Conservative pundit Matt Lewis has been a big Sarah Palin fan from the get-go. In fact, as he explains in the Daily Beast, he was a fan before the get-go—pushing for her as a VP candidate even before John McCain made his pick. Since then, he's staunchly defended her from critics on the right, and he's even edited a book of her quotes. Now, however, the party is over. "I got some stuff right, and my position was justifiable at the time, but in hindsight I regret contributing to the premature deification of Sarah Palin," Lewis writes.
Her recent speech in Iowa—sample line: "'The Man' can only ride ya when your back is bent"—was so roundly panned that it feels like "we have finally reached a tipping point where criticizing Palin isn’t only acceptable for conservative opinion leaders, it’s now almost expected." Lewis' new view of Palin is that of an "incredibly talented political force" who sold out and squandered any chance of greatness. "And it’s worth considering that maybe her early critics saw some fundamental character flaw—some harbinger of things to come—that escaped me." Click to read the full column.