Sarah Palin's entered into the national arena when she was nominated to run with Senator McCain. Even though they lost the race, she has continued to grab the spotlight in a way that few other losing vice-presidential nominees have. Why?
I think she struck a cord with the Republican right. She is unabashedly pro-life when most major candidates dance around the question of abortion because they don't want to alienate the moderate voter. And no one can question her pro-life support because the proof is in her youngest son.
I think she also struck a cord with the typical American who did not go to an ivy league college. She put herself through college, and that makes her more like the average American than most politicians. It also, for some weird reason, intimidates people who did go to expensive schools. Could it be that they think, but won't admit, that state colleges are inferior? Well, that would smack of a snootiness that most politicians won't cop to.
It also aggravates the liberals, especially those in the press, that she has connected with a significant portion of Americans. They endlessly wonder why, and they can't stop themselves from attacking her. That actually strengthens support for her among people who already like her--she has become something of an "underdog" because of the constant attacks. Nevermind that she is not currently running for anything. She still has a power that liberals cannot understand.
I admire that she continues to challenge the liberal press and ths current president, and she does so even though she has no current power position. She is influential in a way that many in politics dream of being, and they scratch their heads over how to do what she has done. And she did it pretty fast and quite effectively.
I'm glad she has stuck around post-election. She is rattling cages, including some in the Republican Party, and she's making things interesting. It seems to me that she doesn't owe anybody anything, and that makes her pretty untouchable. She may be the purest person in politics that I can recall. So many politicians are "owned" by somebody, whether it's a political interest that gave lots of money or their own party in return for its support. She doesn't carry the same burdens, and so she gets to write her own ticket, wherever that's taking her.