I felt strongly at the time that she was more qualified than Barack Obama, who had no executive experience and very limited legislative experience.
If you remember, Obama, at the beginning of the campaign, was not the smooth, finished product that he was at the end. His early debates were terrible. But, he had time to work out the kinks, and did so. By the time, the average voter turned their attention to the race, he was ready for prime-time.
Palin did not have that luxury. She entered the fray at the height of the campaign, and, for all her talents, a strong across-the-board grasp of national issues was not one of them. Nor, as a governor, should we have expected that to be the case. I felt at the time she was a good VP pick, but that she needed more seasoning before becoming President.
Given November's election results, it seems clear that my desire for a candidate with executive experience was at variance with the electorate as a whole. Obama had no executive experience yet prevailed.
After her surprise announcement, many pundits have been quick to declare Palin's political career as over. I disagree. I side instead with Bill Kristol who argues that many are underestimating Palin's prospects for success should she run for President:
...I am convinced, though, that she should have a chance to compete and make her case. In this, I seem to differ from many of my friends in the mainstream media and the Republican establishment. They tend not only to dislike and disdain Palin, they also want to bury her chances now as a presidential possibility. What are they so scared of?
It's silly to claim Palin has no chance to win the nomination or the presidency. The fact is, despite a rough campaign in 2008, Palin has been (for what it's worth at this stage) a co-front-runner in polls of GOP primary voters for 2012, along with Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. In a recent Pew survey, she had the strongest favorable-unfavorable numbers of the likely candidates among Republicans.
She has fervent supporters, which would presumably help her in primaries and caucuses. Among the general public, she has a not-great but not-unmanageable 45-44 favorability rating.
Will her poll numbers fall because she has opted to step down early from the Alaska governorship? Perhaps. But the short-term effect of that decision will soon be swamped by judgments people make as they see her out and about, speaking and opining on the issues of the day.
She'll be able to make the case effectively that she should be the nominee, or she won't.
The odds are that she won't -- just as the odds at this point are against any one of the GOP candidates. It's a wide-open race. And Palin may not even run. But the panic among mainstream media commentators and the GOP establishment suggests real worry that if she does, she might pull off an upset. Why else the vehement assertions that she's clearly made a terrible mistake? Why else the categorical insistence that her political career is finished? Aren't they all protesting too much?
The media establishment didn't protest much about the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama. He gave a good speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, was elected to the Senate that fall, and immediately started running for president. He didn't accomplish much in his four years in the Senate (nor could he have been expected to). But that didn't seem to hurt his standing. Isn't Palin about as well positioned for the 2012 GOP nomination as Obama was in 2005 for the 2008 Democratic one?... Full Article