Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Here's Slate's John Dickerson talking about the apparent big winner of yesterday's primaries:

Palin now has more support for a favorite story line of hers: The pundits and so-called experts said things were going to go one way but she had faith; she knew the real deal. This is part of her larger pitch: that she understands something fundamental about conservative voters. That, in turn, is what voters believe about her, which makes them think she has a special light to guide the country out of the muck.

Close -- but I think Dickerson misunderstands what Palin thinks. She doesn't think she understands something fundamental about conservative voters. She thinks she understands something fundamental about voters, period.

This gets to the question of what she's going to do in 2012. A lot of people think she's not going to run for president -- they think she knows she's not broadly popular and doesn't want to risk ruining her brand, so she's going to maintain her status by staying out of the race and continuing to try to crown winners in her party.

But I don't think she knows the difference between her party and America. I think she means it when she says she speaks for the "real America." I think she really doesn't believe the rest of us exist, or exist in any significant numbers. I think she believes the vast majority of Americans are Reagan/Limbaugh/Palin/Fox/tea party right-wingers, in the same way that some Iraqi Sunnis just can't believe that they're a minority in their country. I know that if she believes this she's incredibly naive and ill-informed, if not delusional, but I think she's precisely that.

She's savvy enough, or her advisers are savvy enough, to play up her skills at turning out Republican votes at this time. But I suspect she thinks she's hotter stuff than that. And the upcoming GOP wave election may feed her delusion -- this go-round, the broader electorate will vote for a lot of her candidates, and she may credit herself. And that will motivate her toward a presidential run.

We'll see if I'm right. And we may see if it's delusional in the fall of 2012.

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