She was never going to run anyway. The only reason she was sniffing about was to boost her CV for her media work. The GOP is usually pretty good at picking someone electable even if they don't actually get elected viz McCain. My gut instinct is that they'll end up with somebody like Perry or Huntsman.
Can they win - sure. Obama is deeply unpopular and is polling below where Carter was in the same period. He's popular with African Americans - that's about it. His polling numbers are down massively amongst Hispanics and Whites. Ditto Independents. Doesn't mean Obama will loose of course; but to be honest I don't think Obama sees the Presidency as the top job. It would fit him much better being UN Secretary General or some other international post.
The Republicans main threat is the Tea Party not being happy with the GOP choice and putting up a Perot/Nader choice. Now I'm not following the lazy liberal media line that all Tea Party people are nuts; they have the same degree of wack jobs that the Democrats have in their Media Luvvie supporters like Garofalo, Penn, Glover, Moore et all and candidates like Dennis "I see little green men" Kucinich. But the Tea Party could decide to commit electoral suicide as they are very clear and inflexible on their policies.
As the rather similar and more credible Bachman campaign implodes Palin has sensibly decided to be a political entertainer like goofy Glenn Beck. She has the GOP base's affection but not its trust.
Chris Christie has also funked it to the great disappointment of wingnut punditry.
Unfortunately for Barry it's looking like Romney as Perry hasn't held up in debates, foolishly attacked social securities viability, a program hated by well heeled Teapers but one many GOP voting seniors and Evangelical Rednecks depend on. Even Teapers realize they need a candidate that's not frank to the point of being ideologically handicapped. Romney has good hair, wears a suit well and has a penis, he'll do.
Mitt The Mormon may not inspire the base, his faith isn't recognized as Christian by many of them, has only recently flip flopped away from very similar political positions (they were once GOP mainstream) to the Hell spawned Muslamic Socialist who wants to destroy America but with the US economy heading into a double dip and perhaps another global banking crisis his business background is a plus. Even an uninspiring GOP candidate can beat the hopeless, change-free, Bush 3rd termer in these circumstances.
A couple of questions from someone gazing at the aparrant lunacy of US politics and not really getting it.
First, what does GOP stand for?
Secondly, my understanding is that the Tea Party is a movement, ie a set of aims and values, as opposed to an actual political party, so do their candidates stand for election as what we might describe as 'Independent Republican' or are they endorsed by as an official Republican party candidate?
Thirdly, as it seems to me that US politics, like everything else over there, is all about money who funds the Tea Party?
Sorry to appear ignorant, but you've got to start somewhere!
Both parties in the US hold a series of "Primary Elections" (the primaries) to select their candidate.
Essentially any one with enough money, confidence and a degree of support can rock up at the hustings and make their views known.
At the end of the State Primary, each REGISTERED Voter (to vote in the US you have to register as a Democrat, Independent, or Republican - as I understand it) for that party gets to vote on the candidate of their choice.
This means that a Teaper could stand as a candidate on the Republican ticket (there's nothing to stop them standing on a Democrat ticket but they wouldn't get very far).
As for Teaper funding, I suspect that it's the usual mishmash of big businessmen, small fundraisers, and personal wealth.
i think that the tea party are a minority but they are a well motivated (they do raise plenty of $) and vocal minority who in a period when many people are disillusioned with politics managed to punch about their weight in the elections for congress.
if they have any major influend on who the republicans elect as their candidate i think it would put off independants as well as moderate republicans and you could see a deeply unpopular president winning by a large majority.
Everybody on the right is orgasmic at the opportunity of throwing out Obama, but if you look at the characters that are actually running for the task, you really do see that the "big tent" of the GOP actually contains a three ring circus. IF Obama is as easy to beat, then why is the GOP having to choose from the current bunch who are running? Right now the competition is between a re-tread, pandering, game-show host who is displaying all the sincerity of a used car-salesman to get past the party's base and a Texan hair-do who is as comfortable as a hippo on ice-skates when he's forced to think on his feet and is so stupid that he apparently didn't understand how owning a hunting lodge called "Niggerhead" might pose a bit of a political problem for him once he got into national politics.