Politico's Mike Allen says he had no choice but to write a story with Jim Vandehei on the GOP establishment's efforts to prevent Sarah Palin from winning the party's 2012 presidential nomination. "We didn't even set out to write this," he claims in his daily Playbook newsletter. "But it came up so often that we had to: It was the worst-kept secret in D.C.!" Also? Lots of page views.
The logic of it all is pretty simple. Sarah Palin could become a juggernaut in the Republican primaries with the support of the tea-party movement. She could become the GOP nominee. And then, since the broader electorate thinks she's a joke, President Obama would "crush" her like a fly that foolishly lands on his arm.
"There is a determined, focused establishment effort to find a candidate we can coalesce around who can beat Sarah Palin," said one prominent and longtime Washington Republican. "We believe she could get the nomination, but Barack Obama would crush her."
This sentiment was a nearly constant refrain in POLITICO interviews with top advisers to the candidates most frequently mentioned as running in 2012 and a diverse assortment of other top GOP officials ....
Top Republicans, from presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty to highly influential advisers such as Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie, are said to be concerned she will run, and could win, according to the officials.
Meanwhile, Democrats, who loathe and fear Palin even more, are hoping she wins the nomination for the same reasons. They'd love for her to get that far, and no further. Then again, maybe that's too close for comfort. If she somehow finds a way to beat Obama and actually becomes ... no, let's not think about that for now.
Next for GOP leaders: Stopping Sarah Palin [Politico]