‘If only Palin had run …’

They were like the three eyes in the sky watching over us as we entered Don Draper’s world in the 1950s, the TV networks, CBS, NBC,ABC; the Three Visitors who would accompany our post-war journey to Vietnam, to the moon, everywhere, while Dave Garroway and J. Fred Muggs drolly conversed with the mothers of River City. Sometimes he would get bored and they would just stick the camera out the window to watch the beautiful people going to work in New York City. Today the networks mark a turning while Katie Couric, strangely absent from the presidential talks this cycle, suddenly appears on one channel with Octomom (Octomom?) and Sarah Palin, strangely absent from the presidential race this year, appears on another.

Viewed from the sky the world is all one piece. But we are an Earth-based species and it isn’t. Our world is endless, with generations rising and receding in harmony and countervention. And the Couric/Palin counterpoint is a critical turning in this metamorphosis.

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It has been a mystery from the start. When I write here about Mitt Romney I get maybe five comments. Ron Paul more, maybe 15. Sarah Palin, a hundred or more. Palin, said here when she first took the mic from John McCain, is a phenomenon and a generational phenomenon, occurring when we are at the changeover of history’s generations. This one happening to be marking the change of centuries. Timothy Stanley, a historian at Oxford University who blogs for Britain’s Daily Telegraph, pondered Friday in an opinion for CNN, “If only Sarah Palin had run …”

“The Republican presidential primary hasn't exactly overflowed with talent. In December, it was a roll call of the undesirable Right: Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, Paul, Perry, Huntsman and Bachmann — a list so long and bizarre that Count Dracula could have slipped in on the end and no one would have noticed. Except, as the citizens of Chicago will tell you, the dead always vote Democrat.”

As Mitt Romney suffers defeat after defeat at the hands of Rick Santorum, whose chances of winning this thing aren't high, his negatives mount, writes Stanley, but “it didn't have to be this way. If Sarah Palin had entered the contest, I'd hypothesize two alternative realities. One, she'd have the nomination sewn up by now. Two, she'd be running even in the polls with the president.”

Most important, Palin has the character and reputation necessary to break out of the Republican Party's demographic prison.

“The Republicans desperately need a candidate who can appeal to lower-income voters, who can rally men, who can gain women's votes, who can bring out conservatives in large numbers and who can appeal to a younger demographic.”

The GOP needs a Tea Party candidate, he says, either Sarah Palin or someone very like her.

“Alas, it's going to have to wait until 2016 to get its rogue.”