Palin receives a chill blast from Barbara Bush
She should stay in Alaska, the former First Lady tells Larry King
The next US presidential election is two years away but already it's encouraging a bitchfest among the girls. After Sarah Palin broke all the unwritten rules and attacked the incumbent First Lady - suggesting Michelle Obama was unpatriotic and racially prejudiced - a former First Lady, Barbara Bush, has had a blast at Palin.
In a pre-recorded interview with Larry King, to be screened on CNN tonight, Old Mother Bush is asked for her thoughts on the former Alaskan governor.
She responds: "I sat next to her once, thought she was beautiful and I think she's very happy in Alaska - and I hope she'll stay there."
Those who know George Bush Snr's First Lady - and Dubya's mom, of course - will not be surprised by the bitchy remark. The First Post's US columnist Alexander Cockburn, recalling a meeting he once had with Barbara Bush, recently described her as "horrible". But Palin's criticism of Michelle Obama was considered well out of order.
The big question is - does Barbara Bush's view of Palin, who says she is weighing up a run for the White House in 2012, reflect that of the majority of Americans? It depends on who you believe.
An online poll being run by the New York Daily News asks: "Do you think Sarah Palin could beat Obama in 2012?" Only 14 per cent are answering "Yes, I don't think she gets enough credit for her experience" while 84 per cent say "No", believing she does not have the know-how to run the country.
Some commentators, however, believe Democrats and many Republicans are underestimating Palin's potential.
Alex Spillius, writing from Washington for the Sunday Telegraph, says the British would be wrong to assume Palin is a joke and that it is possible that in two years' time David Cameron will be shaking hands with President Palin.
Spillius argues that America is a profoundly more conservative country than Britain and there is a solid base of public opinion that agrees with Palin's politics - anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, pro small government and "unyielding in the view that American military might can do no wrong".
He concludes: "No one dares completely dismiss Sarah Palin's presidential prospects now, even if they do think she would be a disaster".
If Palin were to succeed in 2012, David Cameron wouldn't be the only world leader in for a shock.
A First Post photo special, Made for Each Other, makes the point that Vladmir Putin is very likely to be re-elected Russian president in the same year. And with their shared love of hunting, shooting and fishing in the great white yonder - he in Siberia, she in Alaska - they will find they have a lot more in common than their political rhetoric might suggest. ·
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