A reader writes:
Two words for Josh Green: Ross Perot.
In 1992, Perot skated through the presidential election season with the press at arm's length. He launched his campaign in a softball interview with Larry King (and ended his political career there, too, in a debate with Al Gore.) Despite his bizarre withdrawal in the middle of the campaign - sound familiar? - he re-entered the campaign in the last month and managed to get almost 1 out of 5 Americans to vote for him. While Perot pitched himself as a can-do guy - a bit different from Palin - he had a similar populist appeal as an outsider, speaking truth to the establishment. While Perot self-financed his '92 campaign, Palin certainly has the juice to raise money for a campaign waged through ads, speeches, and patsy interviews. I don't think she'll win, but I think she can make a show of it, and make things crazy.
I'm guessing you don't have a lot of time to listen to random podcasts, but if you check out the most recent Double X podcast from Slate, there was a long discussion between Hanna Rosin, Jack Shafer and Jessica Grose about Palin and how the left should deal with her when she runs for president. Shafer posited that refuting her points (which don't really make any sense) is like refuting the points of a five year old: you look like a jerk and you wind up, weirdly, strengthening her arguments.
The only people who can really take someone like Sarah Palin down are comedians. He suggested that, if she runs for president and becomes the subject of concise mockery, she cannot last. "So," Rosin said, "what we need is more Tina Fey." Shafer's point is already born out a little bit. I watched the Katie Couric interview, but what I remember better is Tina Fey (as Palin) saying, "I can see Russia from my house!" And in my head, that statement is completely associated with Palin, not with Fey -- it is only after I think about it for a few seconds that I remember which woman actually said those words.
Too much more of that, and it will only be a very small group of zealots left who still love her.