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Palin Praying For Open Door in 2012

During her interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren last night, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin indicated that she is indeed open to a presidential bid in 2012:

“You know, I have — faith is a very big part of my life. And putting my life in my creator’s hands — this is what I always do. I’m like, OK, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I’m like, don’t let me miss the open door…And if there is an open door in ’12 or four years later, and if it is something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I’ll plow through that door.”

Assuming President-elect Barack Obama has a relatively successful first term, the 2012 Republican primaries will be very revealing about the state of the party.

At the end of the 2008 race, Palin found herself surrounded by multiple controversies, including “Troopergate,” “Clothing-gate,” and sources within the McCain campaign reportedly saying she lacks basic knowledge of the government and the world. She also cheerfully took on the role of the hyper-partisan in attacking Obama — as a “socialist,” on his ties to William Ayers and saying she would like to bring up Jeremiah Wright.

Some polls found she was a drag on the Republican ticket. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released just before the election found 57 percent of voters felt Palin lacks “personal qualities a president should have.”

All of this suggests Palin did not make a very strong first impression on the national stage, which will likely impede her in future presidential bids.

However, Palin’s broadest appeal — to the conservative base — could set her up nicely for the Republican primaries. But she would again face the same problems she had this year — a high level of support among the base but very little from moderates and independents. Moreover, Democratic ad-makers have lots of ammunition from this race to bring back in 2012.

Most important, with Palin as the 2012 nominee, the GOP would demonstrate that it essentially learned nothing from the thumping it received this year. If Obama’s victory proved anything, it is that the South is no longer monolithic — which was the key to Republican victories for decades — and the Rovian strategy of energizing the base to maximize turnout is not enough to win elections with a new electoral map. Barring a 180-degree reversal of Palin’s non-base public image, her nomination in 2012 would signal good times ahead for the Democratic Party.

(Via Jonathan Martin)

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