Um, probably not. Sarah Palinâ€™s political voice had dwindled well before she announced her decision not to run. Now it will sink altogether into inaudibility. She will be no kind of force in future national discussions. She will have no sway over party debates. She will retain some star power for a little while longer. She may for another cycle or two be able to help certain candidates for certain political offices raise some money. Even that will fade within two more years or four. Her political career was brief, bizarre, and sordid. But now at least it is definitively finished.
Palin will never become a party elder stateswoman. Over the past three years, it became apparent to all but a handful of cultists that her only interests were money and celebrity. She had no concept of public service, and no capacity to serve even if she had wished to do so. Soon even those last cultists will quietly abandon the argument. We talk often these days about makers and takers. Sarah Palin was the ultimate taker. She abandoned her post as governor of Alaska to cash in on lectures and TV. She squeezed her supporters for political donations and spent the money on herself. To adapt an old phrase, she seen her opportunities and she took â€˜em.
For me her qualification to be vice president was the same as Dan Quayleâ€™s was when he was named as Bushâ€™s running mate in 1988, she was attractive and they hoped her looks would appeal to disengaged voters. In truth her going â€œrogueâ€ act appealed to a childish conservative portion of the GOP which is moved more by clichÃ©d rhetoric more than common sense. in the end she had no growth outside of that, no chance of ever becoming President, and no really political future. Itâ€™s kind of pathetic.
For Palin, I get the impression that she has no desire to spend night after night speaking to small crowds in Iowa and New Hampshire, building a campaign team and doing retail politics. The Vice Presidency was given to her and I think she expected the GOP would come calling again. The problem is that even as dysfunctional as the GOP has become that they will ever give her the Presidential nomination if she isnâ€™t going to work for it and for that one thing, the Republicans deserve our thanks.
Update: Roger Ailes of FOX News sums up why he hired Palin.