Hey GOP, Take the Palin Cure: She’s hot, she’s blue collar, she’s electable.

The Republican Party has been doing a lot of hand-wringing and finger-pointing since the presidential election. Half the conservative columnists and bloggers say the GOP lost because it overemphasized social issues such as abortion and gay marriage. The other half says the party didn’t emphasize them enough. And everyone denounces Project ORCA, the campaign’s attempt to turn out voters via technology.

But I’ve got a suggestion for cutting short the GOP angst: Sarah Palin for president in 2016.

You think I’m joking? Think again.

In 2008, Palin, running as my party’s vice presidential candidate, was widely supposed to have cost John McCain the election. But that wasn’t so. A national exit poll conducted by CNN asked voters whether Palin was a factor in their voting. Of those who said yes, 56% voted for McCain versus 43% for Barack Obama.

Furthermore, Mitt Romney, the GOP’s anointed contender this year, got almost a million fewer votes than McCain did in 2008. (Meanwhile, President Obama, although winning reelection, lost far more voters than the Republicans, with nearly 7 million fewer voters checking his name on their ballots than did in 2008).

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