I did watch the whole Beck/Palin interview...I thought it would be fun, but it wasn't, really. She's just obviously not even close to ready for prime time. The whole thing was nearly substance-free; not just that she doesn't seem to have anything to say or any apparent knowledge of public policy issues, but that her awareness of basic bits of her own ideology seems to be mostly lacking. She pretty much just followed Beck around, wherever he wanted to go, without offering much of anything of her own. In other words, I've had plenty of college frosh who could mouth standard GOP rhetoric with a lot more polish. I'm not sure I'd go quite as far as Ta-Nehisi Coates, but I'm sure not impressed with her progress over the last eighteen months.
That doesn't mean she can't get nominated by the current Republican party, and if nominated she certainly could win if the conditions are right, although I don't see her as anything like a strong general election candidate.
A couple of quick items to add. Matt Yglesias says, "I sort of sympathize with Sarah Palin and don’t think I have a favorite founding father." I think he's just having fun with it; the problem, as it was with the "what do you read?" question, is that Palin can't manage to give a answer with any substance at all in it. Now, Matt isn't a candidate for president; she's not allowed to turn it around and say that it's a dumb question. The real weakness of her answer is that she eventually fell back on an answer about Washington that Beck had already given her earlier in the show. Of course, pols will kiss up to talk show hosts, especially the ones that have large and loyal followings, but it was still interesting that (1) at first, she didn't catch on that she was supposed to say Washington and give a Beck-happy version of Washington, and (2) when she did eventually catch on, again, it just wasn't very well done.
Second thing. I try to avoid Beck, but apparently he's selling the idea that, as he predicted a year ago, the United States today has been changed so much by the Dems that it's totally unrecognizable (Palin was happy to agree, in sort of a qualified, what am I getting myself into, way). Really? Is there anyone at all out there who actually believes that the nation is totally transformed? Usually, I see continually slipping predictions of future ruin along with lots of early indications of coming doom, not claims that ruin has already happened. Oh well; whatever sells books, I guess.