Sarah Palin topped off the Conservative Political Action Conference last night with a rousing speech, avoiding endorsing any candidate, but certainly hinting at Mitt Romney's weaknesses, reports the Wall Street Journal. Palin said that Republicans need a conservative whose beliefs are "instinctive," not someone molded by spin doctors and Washington consultants. "It's too late in the game to teach it or spin it at this point," said Palin, without actually mentioning Romney by name. "It's either there or it isn't."
Avoiding an outright endorsement makes good sense for Palin, says the Christian Science Monitor (though she's given tentative support to Newt Gingrich): "That keeps her more securely in the game—someone to be wooed and treated deferentially." Palin, whose speech was so popular it required three overflow rooms, also spoke positively about a possible brokered convention should none of the GOP candidates win the required 1,144 delegates from primary voting. "We've all heard from these experts that we've got to name our nominee right now,'' Palin said. "We've got to wrap it up. No debate for you. Cut it off. As if competition weakens our nominee. And yet in America, we believe that competition strengthens us. Competition elevates our game."