The Unstoppable Sarah Palin
Chris Matthews sees Palin inflicting an "early knockout" in the primaries. Larison, still betting against her, argues that the GOP establishment will quash her candidacy:
Palin and Mondale are alike in that they represent the face of the party as it was when it was defeated, but they are quite different in their sources of support. Mondale was the candidate of the party establishment and important interest groups, and Palin has made a point of aligning herself with every possible anti-establishment, insurgent campaign she can find.
Contra Kornacki, Bernstein finds the comparison off:
Yes, Mondale got clobbered -- but he was clobbered by a popular incumbent president boosted by a strong economy. Under those circumstances, it didn't really matter who the Dems ran; when the electorate is happy with the incumbent, there's not very much the out-party can do about it.
Kornacki responds. Ken Silverstein wagers that she doesn't even have a shot at the vice presidency. Of all these, I trust John Ellis' judgment the most. Yes, he's Bush's cousin, but his insights are always worth reading. I think he's dead on here:
As the Republican avalanche of 2010 builds -- and I saw a poll the other day of a Democratic-leaning state Senate district on Long Island where the "right track" (8%)/"wrong direction" (83%) was unlike anything I had ever seen -- Palin has smartly positioned herself as the champion of the conservative counter-revolution. By December, she will almost certainly be the de facto front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination.
By the time the Establishment GOP wakes up to this reality, it may be too late for them to do anything about it. Their view of Palin is that she's useful to the party because she can help keep "the Tea Party types inside the tent." And maybe she can serve coffee while she's at it. Palin's view is that (1) "the Tea Party types" are the party, (2) she is their standard bearer and (3) anyone who thinks "the Tea Party types" are there to lick envelopes and knock on doors should think again. They're there, she asserts, to take back their party and to take back their country.
"She's too stupid" is what the Establishment GOP really thinks about Sarah Palin. "Good-looking," but a "ditz." This is unfertile ground, since Palin can turn the argument on a dime and say: "They drive the country into bankruptcy, they underwrite Fannie and Freddie, they bail out Goldman Sachs, they fight wars they don't want to win, they say enforcing the immigration laws is silly and they call me stupid! I'll give you a choice: you can have their smarts or my stupidity, which one do you want?" A large number of GOP presidential primary voters will take Palin's "stupidity" in a heartbeat.