Interviews with a number of the most conservative Democrats in the House and Senate induced an awkward, stare-at-your-shoes unease when the prospect of appearing with Palin was posed.

Some of the members lunged for elevators, others moved to get into meetings (or at least behind closed doors), and a few just chuckled nervously and replied in a clipped fashion that reflected an immense desire to not discuss the topic at any length.

For these Democrats, many of them part of the right-leaning Blue Dog Coalition, Palin presents a quandary: She’s deeply unpopular within their own party, but in the socially conservative, often rural districts or states they represent, the plain-spoken, wader-wearing Alaska governor has a following…

For all the brushoffs, some conservative Democrats did indicate they’d at least have an open mind toward a Palin visit.