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Matthews on Palin's 'outlaw' quality

Let me finish tonight with Rolling Thunder.There's a certain outlaw quality to Sarah Palin, just as there is to the bikers who converge on Washington this weeke

Let me finish tonight with Rolling Thunder.

There's a certain outlaw quality to Sarah Palin, just as there is to the bikers who converge on Washington this weekend.  Think "Easy Rider" on the right.  They come out of the Vietnam War experience, these men.  They came back to America in the early 1970s and became a different version of the anti-establishment left that had opposed the war they fought.

This Sunday Sarah joins the bikers of Rolling Thunder to produce some powerful Memorial Day pictures for the country.   It's a statement; let's not kid ourselves, of what she could offer to the country starting after Labor Day.  

Sarah Palin is about to stake out a barricade situation politically.  She isn't out to win the presidency but to lead a rebellion.  Losing will only build her strength. It's not the country she wants to lead.  It's the cause.  Her cohorts don't expect or even want to run the government. They want someone out there leading the fight against it. 

The key to witness here is not the words she will speak in this quest but the anger she will show.  What Romney and Pawlenty and Huntsman have - government experience, the ability to move and deal in establishment circles -- is not what the Tea Party people want.  What the Tea Partiers want is what Sarah Palin has: the passion of the dispossessed.  They want someone to stand up there on the national stage and bellow at the government, to champion their anger and keep it hot and getting hotter.

This is the Palin opportunity and signs are out there that she's about to grab for it.  The question is what her running will do to the eventual nominee if it's not her? Will she pull that candidate far to the right? Will she set up a standard? Will she say you have to be a Tea Partier to win? 

If Palin roars into this campaign with Rolling Thunder expect that the rest of the Republican season will be a battle to keep up with her.  I hear Huntsman will steer to the Republican middle.  But don't expect Romney or Pawlenty to let her be seen as the "true conservative" against them.  They will move to keep up with her because they want what she has, the backing of the tea party, the backing they want the second either one beats her.

Listen!  If she gets in this it isn't just about position, how far you go to the right.  It's about how angry you are, against Obama, the media, the way things are in America.   With Sarah Palin as Grand Marshall, this parade is heading right and it's going to get really surly. So, watching her join up with Rolling Thunder this Sunday, remember it's not about the words; it's about the outlaw attitude.

It's about the bikes and the roar.