The Argument For And Against Palin

by Patrick Appel

A reader makes a relatively obvious – but important – point:

It seems to me there is a bit of a paradox on these efforts to call out the dangers of a Palin nomination. The message "nominating her is bad because anyone nominated might end up winning due to fundamentals" is really targeted just at Democrats and independents. But that very same argument heard by actual Republican primary voters is a reason that it would be ok to nominate her rather than the opposite.

If any Republican nominee has a chance to beat Obama, then just back the one you feel strongest about. What will most probably prevent her from getting the nomination is the opposite argument: that she is the weakest candidate by far (excluding mostly unknowns like Barbour who could turn out to be even more polarizing) in the general election match-up. That some other GOP candidates could give Obama a tough run no matter what the fundamentals are in 2012, whereas Palin is the candidate who could most screw up even a sure-GOP-victory year. The more primary voters hear that, the harder they will find it to nominate her.