Frank Rich’s column suggests that that might be the case, though polls of Republicans right now seem to indicate otherwise.
Some 54 percent of registered voters surveyed say they have unfavorable impressions of Palin, with more than twice as many holding “strongly unfavorable” as holding “strongly favorable” ones. Thirty-nine percent view her positively. These numbers are little changed from earlier this year.
Democrats and independents are broadly skeptical of Palin’s presidential qualifications, while Republicans divide evenly (47 percent say she is qualified; 46 percent say not). Even 46 percent of those who say they voted for the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008 now see Palin as unqualified for the presidency.
…The more condescending the attacks on [Sarah Palin], the more she thrives. This same dynamic is also working for her daughter Bristol, who week after week has received low scores and patronizing dismissals from the professional judges on “Dancing with the Stars” only to be rescued by populist masses voting at home.
…Sooner or later Palin’s opponents will instead have to man up — as Palin might say — and actually summon the courage to take her on mano-a-maverick in broad daylight.
Short of that, there’s little reason to believe now that she cannot dance to the top of the Republican ticket when and if she wants to.
I cannot wait for the Republican presidential primary opponents to summon that courage and take her on in broad daylight. Frankly, the fact that they haven’t yet is completely absurd. If they want to demonstrate politics not as usual and their own form of maverickism, then they should just do it. What on earth are they waiting for? She sure isn’t.