I know Sarah Palin is extremely popular among the conservatives, and this diary will probably arouse a lot of strong feelings.
I consider myself a conservative independent, not aligned with either party but do vote GOP almost exclusively. Although the liberal media was a bit too harsh on Palin, I cannot bring myself to support her if she chooses to run for president.
First, Palin does not have the intellectual weight to be president. Her knowledge of the issues is juvenile at best, and based on her interviews and speeches, there is no evidence that she thought deeply about the most important issues of the day, with perhaps the exception of energy. Basic questions like, "What books and papers do you read?" or "What supreme court cases do you disagree with?" are not gotcha questions but rather extremely basic queries. Palin's inability to answer those last year were deeply troubling.
Many conservatives have compared Palin to Ronald Reagan. The only thing they have in common though are that they were both once governors of western states. Unlike Palin, who quit her job after 2 years, Reagan served 2 FULL terms as governor of California. More substantively, Reagan spent the period from 1975-1980 writing and talking about a plethora of issues, ranging from taxes, government regulations, detente, etc. He read voraciously and was constantly thinking about the issues, carefully honing his conservative worldview. Palin, unfortunately, has not shown such devotion to the issues. Rather, since quitting her job, she has gotten involved in a silly fight with David Letterman, verbal sparring with Levi Johnston, and wrote a book that attempts to blame all of her problems on the McCain campaign.
If she really wants to run for president in 2012, she has A LOT of work to do. She needs to read and study more, stay away from silly bickering, and take responsibility for her failures. Yes, she's different from most politicians and can be a breath of fresh air. But just like Obama, she has very little substance.