PalinChipSomodevillaGetty

John Heilemann makes his case:

For many Republicans, a Palin nomination would be a shrieking nightmarejust as for most Democrats, it would be a wet dream. (Asked about the possibility by reporters, David Plouffe, Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, quipped, “Something tells me we won’t get that lucky.”) The emotions here are diametrically opposed but based on a shared conviction: that Palin, whose national approval rating in a CBS News poll this month stood at a lowly 22 percent, is irredeemably unelectable, and thus her nomination would essentially guarantee Obama a second term.

Or would it? In a two-way contest, almost certainly. But what if a Palin nomination provoked a credible independent candidacy? What if the candidacy in question was that of, oh, Michael Rubens Bloomberg? What would happen then?

Doug Mataconis is skeptical:

[W]hile the idea of a Bloomberg for President campaign may excite the crowd that rides the Acela, I don’t see it playing anywhere outside the chattering classes, and without a viable third-party candidate siphoning votes away from Obama, there’s no way Palin becomes President.

There is always the possibility that Palin runs as a 3rd party candidate herself, should she lose the nomination. Her supporters are more cult-members than voters weighing policy options. But I want to note one line from John's piece:

She doles out personal, if possibly fictitious, anecdotes that position her, despite the millions she has pocketed in the past two years, as a defiantly downscale girl: that she and Todd drove their motor home from Wasilla to Los Angeles (distance: 3,375 miles) to watch Bristol on Dancing With the Stars.

Here's what I want to know: what process led both John and New York magazine not to confirm whether that 3,375 motor home drive was actually, rather than "possibly", fictitious? With most politicians, journalists actually try to check factual claims with, you know, reporting. But it seems that one of the best reporters I know, has not, in this case. Why? Why is Palin - alone of all national figures - allowed to tell the tallest, most implausible stories in public and never get quizzed on them by the press? Why is she treated differently? Why are the claims of a candidate who is, say, a veteran vetted, but Palin's manifold empirically dubious assertions left hanging as if truth didn't matter any more?

(Image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

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