Sarah Palin vs. George W. Bush

Seems like only yesterday, but it's now been a year since Sarah Palin abruptly quit her governorship, leading many people to speculate that she was trying to get a jump on the 2012 presidential campaign. Anyone wondering if Palin will indeed run for president, and what her chances might be, should cast a glance at the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Per NBC's Mark Murray and friends:

[H]ere's the political reality: Outside of Republicans, she's not popular at all. According to our NBC/WSJ poll, just 29% view her favorably, compared with 43% who view her unfavorably (not far from George W. Bush's 29%-50% score).

Stop and ponder that one for a moment. Palin's poll numbers are nearly as horrible as George W. Bush's--but only one of them launched two wars and destroyed the economy. That's remarkable. But what's more remarkable, in light of this, is that the idea of George W. Bush running for another term (were such a thing possible) would be greeted by gales of laughter from the political cognoscenti, while the prospect of a Palin presidential campaign is taken seriously.

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Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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