Who was it that cautioned, “be careful what you ask for, you might get it”?

cow copyThe Republicans wanted someone who would complement McCain’s maverick image, the free thinker, the independent, the rugged Westerner. What he got looked good in the showroom but turned out to be a bad deal, you betcha.

Governor Palin has gone from being all mavericky to being All About Sarah. Originally, her maverickosity was one of the qualities the campaign touted for her. However, what was once seen as a virtue is now turning into a thorn in the side of the campaign.

Emerging reports are that the McCain campaign is ripping into itself. Palin complains that her rollout was mismanaged and McCain’s people complain that Palin is a diva and a “whack job.” Such colorful language is usually reserved for the loyal opposition. Some of her supporters refer to her as the “Maverick Barracuda,” which conjures up a bizarre image of a game fish and a cow, one mixed metaphor too many. How about this one: “rat deserting a sinking ship?”

Meanwhile, Palin is looking ahead to 2012, already fantasizing how she will descend from the Great White North like an Alberta clipper to take back the country. Interestingly, the party leaders who saw her as the Energizer Bunny are now seeing her as a princess largely focused on her own interests, having ditched McCain like a bad date on prom night.The tiara should have been a dead giveaway.

The rest of us snicker, but we shouldn’t be complacent. Palin’s appetite for the political stage has been whetted and she won’t go peacefully into the night. She will work quietly behind the scenes to shore up her base, seeking to position herself as a more polished presidential candidate in 4 more years. Time permitting, she’ll read a book or two.

Should the Republicans lose, Palin must return to Alaska to face some unpleasant political realities. Her gubernatorial tiara is now tarnished by questions about her pipeline project, Troopergate, and a host of other potential embarrassments. She may also face more than a few peasants with pitchforks. I’ve got my money on one in particular.