Prediction Wars: Drum vs. Ambinder

October 30, 2008

Kevin Drum made a prediction a few days back:

Apropos of nothing in particular, I want to go on the record with a prediction that Sarah Palin will disappear into a well-deserved obscurity after the election is over. She is not a “comer.” She is not the future of the Republican Party. She will not run for president in 2012. In fact, she won’t maintain any kind of serious national political standing at all. At best, she’ll spend the next few years being a celebrity starter at NASCAR races and speaking at Republican prayer breakfasts. At worst, she’ll be an occasional butt of late night comics.

Palin is lazy, ill-informed, contemptuous of policy, and way too convinced that everybody in the country is dazzled by her folksy energy and thousand-watt smile. Yes, the diehard GOP base is rapturously in love with Palin and her media mockin’ ways, but that’s more a reflection of the base’s future, not hers. Palin is a three-day wonder who’s already a month past her sell-by date, and on November 5th she’ll disappear to Wasilla for good.

On the other hand, Ambinder says Palin is the frontrunner for 2012, here and here:

And here, both Palin and Huckabee have a built in advantage. The GOP base, by and large, will not blame Palin for McCain’s failure to win the election — if, of course, he fails to win the election. The base seems to love her.

The question is whether her political recalibration will be enough by 2012 to sustain a political majority outside the Republican Party.  Mike Huckabee doesn’t need to rethink himself all that much — a few positions here, a few positions there, some emphasis in different corners — and he might well present himself as the most electable conservative candidate.

again, i come down on the side of palin here. i’m guessing that the GOP primary is going to be all about telling the base that it’s not their fault, and palin is going to be second to none on that score.

Who will be proven right?  The Enlightened Despot will remember the predictions, and in 2012 we will know.


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