Our Sarah’s problems came up prominently in discussion at the NLT Bloggers Confab last night, and opinion was split about whether she has fatal limitations and has taken too many hits below the waterline, and whether she was badly served and prepped by the McCain campaign (unanimous agreement on this point). My view is that she is very talented and capable, but would never have been able to break into national politics on her own owing to the peculiar isolation of Alaska.
Now that she is here, what next? Assuming McCain-Palin lose (no--I haven’t given up hope yet, but stay with me here), will she be a contender in 2012? Much as I like Douthat, he’s too young to remember that there is nothing being said about Palin now that wasn’t said about Reagan in the 1960s and up until he won in 1980. And Reagan made several blunders at the beginning of his official public career and even after becoming governor that might have been more damaging had they occurred on the national stage instead of just in California. Palin is playing for big stakes, and everything will depend on what strategy she adopts after returning home to Alaska. I actually think her path is harder if she ends as Vice President two weeks from now. She needs to step up her game, to be sure, but I don’t think she needs a wholesale makeover.