Once upon a time, George F. Will writes, a maverick Arizona senator ran for president with “a running mate most Americans had never heard of and who had negligible experience pertinent to the presidency.” That was 1964, the candidate was Barry Goldwater, and his VP choice was Bill Miller, who retired in “dignified anonymity” after losing 44 states. No one suggested he run for president four years later, so why is everyone talking about Palin 2012 ad nauseam?
There's nothing wrong with Sarah Palin, Will writes in the Washington Post. “She is feisty and public-spirited, and millions of people vibrate like tuning forks to her rhetoric.” But historically, her “cathartic” brand of populism last won with White House with Andrew Jackson's reelection...in 1832. Populism "is a cathartic response to serious problems. But it always wanes because it never seems serious as a solution." It’s not her fault that she fits the bill, “but neither is it her validation.”