Sarah Palin is "the John Edwards of 2008," said Toby Harnden in Britain's The Telegraph. Like the 2004 Democratic vice-presidential nominee, she's "attractive, well-groomed," and "shows little loyalty to the top of the ticket." John McCain's campaign is flagging, and the fact that "she's constantly straying off message"—on robocalls, the Federal Marriage Amendment, North Korea—is a sign she's "clearly looking beyond this election" to 2012.
It is odd, said John Dickerson in Slate. "Even on Team Maverick a vice-presidential candidate's job is to agree with the candidate at the top of the ticket." But as to what Palin's up to, or even if it's a deliberate tactic, we just don't know. Palin critics push the "going rogue" line, but Palin loyalists say she's doing her best for "a ham-handed campaign."
Anyone who thinks Palin has a chance at the top of the ticket in 2012, said Elyas Bakhtiari in The Moderate Voice, is "seriously over-estimating her political talents. Not only is she incompetent in areas of policy, but she lacks the subtlety and smarts to even be an effective campaigner." We won't see much of her after Nov. 4.
Palin will be a force in 2012, said Thomas Ash in Open Democracy, no matter what happens in November. If McCain wins, he'll be 76 at the end of his first term and "possibly too old to run again." Palin has "ample and passionate support" from the party's conservative base, and that could be all she needs to make her the GOP's next choice.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 10 things you need to know today: October 21, 2014
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Paul Krugman, Amazon, and the left's backwards view of book-industry titans
Subscribe to the Week