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Dispatches From Palin Country

Count me among the folks eager for a Palin '12 campaign. And not just because of the wisdom and gravity she'll bring to the debate. It would tear the GOP--what's left of it--apart. In Washington, at least, most Republicans I know are smart enough to see the danger of a Palin encore, and so the reality of her deep public support doesn't enter the conversation (that said, the John O'Sullivan has a huge piece in the Wall Street Journal drawing parallels between Palin and Margaret Thatcher. You go, John).

But then I leave the Beltway, and my hopes are revived. Yesterday I drove from D.C. to Nashville--through a prime chunk of Palin Country--and saw at least a dozen mutilated McCain-Palin stickers--with the top half sliced off. That could mean nothing three years from now, but I don't recall such support for John Edwards in December 2004. And, to add anecdote to anecdote, several people have suggested doing the same on comment boards around the Web.

--Clay Risen