Sarah Palin's Progress

She didn't help McCain, and the party figures to move away from her.

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Gov. Sarah Palin's god was apparently not listening when she voted in the pre-dawn hours in Alaska:

"Tomorrow, I hope, I pray, I believe that I'll be able to wake up as vice president-elect and be able to get to work," she said. "I'm so anxious to get to work for the American people."

When the history of this race is written, will Palin be blamed for McCain's loss? Doubtful. Republicans have been explaining away their weaknesses this year blaming such factors as the recession, being outspent four-to-one by Democrats in some states, President Bush's catastrophic leadership, the unpopular Iraq war, and so on. Nonetheless, she did little to help the ticket.

Governor Palin has made clear she sees her experience on the campaign as a launching pad to a more permanent spot on the national stage, not a crash and burn finale. Can she turn her loss into future success? That. Too. seems doubtful, given the timing. As the GOP leadership figures out how to move forward, evangelical Republicans will inevitably lose their vice-like grip on the GOP. With Palin as their spokesmodel (in the words of shock jock Howard Stern), her time seems to have passed along with theirs.

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