In regard to Sarah Palin lending her voice to the governor’s and House races (e.g. three only) going to the polls today, Andrew Sullivan had an interesting observation on what Palin may be morphing into following her departure from office last summer:
In a way, Palin is more effective as some kind of cultural talisman than as an actual, you know, politician, who has to know things, govern states or countries, and hold press conferences. She's being turned into a kind of Marian figure, a blessed icon whose mere touch bestows some kind of aura on a candidate or race. Her book will become some kind of touchstone in this firmament of religious Republicanism.
I think that Sullivan isn’t far off here. Although I feel that Palin’s impact on, say, the NY-23 race has been way overblown by the media and her followers at Fox News, I agree that the ex-governor seems to fancy herself as a would-be messianic figure that the heart and soul of conservatism should follow into the future.
The only problem with this theory, however, is that Sarah Palin still polls poorly within the bulk of her own party. Yet this may change one day if Palin’s appeal as a popular figure—among conservative voters--begins to swell over the next year, and Republicans begin openly seeking her blessing in 2010.