For months now the real story on the right has been the search for new presidential contenders. There is far more awareness than many in the media imagine among conservative activists, Tea Partyers included, of Palin's limited appeal to independent voters. ... Is she admired for her ability to rally the base? Yes. Is she especially talented at throwing the White House off stride? Obviously. Does she give voice to populists' suspicion about media bias and liberal elites? Better than most anyone on the political scene. But the notion that she is a frontrunner is an eye-roller for most elected GOP officials (Chris Christie tipped his hand a bit on late-night TV) and even for many fans who furiously defended her against what conservatives saw as excessive and unfair criticism during the 2008 race.
Indeed, more Republicans -- on the Hill and around the country -- are beginning to suspect that she might not run. Why risk her fame and her rock-star status by running and possibly losing?Instead, and as examples of new possibilities, Rubin mentions Chris Christie, of course, as well as Mike Pence and Paul Ryan. But she's quick to acknowledge that "Right now the frontrunner is 'none of the above.'"