Justin Miller compares Palin's and Lou Dobb's forms of "populism":
Populism is the attempt to turn the political debate into "us versus them" and appealing to "us" with ad hoc ideas. Populism is also the prerogative to represent "them." Palin is representing herself right now, not trying to give voice to those Americans who feel like they've been left in the lurch. Dobbs tries to represent those who are middle class, politically independent, and upset. That sort of populism has room to grow in a shrunken economy.