ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- At long last, the professional predictors have awoken to what Sarah Palin's fans have been saying all along: that she's looking a lot like she's going to make a run for president. Now they're all wondering what it means for other potential Republican candidates, and for the GOP as a whole. Opinion makers who get paid per opinion -- the same ones who got paid to pronounce that Palin definitely, most certainly, isn't running-- have lots of opinions on all of this, and they're rolling in.
"Why a Palin presidential bid helps other GOP candidates," CBS News' Robert Hendin declares.
"How Presidential Candidates Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann Could Cancel Each Other Out," Jeremy B. White announces in the International Business Times.
New York Times political writer Matt Bai speculated on Friday that Palin's entry would close Tim Pawlenty's path while helping to clear Mitt Romney's. Bai reasons that a Palin run will upset the "Republican establishment" enough to jolt them into coalescing around a candidate -- and the only one who seems to fit the establishment bill is Romney.
He thinks that's a good thing for Romney.
Establishment slayerBai's assessment probably comes close to Alaska's experience with Palin, with one marked difference. She did indeed jolt the establishment -- which in Alaska was known as the "good ol' boys" -- and Alaska pundits did indeed believe that such a jolt would pull those establishment Republicans together; that is, until they looked around and realized that there really weren't really that many of them left to jolt.
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