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You want it. Today's Washington Post has it. From Michael Leahy's piece on Sarah Palin's rocky return to Alaska:

JUNEAU, Alaska -- A couple of weeks before the Alaska legislature began this year's session, a bipartisan group of state senators on a retreat a few hours from here invited Gov. Sarah Palin to join them. Accompanied by a retinue of advisers, she took a seat at one end of a conference table and listened passively as Gary Stevens, the president of the Alaska Senate, a former college history professor and a low-key Republican with a reputation for congeniality, expressed delight at her presence.

Would the governor, a smiling Stevens asked, like to share some of her plans and proposals for the coming legislative session?

Palin looked around the room and paused, according to several senators present. "I feel like you guys are always trying to put me on the spot," she said finally, as the room became silent.

Gone was the self-assurance that Alaska had come to know in its young Republican governor, well before her life and career were transformed by  Sen. John McCain's selection of her as his vice presidential running mate. "She looked ill at ease, more defensive than we've been accustomed to seeing her," said one legislator who was there and spoke on the condition of anonymity because he said he might need to work with Palin.

I think Chris was the first person to point out last year that, after the McCain campaign decided to keep her under wraps while she was given a crash course on national politics, Palin's confidence suffered and she became like an athlete who was pressing too hard--and the more she pressed, the poorer she performed. For all her bravado, you do get the sense that unless she's speaking to a room full of diehards or to an obviously sympathetic journalist, like Greta Van Sustern or that talk radio host DFW wrote about, Palin simply can't perform at the level national politics requires.

To carry the sports metaphor a step further, I think Palin should look to Rick Ankiel as a model. After his disastrous meltdown as a Major League pitcher, Ankiel went to the minors, remade himself as an outfielder, and is now back in the Majors. Along those lines, it seems like the wise course for Palin would be to give up her position as partisan firebrand, focus her attentions on being Alaska's governor, remake herself as more of a pragmatic executive (which, prior to the '08 campaign, is what many thought she was), and then return to national politics. That would mean no more butting into the Texas govenror's race, no more attending the Alfalfa dinner, and no 2012 presidential campaign; but I think the payoff for her down the road would be much greater.

Jason Zengerle