Amanda Fortini's post at Salon, "The Annie Oakley of American Politics," concludes with this observation on Sarah Palin:
After all, as the populist governor of a state whose voters respond to plainspoken directness, she suddenly found herself a national figure addressing big-media sophisticates. She was given about seven seconds to learn her role and then, after eight seconds, patronized and mocked. The reasons she performed so poorly are the very reasons her fan base loves her. If, over the next three years, her performance improves as much as it appears to have in just the last year, the conventional rap about her rustic idiocy may come off as mean-spirited and archaic. Her foes might be wise to contemplate the notion that someone of Palin’s background and sensibilities has a right, regardless of her views, to participate in the national debate merely because she speaks (though often unclearly) for many like her. If this possibility can’t be countenanced, then government for the people by the people is an abstract idea we’ve grown too cynical to practice. Sarah Palin endures not because she’s brilliant, smooth or philosophically correct, but because hope in democracy endures, too.
I'm really indifferent to Palin as a politician. My own rural, southern values resonate with hers, but being president is about more than just having good values. As the ineptitude of B.O.'s amateurism in the Oval Office is proving all too well, being President is about sound judgment--in personnel decisions and policy-making.
Her appeal as a candidate will ultimately fall on how well she reflects the American voting public as it sees itself. If there's anyone out there in the GOP or among the Dems who does this better than she does, I don't know who they are.