You knew there was going to be a thread on it; the only question was whether it’d be a regular post or the quote of the day. Now, pop quiz: Which rock-ribbed Republican not long ago called Todd Purdum, the author of the VF hatchet job, a “scumbag” and said this about his reporting?

“[He’s] sleazy,” he said referring to Purdum. “He’s a really dishonest reporter. And one of our guys talked to him . . . And I haven’t read [the article]. There’s just five or six blatant lies in there. But he’s a real slimy guy”…

Answer here. If you’re looking for a takedown of the VF piece, Jim Geraghty has got you covered. My own reaction was simply that, for all its length and use of anonymous insiders, it failed to advance the ball much. The stories about Palin not getting along with McCain staffers or not being ready for the intense primetime of a national campaign are old hat by now. A more useful piece would have focused on what she’s doing to rehabilitate her image and how her weaknesses might spoil a bid in 2012. (Purdum touches on that but most of the piece is a rehash.) The chief virtue of the finished product is that it’s driven some Palin fans to such extreme exasperation that they’re now outing his sources while driving her critics to such extreme derangement that they’re doubling down on Trig trutherism.

I actually do hope she runs. The more I think about it, the more fascinating a Romney/Palin showdown in the primaries seems. She’ll have evangelicals and talk radio on her side; he’ll have moderates and, in all likelihood, superior organization. You can imagine Iowa breaking for her, New Hampshire breaking for him, and then war in South Carolina and Florida. Daily traffic for Hot Air in covering it: Two million hits or bust. Exit question: What do we think of the much-publicized photos in Runner’s World today? If there’s a woman in America who’s had five kids that looks better than she does, I’d like to meet her. But if it’s gravitas that she needs to cement herself as a serious challenger to The One, I can’t imagine that a check-me-out photo helps.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy