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.
What have proved to be problems for the top three candidates wouldn’t have been problems for Palin. For starters, she has none of Newt Gingrich’s intellectual hubris. There’s no way Palin would have promised to put a mine on the moon or suggest arresting judges who make decisions that are too liberal. Her conservatism is far more domestic and down-to-Earth.