Once a rogue, always a rogue, unless she adopts a positive, ideas-rich style of leadership.
If anything, the former vice presidential candidate is now a leading political indicator of public anger at incumbents.
And in an age of high unemployment, when being in elected office can be a liability, that public anger is looking for a leader who can speak of the public's bile with a smile.
No wonder Ms. Palin suddenly left her job as Alaska's governor in July and has become the classic outsider in American politics.
Palin may be tapping into something deep. A Pew Research Center poll finds Americans of both parties are unusually negative about their own lawmakers in Congress. The numbers approach those of 1994 and 2006, when power shifted on Capitol Hill. Independent voters are even more down on their incumbents in the House and Senate.
Polls reflect a widespread sentiment that representatives are not acting on the views of those who elected them. The recent elections for governor in Virginia and New Jersey were seen as rejections of ruling parties in those states.
Besides rising anger over issues such as joblessness, healthcare, Wall Street bailouts, and the federal debt, one factor pushing anti-incumbency feelings may be the rise of Internet politicking, which was perfected in the 2008 Obama presidential campaign.
The ease in channeling each citizen's views – and especially grievances – only increases in this new age of digital democracy, especially among the independent-minded. As a candidate, Barack Obama said, "we are the ones we've been waiting for," and he was able to reach millions by e-mail. (He can still tap that electronic list to push his legislative agenda against incumbents in Congress.)