But I’m starting to believe the detractors are wrong and that Palin is executing a shrewd strategy that has catapulted her past potential rivals, co-opting the same media establishment she loves to denigrate. Even her recent hints about running for president—if indeed she’s willing to subject herself to constant journalistic scrutiny—are designed to stoke interest in her now that midterm madness has faded."Catapulted her past potential rivals" -- really?
McClatchy-Marist last week had Palin a sad third in their nomination polling, at only 13%, just a few ticks ahead of Newt Gingrich (who almost no one likes) and Chris Christie (who almost no one has heard of). Granted, she did do a bit better on the Q poll the previous week, but at best she's right now even, nationally, with Romney and Huckabee.
Which is about where she was, and perhaps a bit worse than where she was, in 2009. The very first 2012 matchup collected by the folks at PollingReport was a CNN poll from February 2009, which had Palin first with 29%. Now, these things do bounce around a lot, but she was over 20% in several 2009 polls -- and none of the 2010 polls. And meanwhile, her overall poll ratings hardly provide evidence that her media strategy is working, although she does seem to have ended the erosion of her numbers and perhaps picked up slightly over the last couple of months.
(Of course, it's hard to separate the effects of media strategy from other effects. Still, at this point, it's not as if there are a lot of other reasons to expect changes in the rank of the top GOP candidates. I suppose one question would be whether her resignation counts as part of her media strategy or not; the evidence seems to be that she, at least, thought of it that way).
So I think it's hard to argue that whatever Sarah Palin has done in the last eighteen months has helped her chances to win the GOP nomination in 2012. Of course, tweeting, Facebook, a reality show and Fox News have collectively been better than hiding under a rock. And perhaps Palin simply couldn't handle a conventional media strategy, which would involve actually talking to real reporters. So it's possible that, given who she is, she's making the best of a bad situation. But my guess is that she could in fact handle real interviews with real reporters (it's not that hard), and that she would be better off had she done so.