Self-styled "conservative" (read: social conservatives, people who believe in small government for businesses and big government for personal morality) Republicans are already floating the idea of a Sarah Palin presidential bid in 2012. The idea is so absurd -- even if she weren't, to any objective observer, so manifestly unqualified, her social policies make her completely unelectable nationally even if she could win the nomination -- you have to wonder if there is a hidden agenda behind the "Palin 2012" talking point.
My Republican friends (of which I have none) tell me this is an astute media move designed to prop up Palin's credentials in the face of withering criticism and concern for McCain's health: how can anybody continue to disparage her qualifications for VP if the party is already considering for the top of the ticket in 2012? Unfortunately, there's a huge flaw in this strategy: it only makes sense if the Republicans are already conceding 2008 to Barack Obama.
The other alternative is that Republicans still believe John McCain will win, but he has one of those TV diseases that kill you in a very precise span of time:
"I'm sorry, sir, it's terminal."
"Oh my God! How long do I have to live?"
"Four years, two months and seventeen days"