Palin In Perspective

A number of commenters (Deborah, Pete In Baltimore) were concerned that Monday's post on Sarah Palin made more of her political prospects than was deserved. To wit:

Although Palin is a tea party favorite, her potential as a presidential hopeful takes a severe hit in the survey. Fifty-five percent of Americans have unfavorable views of her, while the percentage holding favorable views has dipped to 37, a new low in Post-ABC polling.

There is a growing sense that the former Alaska governor is not qualified to serve as president, with more than seven in 10 Americans now saying she is unqualified, up from 60 percent in a November survey. Even among Republicans, a majority now say Palin lacks the qualifications necessary for the White House.

Palin has lost ground among conservative Republicans, who would be crucial to her hopes if she seeks the party's presidential nomination in 2012. Forty-five percent of conservatives now consider her as qualified for the presidency, down sharply from 66 percent who said so last fall.

Among all Republicans polled, 37 percent now hold a "strongly favorable" opinion of Palin, about half the level recorded when she burst onto the national stage in 2008 as Sen. John McCain's running mate.

Among Democrats and independents, assessments of Palin also have eroded. Six percent of Democrats now consider her qualified for the presidency, a drop from 22 percent in November; the percentage of independents who think she is qualified fell to 29 percent from 37 percent.

Hillary Clinton was always a lightning rod, and inspired substantial hate. But she also inspired substantial loyalty. That said, her unfavorable numbers were always below 50 percent, and her favorable numbers were always above 50 percent. Sarah Palin's unfavorable are above 50 and her favorable numbers are significantly below 50 percent. To put this bluntly--Sarah Palin is more hated than Hillary Clinton at any point in Clinton's political career, and yet engenders very little of the love that made Clinton a political force.

Forgive those of us who go crazy when we see someone who was potentially a heart-beat away, reading off asinine crib notes off their hand. Frankly it's just scary. But it's true that we need to keep this thing perspective. Sarah Palin does not have the numbers to be president. She doesn't have the political discipline or the savvy to last a campaign. (Bush had both of those.)

She will not be president, and she almost certainly will not be the GOP nominee. Moreover, she is not a spokesperson for the "white working class." (They need a Billy Dee Williams!) She is a Fox News personality. And we shall henceforth, on this blog, regard her as such.