Paul Mirengoff of Powerline states the obvious:

We conservatives have had a good time ridiculing the Obama phenomenon, especially its messianic feel -- the willingness of its adherents to pour so much hope and belief into such an empty, or at least incomplete, vessel -- and its elevation of "narrative" over substance.

It turns out that we were dying to have basically the same experience.

The difference is that Obama earned it; Palin was given it.