Item: Noah Millman's exploration of the dynamics of the GOP presidential nomination contest struck me as well worth reading. I do think that things are more fluid than he implies...there's still plenty of time for someone other than Mitt Romney to play the Romney role he imagines (Rick Perry?). We don't have a good sense yet of whether Sarah Palin's appeal within Republican primary electorates is capped...well, we do have a sense that it is capped, but whether that's at 70% (not much of a problem) or 40% (very big problem) doesn't seem clear to me right now. Some numbers: the current YouGov/Economist poll gives her a 77/17% favorable rating among Republicans...but we don't really know how many of those 77% are thinking of her as a presidential candidate. For what it's worth, YouGov/Economist has her leading the horse race with 28%; that doesn't strike me as a very impressive total for a candidate with excellent name recognition against a bunch of unknowns. Of course, there's also the very solid possibility that she bails anyway for any one of a thousand reasons. But I think Millman's piece is very nicely set in the real-life world of nominations, with its interactions between various party elites and the voters.
Item: I want to second Andrew Sullivan's call for NBC and CBS to release the full, unedited, raw footage of the Palin interviews with Katie Couric and Charles Gibson from the 2008 campaign. If she's getting mileage from accusing them of selective editing, then, yes, I think it's an excellent idea to prove her right or wrong. (Yes, it's really the entertainment value I care about, but why not?).
Item: On all the Palin blogging...I'm sure a lot of people react to it by thinking that she gets way too much attention as it is, and wish I'd stick to other things (indeed, people have left comments to that effect). I figured I'd explain a bit. Well, first of all, I'm a political junkie, and she's good fun. More seriously, I think you can expect a fair amount of nomination politics blogging from me, since it's pretty close to my core research interests...in other words, I know a little bit about the nomination process and party politics. So I'm fairly likely to use whatever presidential candidates are in the news as an excuse to talk about how parties work, or how the nomination process works. I do feel that I spend an inordinate amount of time on her; but then again, as I mentioned earlier this week, what exactly is there to talk about with Tim Pawlenty? Remember - we're well into the 2012 presidential nomination cycle, and things will only heat up going forward. So I'm afraid you can expect plenty of the Sage of Wasilla for some time.