Asked (Barbara) Walters: “If you ran for president, could you beat Barack Obama?”
“I believe so,” (Sarah) Palin said
That’s the $24,000 question with Palin, isn’t it? If she were the nominee, could she beat Obama?
Honestly, it’s impossible to answer that question — not just in regard to Palin, but in regard to whoever the GOP nominee will be.
Many people seem to be assuming that Obama is doomed in 2012. That’s NOT a safe assumption by any means.
First off, Jimmy Carter and George Bush may have gone down after a single term each, but that’s more unusual than you might think. In fact, the last President to be elected, serve a full term, and then lose for reelection before those two was Herbert Hoover, who was defeated by FDR in 1932. In other words, knocking off a sitting President is no small matter.
Moreover, a lot of things can change in a two year period — and were he around, Ronald Reagan could tell you all about it. He beat Walter Mondale in a landslide back in 1984, but people tend to forget that in 1983, his approval rating had plunged all the way down to 35%. So, don’t assume that just because Obama’s down, he’s going to stay down. The economy could take off, he could have some surprising foreign policy success, he could move to the middle, the Republicans could blow it big time — there are a lot of ways that Obama could claw his way back up.
Of course, a lot depends on whom the Republicans nominate. Aside from Palin, the field doesn’t look particularly impressive at the moment, but most people would have said the same thing about the Democratic field in 1992, which ended up producing Bill Clinton.
So, let’s take a hard look at Palin: