Simply put, the two emerged as political and media celebrities backed by exceptionally strong support within the most ideological wing of their respective political parties. But both also carry substantial political baggage with the much larger numbers of American voters who decide November elections…
[I]t is worth remembering that in the 1988 primary fight for the Democratic nomination, the contenders were often referred to as the “seven dwarfs” because of their collective lack of name recognition, and belief by some that none of them could be a good general election candidate.
That’s not unlike the current assessment of the potential 2012 GOP presidential wannabes in some quarters. Like Mr. Jackson in those days, Ms. Palin often leads the polls among contenders for the nomination because she is by far the best known.
Ms. Palin’s situation is somewhat different because at this point the idea she could win the 2012 GOP nomination does not strain credulity with many people. Still, her position reminds the rational analyst of mother’s teaching that “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.”