“Because the nominating process has become so dominated by primary elections, with the vast majority of the delegates chosen by direct vote, it is entirely possible that with no presumptive winner or even favorites, a candidate who runs second or third in a great many primaries could go into the convention with a sizable block of delegates.

“Who would this favor? Does Sarah Palin come to mind? Although she is not viewed by most as strong enough to win, she is viewed by many as a person worth voting for to make a statement. And primaries tend to be populated by people who go to the polls with the purpose of making a statement.

“Finishing second and third isn’t really a big deal — until you get enough delegates to be the nominee. And picking a nominee who it seems would be easily defeated by President Obama might not be the best statement.”

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“Matt Labash, a longtime writer for the Weekly Standard, said that because of Palin’s frequent appeals to victimhood and group grievance, ‘She’s becoming Al Sharpton, Alaska edition.’…

“Asked if the GOP would remain the party of ideas if Palin captures the nomination, Will said: ‘The answer is emphatically no.’

“Columnist Charles Krauthammer, without talking about Palin specifically, noted that ‘there’s healthy and unhealthy populism,’ and there is concern about the rise of the latter.

“He said there are elements of Palin’s persona that he found appealing — including a ‘gameness to do just about anything.’

“But, Labash added: ‘The downside is her gameness to do just about anything — including co-starring with Kate Gosselin on a dopey reality show. And when she does such things, and is inevitably attacked for it, that’s when you see Palinism really fall down as a political approach, as the cocked-fist self-pity and whining set in.'”

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