Fully two thirds of Republicans, including Republican-leaning independents, want Palin to run for president in 2012, twice as many as back Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has already made one post-election visit to Iowa, and about 20 points ahead of former Speaker Newt Gingrich.Maybe I'm just crazy and neurotic (very, very possible), but these numbers are less rosy than I'd like. Take that first number: 2/3 of Republicans want her to at least run for president in 2012. Jeez. That's a filibuster-proof majority's worth of elephants. Yeah, I know they're Republicans, but still - it's scary to think that one stupid woman from Alaska can fool so many millions of people.
But even as Palin exploded over a few weeks from relative obscurity to a bigger star within the party than its own presidential nominee, Democrats and independents quickly soured on her, she became one of the most divisive figures in politics.
In mid November, Gallup found that only 45 percent of Americans hoped Palin is "a major national political figure for many years to come." About three-quarters of Republicans hoped so, three-quarters of Democrats hoped not, as did 53 percent of independents.
Exit polls also showed that 64 percent of independents viewed Palin as unqualified to be president, with nine of ten Democrats and one in four Republicans agreeing.
45% want her to be a major national figure for years to come. This number will certainly change over the next few years, but in which direction? You can look at this 45% in one of two ways, I suppose. You can say it's less than half, which it is. Or you can say it's almost half, which it also is. Republicans and Democrats are about evenly split for and against it, respectively, and independents, at 53%, are slightly against it.
I'm disappointed that number is not higher among independents, although with so many Republican dropouts over the past year, one would expect there to be a higher number of conservative independents now. So that might explain it. But, to rewind for a second - 45% want her to be a major national figure? I can't believe that number isn't lower.
Which leads me back into my lingering worry about the viability of Sarah Palin, which I've gone into before: the reason people voted against her to begin with wasn't because, like me, they saw her simply as an ignorant wacko, even though she is very much an ignorant wacko. It was because, as 64% of independents believed, she was "unqualified." If you're an ignorant wacko, you're an ignorant wacko. Tough shit, but you're probably not going to change. If you're unqualified, or unprepared - well, four or eight years might be enough time to become qualified and prepared.
What if Palin, from her perch as governor of a big energy state, comes out front and center on renewable energy within the next few years? What if she eventually winds up in the United States Senate? What if she goes on some kind of good-publicity-generating book tour? What if she is a huge hit in Iowa? What if she continues - and she probably will - to be one of the nation's most popular governors? What if she learns to speak coherent English over the next few years (granted, a big if)?
I know, it's a bad idea to worry about CRAZY SHIT that hasn't happened yet and very well might never happen. But this woman is too stupid and evil and dangerous to simply be forgotten about for a few years. We must always remember how wretched she is and how eternally unfit she will be to be president of the United States. So I won't lose sleep worrying over her national future - yet - but I will continue to monitor it closely.