Whether the Republican presidential ticket wins or loses on Tuesday, a group of prominent conservatives are planning to meet the next day to discuss the way forward, and whatever the outcome, Gov. Sarah Palin will be high on the agenda.
Ms. Palin, of Alaska, has had a rocky time since being named as Senator John McCainâ€™s running mate, but to many conservatives her future remains bright. If Mr. McCain wins, she will give the social conservative movement a seat inside the White House. If he loses, she could emerge as a standard bearer for the movement and a potential presidential candidate in 2012, albeit one who will need to address her considerable political damage.
Her prospects, in or out of government, are the subject of intensive conversations among conservative leaders, including the group that will meet next Wednesday in rural Virginia to weigh social, foreign policy and economic issues, as well as the political landscape and the next presidential election.
Sarah Palin’s future will be determined as she develops as a candidate and governs Alaska. She must do both well and win re-election in 2010. Palin must NOT ignore Alaska as she expands her presence in the lower 48.
Flap agrees with Matthew Dowd in that Palin must strengthen her weaknesses in foreign policy and become more than a good speech.
Matthew Dowd, a former Bush strategist, said Ms. Palinâ€™s challenge was to show substance.
â€œSheâ€™s an attractive woman who can give a great speech, but the American public doesnâ€™t view her much beyond that,â€ Mr. Dowd said. â€œSheâ€™s vastly unpopular among moderate and independent voters, and while she could be in a position to be popular among an increasingly smaller Republican Party, sheâ€™s got to figure out a way to extend that and figure out a way to strengthen her weaknesses.â€
Some pundits are not so optimistic on Sarah Palin’s great expectations.
Others are higher on Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
But, for now the GOP is “The Sarah Party” and what Palin makes of it will be the subject of many posts the next two years.
As the heir apparent of the GOP, it is Palin’s to lose.