The 45th President of the United States
Why don't I want her to be President #45? It's because I think that she, unlike John McCain (who used the label primarily as cover for shoving his finger in his own party's eye), really is a maverick. She made a political career by seeing how politics was operating, deciding that it stunk, and entering the game so she could do something about it. That's a great story, and it's one we all purport to stand behind with our calls against voter apathy and our campaigns to get involved. When I look at her career against a bought Republican party in Alaska (and its heirs like Princess Lisa), I can't help but root for her. Go, Sarah, go.
So she's a maverick, a crusader. But I don't want someone like that as the president. In part, it's because that's a reactive role; there always needs to be someone or something to crusade against for this character to be effective. But our President is supposed to be the president of all the people, not just the ones who voted for #45. It's also because though we call it the most powerful office in the world, the presidency is actually very constrained by tradition and contemporary political concerns. I don't want someone who is liable to chafe at the restraints and wish to go rogue; I think the current occupant already has that trouble.
In short, Sarah Palin is who she is because she's made a career of shaking things up. In general, I approve of this because I think things needed to be shaken up. But I prefer a different sort at the top, someone prepared to actually preside over the system more or less as it is in order to be effective even if the proposed reforms never happen. That's why I'm hopeful that one of the many effective governors on the GOP side win the 2012 election and step into that role.
I also don't want Sarah Palin to run for the presidency in 2012, and it actually has little to do with Palin herself. I'm not really a pro-Palin person. What I am, though, is a very strong anti-anti-Palin person. Much of my support for Palin is in reaction to the smug, unfair, venomous, arrogant, condescending, vicious, paranoid, over-the-top, and vindictive treatment afforded this woman and her family. I don't know why, but this woman brings out the nasty in a lot of my fellow Americans, and it reminds me of why I don't like them very much. I don't want to spend most of the next election cycle appalled at the behavior of millions of people with whom I'm supposed to share a cultural heritage. Avoiding that is sufficient reason for me to root for Sarah Palin on as kingmaker or pundit or cheerleader, just as long as she's not the candidate.
(Oh, and it keeps Tina Fey's impersonation off my TV screen. Tina Fey winning the Mark Twain prize was much like Barack Obama or Jimmy Carter winning the Nobel Peace Prize: instead of elevating the recipient, it demeans the prize and exposes the absurdity of the selection committee.)