I wish people would stop calling Gov. Palin 'unqualified' for the presidency. The Constitution lays out the qualifications for the office, and she meets them all.
The word people are looking for is 'unprepared.' Gov. Palin was woefully unprepared to be president. She simply knew nothing about national politics, international relations, party dynamics, and media norms.
Looking forward, Gov. Palin's unpreparedness presents her with a problem and an opportunity.
First, the opportunity. To be a viable candidate, she needs to spend the next four years learning a thing or two. She should begin by poking fun at herself for her performance. She should admit her unpreparedness, and then quickly add something to the effect of: "Hey, I was just doing the role that McCain wanted me to do. I was a team player. Going ahead, everything I need to know I can learn. And I will learn it. I am extremely hard-working, and I am always willing to admit my faults and work on them. I will be back, and I will be a better, more prepared candidate in the future."
Now, the problem. Americans' perceptions of Gov. Palin were shaped solid during this campaign. This is a problem because the McCain campaign used her. She was their attack-dog, and now she looks like a fool for doing the dirty-work that Sen. McCain would not do himself. As a result, Americans think of her not only as lacking knowledge. Perhaps more importantly, they think of her as a highly divisive figure. And in the current 'Obama' environment, divisiveness simply won't get the job done.
In the end, Gov. Palin should have refused the VP opportunity. She should have been more aware of just how unprepared she was. But that's water under the bridge. Now she has to be vigilant. She has to learn something. She has to articulate to Americans that she was just playing the part that Sen. McCain asked of her, and that truly, she is a bi-partisan get-things-done kind of politician. And most of all, she has to gain back a semblance of dignity.
She has to do all these things, and soon. It won't be easy, but it's not impossible.
I'm kind of rooting for her. I see her as a figure who, if she gains knowledge and regains her bi-partisan credibility, could bring the Republicans back from the dead.
But she's got to quit being the know-nothing attack-dog of the Hannity-Limbaugh-Bush wing of the GOP. Run to the center, Governor!