The good news for George W. Bush is that the haters have just about worn out the object of their contempt. The Bush years have been remaindered to the old-news bin. The good news for Sarah Palin is that she's the designated heir.
Good news not only because Palin is laughing all the way to the bank, if not necessarily all the way to Campaign '12, but her popularity with average Americans is growing. She may be the only author in America who can get book buyers to line up by the thousands, sometimes in a cold rain, for a few seconds face to face while she autographs "Going Rogue."
Her book has sold 2 million copies, and even if a lot of those books are heavily discounted from the list price of $28.99, that's still enough to buy a lot of mooseburgers. "Going Rogue" has outsold the much-ballyhooed biography of Teddy Kennedy (even though his death gave sales a nice kick start) and even Mitch Albom, the storyteller who usually outsells everybody.
Her appearance on "Oprah" gave many of the diva's regular viewers, unaccustomed to anything not resembling tapioca, a severe case of heartburn. Not Oprah. The ratings for the show were among the highest ever. Nobody, including the former governor, pretends "Going Rogue" is literature for the ages, but it's no worse -- and a lot better -- than many a politician's memoirs.
To fair-minded critics and political analysts, Sarah Palin is remarkable. She may be a shooting star in a sky otherwise empty of shooting stars, but my, what a bright light the lady makes.
Some of the sound accompanying the light is the noise of grinding liberal teeth, which alone is reward enough for conservatives. And this week, just as the polling numbers of Barack Obama continued to fall, her approval numbers continued to climb. The president, says Gallup, has fallen to 47 percent approval; 46 percent approve of the lady from Alaska.
With considerably more than a thousand days to go before the next presidential election, such numbers are important only as fodder for conversation, but it's the conversation that Washington loves most. She teased the curiosity of the capital again with the news that she's adding public appearances in Iowa. Only to sell books, of course. Everybody who visits Iowa in the dead of winter is not necessarily on the way to the White House, but it is true that the road to the White House begins in Iowa.