“Palin is by no means politically unnuanced. Quite the contrary, she is as politically savvy as they come, whether on the domestic or international front. Her speeches during the recent congressional elections were not only unteleprompted barnburners in the best populist tradition, but revealed a meticulous command of the domestic issues currently bedeviling the nation as well as a finely nuanced understanding of America’s pancreatic failures in international diplomacy. She displays a far more realistic perspective on the Middle East and has far more accurately taken the measure of America’s geopolitical competitors, particularly Russia and China, than anyone in the Democratic administration.

“But is Palin electable? The next two years will determine whether she will be able to counter the slanderous media campaign against her candidacy and her competence, and so convince enough people that she has the right stuff to lead the country in perhaps its most perilous historical moment since the Civil War. Clearly, she suffers more than her share of antagonists among the megabuck left and their myriad satellites, Ivy League academics, mainstream journalists, public intellectuals, union impresarios and henchmen, and the entitlement-addicted segment of the public. They are terrified of her. She even has the panjandrums in the Republican old guard shaking in their Guccis.

“As Victor Volsky writes in American Thinker, ‘in the eyes of the political/cultural aristocracy, [Palin] is the embodiment of its worst nightmare: the revolt of the masses against their masters.’ And she knows that the master class will mobilize its considerable reserves against her. The question is whether, by sheer force of character, will, and charisma, like an American version of Delacroix’s Marianne leading the charge at the electoral barricades, and by pursuing a tireless itinerary, she can prevail against overwhelming odds and bring to the American people authentic change and genuine hope for the future.”

“Yes, she did give at least a couple of Serious Policy Speeches, but I don’t get the sense that they got any traction at all, not with all of the tweets and the reality shows and the books stuff with platitudes. Her fans, of course, never needed convincing, but for the rest — and, here, I’m really focused on Republicans — is there anyone who wrote her off as a lightweight who is now giving her a new look because of her speech on the Fed? I very much doubt it. As for proving herself trustworthy to interest group leaders and Republican politicians, well, I haven’t seen any reporting that even hinted at that. She had some notable good calls in the 2010 contest, such as in the South Carolina gubernatorial race, but just as many bad, or just odd, endorsements. I can’t imagine that the Joe Miller fiasco helped, either.

“Mostly, she’s giving every indication that if she formally enters the race, she intends to run as a factional candidate by mobilizing her personal loyalists. That was a viable strategy in the 1970s, perhaps, at least on the Democratic side, but it’s highly unlikely that a factional candidate can win now in a coalition-style nominating process.

“It’s not too late for her, but it’s getting closer, I think.”

“DeMint backed Romney in the 2008 presidential primary — but said he’s got ‘an open mind’ about 2012…

“Palin, for one, has never talked to DeMint before, even though they hail from the same part of the ideological spectrum and are considered heroes of the tea party movement.

“‘We’ve never spoken, but she left me a nice message, and I believe she’s done more for the Republican Party than anyone since Ronald Reagan,’ he said.”

“On balance, these factors look somewhat less favorable to Ms. Palin than they did a year ago. In particular, it should be alarming to her how quickly some figures in the Republican establishment have turned against her. It is probably not a coincidence that these attacks began to escalate shortly after this November’s elections, in which Republicans were perceived as having sacrificed several Senate seats, like in Delaware and Nevada, because of having nominated unelectable candidates.

“Meanwhile — after an interim period in which she seemed to be playing the role of the happy warrior, endorsing and raising money for Republican candidates — Ms. Palin recently seems to have become less selective about the arguments that she is engaging in. Her choice to attack Ms. Obama’s anti-obesity initiatives, for instance, suggests that she is either not listening to advice or that her advisers are not highly competent. Instead, she should be erring on the side of turning the other cheek: one thing that has generally been true is that presidential candidates who project a sunnier, more optimistic disposition tend to outlast those that come across as angrier. This may be especially important for Ms. Palin, who is always a lightning-rod for criticism; she doesn’t need to instigate any conflicts that she isn’t already engaged in.

“Still, Ms. Palin has some unique strengths, like her ability to use new media to attract the political world’s attention virtually at her whim. It remains conceivable, also, that the attacks that Ms. Palin will receive from members of the Republican establishment — and those which she will eventually begin to receive from other Republican Presidential contenders — could be turned to her advantage if she manages them in the right way, considering the anti-establishment mood in some corners of the party.”

Via the Daily Caller.