What now for the media's Palin industry?

The Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan, who risked his mainstream reputation to question Palin’s character, politics, and even maternity, told POLITICO that now he can “get a life.”

“Helping to prevent her from getting her hands on power was one of my guiding goals once I realized the MSM was never going to do it,” he wrote. “I lost vast tracts of time and not a few t-cells trying to understand and expose this farce and it’s a huge relief that this preposterous saga is over. Just knowing she isn’t a threat is a huge psychic relief if you care about America and the world.”

The Palin industry rested on two premises: That she was personally capable of mounting a presidential campaign and that Republican voters, whose admiration for her was unquestioned, actually wanted her to run.

Doubts have built steadily about both of those notions — her inability to finish her term overseeing a small state government suggested the presidency was out of reach, and there was little evidence she was capable of laying the groundwork for a national campaign. And Republican voters, in polls and interviews, said increasingly they saw her as a party cheerleader, not a player. Tellingly, by early 2010, a majority of Republicans polled said she wasn’t qualified to be president.