I have no doubt in my mind that Sarah Palin wanted John McCain to win the election. Yet it was not to be. The first time I realized that Obama might be the next President was after McCain became the presumptive Republican nominee. The only time I had any hope of Obama losing was after his performance at the Saddleback Forum. On the heels of that, I thought that if McCain would pick a solid conservative, the party base may turn out to give him a slim victory. After a lackluster Democratic convention and the naming of Palin, my hopes intensified. I was sure a victory against Obama was possible. Even after the economic crises hit, I felt that if McCain made a proactive case for capitalistic solutions, he would maintain his momentum. But after McCain's disastrous performance in the first debate, reality reappeared in my perspective. John McCain would never win, even without the economic crises. In picking Sarah Palin, he brought out more of the base to the polls than would have otherwise shown up. Her presence on the ticket prevented McCain from losing in astronomical proportions.
With McCain's defeat, it is clear to me that this is the best thing that could happen if Palin has ambitions to run for President. If McCain had won, Palin would undoubtedly face "Republican Fatigue" after twelve or sixteen years of Republican occupancy of the White House. Even serving a popular President can be hazardous to a Vice President's chances to be elected President; only four sitting Vice Presidents have been elected President. Serving a President McCain would have put Palin at odds with the Conservative base. There would have most certainly been issues that McCain would buck the party base on and as Vice President, Sarah Palin would not only have to tow the line, she would have to publicly threaten Conservative Congressmen and Senators not to defy the White House. Even if the base knew where her heart was, if she had to promote a McCain folly such as amnesty for illegals, her ability to gain the nomination might have been damaged beyond repair.
Now that she is free from answering to McCain, she can articulate her beliefs as she feels fit. I would not be surprised if she moves to the right on some issues she appeared to agree with McCain on. And there will be less talk about reaching across the aisle. Right now, she needs to concentrate on winning a second term as governor. (The money from liberal special interest groups trying to defeat her will be unprecedented.) She needs to campaign for Conservative candidates and when possible, campaign against incumbent liberal Republicans in future primaries. That will cement the loyalty of the base.
I will be watching her closely. I am enthusiastic about her possible future, but this is not an endorsement. I am also observing Bobby Jindal with interest as well. I do not know which would make a better candidate.