Over at National Review Online, Mike Potemra posts an interesting analysis of the “Palin for President” electoral dynamics. He opens with this:
“When I see the fervor of Sarah Palin’s fans — and by no means just those who swell the adoring crowds who go to her public appearances — I am convinced that the question is not, “How can she win the GOP nomination?” but “How can she not win it?” When you have anywhere between five and fifteen GOP candidates, all expressing basically the same conservative views, how can anyone other than the only one with the passionate fan base possibly win? And yet: Reading between the lines of what conservative-movement people are saying and writing, there is a great deal of worry about the prospect of a Palin nomination. I would summarize the GOP political writers’ consensus as follows: She must never be criticized, and she must never be nominated.”
In media interviews about our book, The Faith and Values of Sarah Palin, my co-author Stephen Mansfield has repeatedly been asked if he thinks Sarah Palin will run for president. His answer has consistently been some variation on: “She may run in 2012, but I hope she doesn’t. I admire Governor Palin but I would like to see her wait, acquire some additional seasoning in dealing with hostile media, travel the world, meet with world leaders, expanding and deepening her experience in the realm of foreign affairs.”
Such an answer tends to sorely vex the most ardent Palin supporters. Many don’t appear willing to accept that it is possible to be friendly to and in agreement with Sarah Palin and not believe she should run for the presidency in this volatile, dangerous moment in history.
For my part, I have maintained for some time that what Palin is really interested in is a “do over” where being a running mate is concerned. Everything I learned about her in researching our book–her tenacity; her affinity for mastering new challenges; her demonstrated willingness to fail, pick herself up, dust herself off, and try again–all lead me to suspect that she would relish an opportunity to show the world she can perform much better than she did with McCain.
However things play out, it will remain true that the intensity of Palin’s supporters will make rivals think twice about criticizing her, no matter how fraught with peril her candidacy might be for the Republican Party.
[As cross-posted over at the Palin Book Blog]