Should former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin run for U.S. president in 2012?

Sarah Palin has been part of the national political dialogue since U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ari., plucked her out of Alaska when he announced that Palin would be his vice presidential running mate in the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

Some political operatives saw the move as savvy -- as the only way McCain could close then. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's, D-Ill., strong lead among female voters.

Other political operatives saw the move as ill-conceived -- that any Palin upside would be more than offset by Palin's liabilities -- a remarkably low knowledge level of American history and events, the Washington community and power structure, and a stunning information gap on world politics and U.S. foreign policy.

Obama easily defeated McCain, 365-173, in the all-important electoral college in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, and while much of the Democratic Party's victory can be attributed to the U.S. recession (which started in December 2007 under President George W. Bush, a Republican from Texas), dissatisfaction with the methods used to address the financial crisis, and the general unpopularity of Bush, stemming from the controversial Iraq War, some argue Palin's nomination essentially sealed McCain's fate.  I.E., that the American people would not elect an unproven public policy maker to a position that's 'a heartbeat away from the presidency.'

Palin, Inc.

In her post-2008 election career, Palin has, among other activities, written books, starred in a reality t.v. show, made millions of dollars on the national speech circuit, formed a political action committee, and been a key figure in the Tea Party, a conservative/libertarian faction of the Republican Party. Further, Palin has not indicated whether she will or will not run for president in 2012 -- either in a campaign for the Republican Party's nomination, or (assuming it holds a convention) as the Tea Party's nominee.

Some say Palin's failure to announce her 2012 intentions is part of a strategy to not announce that she's not running for president in 2012 until she has to -- i.e. that she decided long ago a 2012 run would not be prudent, given the need to bolster her national-level public policy resume. Moreover, delaying her 2012 decision keeps her 'speech price' high: public figures who may run for president almost always can charge more for speeches than public figures who have no intention of running.

Others say Palin is simply biding her time, carefully evaluating the U.S. political climate, assessing which candidate forum/expression would be most appropriate -- a run for the Republican Party's top spot, the Tea Party's, or, perhaps a run as an Independent/unaffiliated candidate.

Sound-Off: What's Your View of Sarah Palin?

For much of conservative America, Palin is on-the-mark -- someone who favors lower taxes, a smaller federal government, is pro-life/anti-abortion, would repeal the 2010 U.S. Health Care Reform Act, and believes the American economic system aleady has everything it needs to help people and businesses succeed.

For much of liberal America, Palin is off-the-mark. Millions of African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, union workers and other workers, the working poor, senior citizens, Americans without health insurance, and impoverished Americans don't see much in Palin's policy stances to-date that will improve their daily lives, that will help them achieve the American dream.

What's your view of Sarah Palin? Does Palin have the experience and qualifications to be president of the United States, the most powerful elected position in the world? 

Send us your thoughtful comments in the space provided below.