romney the chance to come back from second place in the polls after seeing Perry rise above him; the opportunity for Ron Paul to look like more than a fringe candidate; and the last chance for Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum to look as if it is worth going on as candidates.
So this next week is one in which Sarah Palin will be watching, and probably being thankful she has not entered the Presidential race, and solidifying her decision to stay out of it, as running for President is for those who are unafraid of challenge, which Sarah obviously is, having quit as Alaska Governor in the middle of her one term!