Is America Ready For President Palin?

I’m asking because it sure seems like she’s getting ready to run. People bring up Hillary Clinton’s negatives, but that just points out the obvious: Barack Obama won, Hillary Clinton lost. It wasn’t just her liberal policies and her grating voice. It’s that she was a woman.

What are Sarah Palin’s favorables with women? With conservative women? They weren’t good during the election cycle. Are they better now?

Sarah Palin raises big money and pulls big crowds. And she receives the kind of press and loathing that President Bush and President Reagan did. However, she also receives something else: a buzzing distrust from conservative political watchers and workers. These are the people who hung with conservative politicians through thick and thin. Sarah Palin has yet to convince them. Most are so afraid to go on the record and say anything for fear they’ll be ostracized forever. Still, it is there.

I happen to think that some rousing debates and speeches where Sarah Palin bests her peers would quiet the buzzing.

Ellisblog has an analysis of why Palin is already the front-runner. And I’ll agree with him on this: Romney is unlikely to win in 2012. He’s had his chance. He’s shown that he can throw around money with the best of them, but I just don’t see him as President. Period. And I also agree with this:

What this means is two things: (1) the pressure on former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to run for the GOP presidential nomination will increase as the year moves along, and (2) the likelihood of a strong independent party candidacy increases as Palin’s support within the GOP broadens. Oh, and it also means one other thing: President Obama is not doomed.

Now, Jeb Bush is a great candidate except for one teensy, tinsey, itsy, bitty, little thing: His last name is Bush. He would make a great president. He was beloved in Florida. He has executive experience. He’s a great politician. But, he’s a Bush. Is America ready for that sort of dynasty? Is Jeb Bush ready for that sort of burden? I don’t know.

Andrew Malcolm enthuses:

Ask yourself, who stuck out as that kind of in-touch candidate in the 2007-08 cycle, the one who looked and sounded different from all the other talking-point talking heads in their tailored suits and pantsuits, tainted by long, seemingly unproductive years in Washington?

On this new kind of playing field, having a short political resume, no ongoing elective office, no 747-entourage and no responsibility for this current partisan, oil-stained, jobless, deficit-ridden, D.C. mess actually becomes a plus-size plus.

Well. He makes a good point. Imagine a couple more years of statist policies. Imagine a couple more years of President Obama hurting private industry and acting indifferent to the plight of the private sector and small business. America may be ready for Anybody But Obama.

It still seems that Sarah Palin will have to be more liked than she is…and by independents and feminist women. Will that happen? Time will tell.

For more on the subject, please listen to LA Times Blogger Andrew Malcolm and me discuss the political realities for 2012 here.

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