Regular readers will know that I am torn by the prospect of Sarah Palin in the GOP race for the 2012 Presidential nomination.
On the one hand, I think she's much smarter than she's portrayed, of course, by the state-controlled media, and even some GOP operatives (are you listening, Karl Rove?). On the other, I just don't think 2012 is her time, and, now that I am perusing some of the other candidates, I just think we at least need a candidate who elevates the debate, and can clearly articulate the difference between Liberals, and us. Personally, I think Newt, Chris Christie, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, and even Romney, all can, and will do this better than Palin.
I think her behavior since 2008 has been quixotic. Starting with the resignation, then with the constant defensiveness, the reality show, it's all not very presidential, and has done little to distinguish her as a deep thinker and someone who brings real depth to the conservative debate.
What I don't want is an election that's about the cult of personality. That's what we got in 2008, and we don't need it in 2012. If Sarah Palin wants to be president (and I am not convinced she does), she needs to do the same things she would need to do if she wanted to be a thought leader for conservatives.
Which is - take advantage of the one issue where she has a clear edge on every other Presidential aspirant, energy policy. But, she hasn't seemed to bring that knowledge to the fore. She needs to.
She also needs to get smart on other conservative issues. I don't hear her bringing intellectual arguments, clearly enunciated, to the issues near and dear to conservatives - low taxes, smaller government, defense, school choice, free markets, and any foreign policy agenda. She's a Sean Hannity conservative - not that thoughtful, knowledgeable in a 1/2 inch deep sort of way, but reflexively anti-Obama. I'm anti-Obama, too, but, geez, our ideas are clearly superior to theirs, we need to get into the habit of being idea driven, not anti-driven.