Palin's Chances, Ctd

A reader writes:

Her moves and the GOP's current condition suggest to me that what she's really running for is vice president again. I'm surprised that no one out there seems to be considering this possibility, since from what I can tell it's pretty much inevitable.

For both her and her competitors, it's the only way to square the circle. No one in the party can win without her support, but she lacks the credibility with the public to make it on her own. And if she loses on her own two feet, she's toast - not just in politics, but with her emerging media empire as well. But an alliance with either Romney or Gingrich would instantly make them a favorite, while perfectly setting herself up for a future presidency. If Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton can form a successful alliance, then Palin should have her pick of suitors.

Another writes:

The one question I haven't seen raised - and it could be because I haven't been looking particularly hard - is what will happen if she runs and loses the nomination. Since McCain brought her into our lives almost two years ago, it's become pretty apparent that she cares little about anyone but herself and is more than a little delusional. Why WOULDN'T she run as a 3rd party? Do we really believe she thinks (or will think after what is sure to be an ugly primary) that she owes the GOP establishment anything?

In my mind the Republicans will end up with one of three situations: 1) Sarah Palin as nominee, 2) Sarah Palin as VP to appease her, or 3) Sarah Palin as general election opponent. How can this be anything but an unmitigated disaster for them?