Want more proof of the GOP's plan for Sarah Palin post-2008? The McCain-Palin website is featuring Palin12 items for sale with the tagline, "Conservatism Lives." The 12 is a refernce to 2012, the year of the next US Presidential election.
It should be noted that the merchandise page contains this copy: "Proceeds from
sales of merchandise do not benefit McCain-Palin 2008 and should not be considered a campaign contribution." It's unclear who proceeds do benefit.
This is in contrast with a number of prominent national conservatives who are reluctant to align themselves with the polarizing Governor from Alaska:
CNN: So let me ask you point blank, governor. Is she the future of the party? MARK SANFORD (SC): I don't think I'd define it that way. [11/13/08]
TIM PAWLENTY (MN): She [Palin] is going to be one of the voices that will help lead the party for months and years to come, clearly. ... I also think it is too early to be talking about 2012. My goodness, we just had an election. People are sick of that. [MSNBC, 11/12/08]
FOX: What do you think her future is?
HALEY BARBOUR (MS): Well, I think the future she's talking about is 2009 and 2010. [11/13/08]
MATT BLUNT (MO): I think Republican governors were surprised when she [Palin] was selected, but at the same time they were impressed. ... There are a lot of great candidates out there for 2012. I don't think the American people want to — want to hear much about that at this point.[Fox News, 11/13/08]
MSNBC: So broad hints there from Palin again today with reporters, certainly with Matt Lauer. Is that the solution?
JON HUNTSMAN (UT): The solutions are going to be many-fold. You can't look to one personality in particular. [11/12/08]
Of course, she does have her supporters...
In response to the allegations that she was ill-prepared for interviews and debate, Randy Scheunemann, an aide assigned to Palin, called her "brilliant" and said she has a "photographic memory."
I think the focus on that camera was a little fuzzy then.