Sarah the Washington Insider

At first I was astounded at the talk of Sarah Palin laying the groundwork for her own presidential run in the future. After all, if John McCain does lose, there is ample evidence part of the blame will rest on her and the seemingly impetuous, make that desperate, decision to choose her as his running mate. Polls show she evolved from sudden sensation into a drag on the ticket, widely perceived as a telegenic scatterbrain who was selected for a lot of wrong reasons.

The more I think about it, though, the more I am reminded that when it comes to politicians, we Americans have the collective memory of a gnat. To put it another way, Gov. Palin will have plenty of time for us to forget why it was she so enhanced the career of Tina Fey.

Instead of "Gov." Palin, think "Sen." Palin. That becomes more plausible when we think Sen. Stevens, as in Ted Stevens. He's now been convicted, but he's still running for reelection.

Under this scenario, Palin would devoutly hope Stevens wins. Then, as the legal walls start slowly collapsing and as his Senate friends turn their backs on him, he will sooner or later resign.

By now, you know what's next. Under Alaska law, the governor appoints an interim replacement until the state's voters choose someone to fill out the term.

Now just who might that interim appointment be? Let's see. Could it be SARAH PALIN!!? Would she appoint herself in the hope that it would give her a leg up in the special election?

There are certainly reasons to think so. For starters, the United States Senate would be a terrific school for her remedial civics courses. She could learn all about current events without really doing any harm.

Not only that, but Washington does have a Nieman Marcus store. For that matter, there are some really snazzy consignment shops for her "maverick" moments. It gets better. The area is crawling with makeup artists, who can help with the lipstick when she goes to hockey games. Did I mention we have an NHL team?

You can see why this is so plausible. I don't even have to mention that the tundra here is usually not frozen. There are so many advantages. D.C. has a ton of therapists, for example, plenty of professionals who can help anyone who believes this is some crazy fantasy.

It definitely is not. Stranger things have happened in the wild and wacky world of politics. In fact, they usually do. You betcha.

If, for some reason, this doesn't play out, she could always become a fellow pundit. You certainly don't need any particular knowledge to do this. Just a vivid imagination.


Visit Mr. Franken's website at www.bobfranken.tv.