Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whose endorsement former South Carolina Senator and Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint said had the most impact in GOP primaries, endorsed conservative Oklahoman T.W. Shannon on Wednesday in his bid to replace retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) in the U.S. Senate.
"Tom Coburn leaves large conservative shoes to fill as he retires from the U.S. Senate. At 6’5 feet tall, T.W. Shannon is just the leader to fill them," Palin wrote. "T.W. is the underdog in his race, but that’s not a position he’s unfamiliar with."
Palin wrote that Shannon, the youngest and one of the most conservative Speakers of the House in Oklahoma history, has "had to beat the odds all of his life" to eventually become "the first Republican to ever win his district’s seat in the Oklahoma state legislature even though the naysayers said it couldn't be done. When he sought to be Speaker of the House, the naysayers said he was too young and too conservative to win. But his colleagues chose him anyway, and he became the youngest Speaker in Oklahoma history!"
She said while Shannon's opponent has the "backing of Beltway insiders," Shannon has "the passion and experience We the People need in Washington. As the former Speaker he can stand proud on his record of fighting for conservative legislation that directly benefited the lives of Oklahomans by lowering taxes, cutting government waste, and breaking the cycle of poverty by encouraging entrepreneurial self-reliance as the proven path to prosperity."
"We are suffering from a lack of conservative vision. I believe we desperately need leaders with deep convictions who will fight—and win—the battles for conservative policies," Shannon told Palin, who wrote that "We can also rest assured that T.W. will bring to D.C. the integrity and moral compass he acquired growing up attending Bethlehem Baptist Church and teaching Sunday School."
UPDATE: Shannon said that he and Palin met at CPAC in 2013, where the spoke about their shared values.
“It is hard to put in to words how honored I am to have the confidence and support of a leader like Sarah Palin,” said Shannon. “She is one of the few leaders in this country who is truly committed to the conservative, Constitutional principles that will return our country to greatness.
“When I asked Governor Palin to support me, I shared my heart with her. I told her I believe our party is suffering from a lack of conservative vision. And as we know from the Bible, when there is a lack of vision, the people perish. I believe we desperately need leaders with deep convictions who will fight—and win—the battles for conservative policies. I can't describe how humbling it is to know I am now fighting these battles alongside someone as principled and courageous as Governor Sarah Palin.”
Shannon, who has impressed conservative activists across Oklahoma and the country, spoke at The New York Meeting this week and emphasized that the country's staggering debt was a national security threat.
Displaying how he may help conservatives get their message across to a wider audience, Shannon, who said he usually shines his own shoes, recalled a moment when he had to get his shoes shined once at an airport. When he marveled that the shoe shine was the best of his life, Shannon said the person shining his shoes asked him to "show me" how much he liked the shine instead of just telling him.
As Breitbart News reported, Shannon used that story to say that too many politicians want to come to D.C. to “manage the decay better than the next guy” when they should be standing up against President Barack Obama and Democrats and saying, “No, we’re not going to do more spending. We’re not going to do more debt.”
“Don’t tell us how conservative you are, show us,” Shannon said.
Palin, who asked conservatives to learn more about Shannon by visiting his website at www.twshannon.com
, promised earlier in the day that she would begin to roll out her endorsements for this election cycle:
So, I’m excited to announce that big U.S. Senate and House of Representatives endorsements are on the way! We’ll tackle some state races, too. Lots of vetting and research goes into these endorsements because this is for YOU. It’s to allow you to take a closer look at good men and women with servants’ hearts who are willing to get in the rough and tumble arena to help save America. Please do your own homework on candidates; never put all your hopes and unattainable expectations in anyone running for office (because humankind’s imperfections aren’t absent in politicians), but know that I’ve been diligent and pragmatic in choosing patriots whom I believe we can trust to do the right thing. I never want to let you down! And you know me well enough by now; you know I do my homework; I use discernment, and then I go with my gut.
These candidates put service over self and principles over politics. They’re not going to D.C. to get cozy with the permanent political class or feather their nests off the crony capitalism running rampant in the swamp. They’re going to Washington to shake things up and restore that endangered species in D.C. – common sense – in an out-of-control government that stomps on the neck of freedom and opportunity. These men and women have promised to be fighters for all that is good about America. They’ll have our back; let’s do our part and watch their backs, too, as we send these reinforcements into the battle.
The truth is Shannon has always been the front runner despite the latest poll. The GOPe wants to make inroads with minorities. http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/197233-lankford-leads-shannon-in-new-oklahoma-senate-poll
The survey shows that if former Rep. J.C. Watts were to enter the race, he’d emerge as the favorite, taking 40 percent of the vote to Lankford's 37 percent.
Watts, however, is unlikely to run with Shannon in the race, as he’s a longtime friend and mentor to the younger Republican. Watts could endorse and campaign for Shannon, something that could boost the latter's name recognition.
Watts will campaign for Shannon.
Low name recognition is part of the reason Shannon's drawing less than 18 percent support — a third of voters say they’ve never heard of him, and another 22 percent say they’ve heard of him but have no opinion about him.
There is plenty of time for Shannon to turn that around. The filing deadline isn't even here yet. The primary isn't until June 24, 2014 (Runoff: August 26, 2014)
For those who don't know T W Shannon was until recently the OK State Speaker of the House. GOPAC endorsed him 3 weeks ago.http://www.gopac.org/2014/02/gopac-endorses-tillis-and-shannon-in-their-bids-for-u-s-senate/
and added him to the GOPAC Advisory Board 2 months ago.http://www.twshannon.com/gopac-announces-2014-legislative-leaders-advisory-board/
Shannon looks like a fantastic candidate to me. He is an excellent replacement for Tom Colbern a fearless Republican elitist the GOPe is sad to see go. http://www.mediaite.com/tv/tob-coburn-to-msnbc-im-no-longer-a-conservative-according-to-ted-cruz/
The GOPe has had it's eye on Shannon for a long time. Palin's endorsement is welcome and she should send money too.