Sarah Palin told FOX News yesterday that she "would be willing" to run for president in 2012, if it is "the right thing" for her family and the country. In fact, it would be "absurd" not to consider running, she said. She was a huge hit among the 1,100 delegates who watched her speech at the National Tea Party Convention, but does Palin have what it takes to challenge President Obama in 2012? (Watch THE WEEK's Sunday Talk Show Briefing about Sarah Palin's potential presidential run)

She has the GOP nomination locked up: If Palin decides to challenge Obama in 2012, says Charles Cooper at CBS News, "all the stars are lining up in her favor." She doesn't face much GOP competition ("Mitt Romney? Tim Pawlenty?" Yeah right). And she's got time to expand her base beyond Tea Partiers. Plus, "she's a lot cleverer than the caricatures suggest." I wouldn't bet against her.
"Get ready for all Sarah (Palin), all of the time"

Palin's alienating the political middle: The Tea Partiers in Nashville left "convinced that Sarah would be their gal in 2012," says Daniel Stone in Newsweek. But "elections are won and lost in the middle, not on the extremes," and becoming Tea Party queen isn't doing anything to attract independents and moderates. "On her current course, she simply wouldn't be able to win" in 2012.
"Why Sarah Palin won't be running for president"

Palin gets it: "Legions of independents and moderates" are fed up with Obama's Washington, too, says Mark Tapscott in The Washington Examiner, and Palin is "miles ahead of every other national figure" in understanding that frustration. It's not clear if she will, or even should, run in 2012, but she's positioning herself "systematically and intelligently" to take on Obama.
"Sarah Palin is miles ahead of every other politician in America"

Run, Sarah, run: It's true that Palin is transitioning from "mere shouter from the sidelines" to a serious challenger to Obama, says John Nichols in The Nation, and that should "delight Democrats" as much as it scares anyone in the GOP seriously concerned "about their party's prospects." Americans won't look for leadership in a "quitter" who couldn't even finish one term as governor of Alaska.
"Sarah says it's 'absurd not to consider' a Palin presidency"


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