On Sunday, former Palin running mate John McCain said "of course" she could beat Barack Obama if she runs in 2012. That may not be too surprising consider the two's history. But what may be surprising is that one prominent member of the mainstream media definitely agrees. And another at least sees some Reagan comparisons.
On Sunday's "The Chris Matthews Show," both The Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan and TIME editor Joe Klein agreed that if Palin runs she could have the edge on Obama.
After Matthews asked, "Does anybody imagine Sarah Palin being elected President of the United States?" Sullivan answered:
Yes, because, not because of her apparent virtues, not because of Obama’s weakness, but because of unforeseen events. I do think that if for example we have a collapse in the markets because of a debt ceiling crisis, if we have a second recession, if we have another major terrorist attack, I’m just saying we shouldn’t rule out things.
Then Klein chimed in:
You were around, you were around in ’79 and ’80 as I was. Did you see many people in the Carter administration think that Ronald Reagan could beat Jimmy Carter?
Klein later walked that statement back a little by saying he's not sure if either Michele Bachmann or Palin could win. But that doesn't completely erase the Reagan analogy.
NewsBusters's Noel Sheppard wonders what this all means:
It is indeed fascinating that any media discussion of Republican presidential candidates always goes back to Palin.
Is it because the press really want her to run to make the race more interesting, or much like Sullivan they secretly fear she could be the one to beat the president they love so much?
Considering Sullivan does make a Palin/Nazi reference (and seems to bash her, too), the belief that she could win is curious on many levels.