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History may wink at Palin

The VP role has been filled by a diverse lot. By that standard she may have what it takes.

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A few days ago, I was doing an interview with National Public Radio. The topic was the presidential election. But within seconds it was all about Sarah Palin, that winking-at-the-camera, "gosh darnit" hockey mom, and moose-hunting frontierswoman from Alaska. What the interviewer wanted to know was whether Sarah Palin in the White House might become Dick Cheney.

In a few weeks, Governor Palin has exploded from Arctic oblivion to get the kind of buzz any Hollywood press agent would pay big money for. Her face leaps out from every newsstand. Late-night TV comics adore her. There are more Sarah impersonators than Elvis impersonators.

Is she a short-term sensation? Not when she and Sen. Joe Biden pull in 73 million viewers for their TV debate and their principals get only 55 million for their first one, and 66 million for their second. Win or lose on Nov. 4, Sarah Palin is going to have an ongoing role in American politics.

Admittedly, if Tom Brokaw ever got to ask her the question (from Peggy of Amherst, N.H.) that he asked the presidential candidates, "What don't you know?" the honest answer might be "a lot." But she's a quick study and as vice president she would have a safety net around her of national security, economic, and political advisers.

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