Charles W. Dunn, a professor of government at Regent University, warns the GOP establishment of the perils of underestimating Governor Palin:
Mrs. Palin appeals to the very same people Reagan appealed to, including conservatives of several persuasions - economic, political, religious and social. She is the one person in the Republican Party who has burnished credentials in all spheres of the conservative coalition. Her every word commands center stage on television.- JP
Reagan was not a "policy wonk." Neither is Mrs. Palin. Like Reagan, she does not devote herself to the minutiae of public policy details, but rather, she leads by instinct, based upon her guiding principles of right and wrong. When Reagan's advisers tried to prep him for presidential debates by reading thick manuals, he refused. Rather, he brought to the debates a set of well-honed conservative principles. So far, Sarah Palin looks like she is cut from the same cloth.
Reagan and Mrs. Palin have "skin comfort." As former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown said of her Republican National Convention address: "Her timing was exquisite. She didn't linger with applause but instead launched into line after line of attack, slipping the knives in with every smile and joke. She delivered it like she was just BS-ing on the street with the meter maid. She didn't have to prove she was 'of the people.' She really is the people." Likewise, Reagan exuded that same comfort with his persona whether delivering major speeches or dealing with members of Congress.
In 2010, no prospective Republican presidential candidate has collected more IOUs than Sarah Palin, whose endorsements and encouragement have propelled many otherwise unknown candidates and likely losers into creditable and more often than not victorious races for office. Reagan collected his IOUs in 1980 after traveling the country on behalf of conservative candidates.
Time and circumstance merged for Ronald Reagan. They could for Sarah Palin, too, especially if the Republican establishment scorns her as it did Reagan...