I've heard suggestions that the right is going to want to push Palin
for the 2012 nomination, and I've been hoping they would do so. Now
I'm a bit concerned that she could be a better candidate than I imagined based on her past disastrous performances. I had imagined the Republicans doing to themselves what the Dems did by nominating McGovern in 1972. That might still prove true if Palin should get
nominated in 2012, but I'm a bit less confident of that now.
This seems unlikely to me.
4 years is a long time.
Offhand, what's the list of defeated VP candidates who
(1) were elected president 4 years later, OR
(2) were even the presidential nominee 4 years later?
There don't seem to be any, unless maybe you count Mondale [VP loser in 1980, losing nominee in 1984]. But Mondale had actually been VP, not just a nominee.
Muskie (ran with Humphrey) looked like a frontrunner, but collapsed.
Lieberman (ran with Gore) was strongly rumored to be running in 2004, but didn't.
FDR (ran with James Cox in 1920) did get elected -- but not until 1932.
Bob Dole was Ford's VP nominee in 1976, and was the nominee 20 years later (and lost).
So, it's far from clear that being a losing VP candidate helps you much.