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GOP watch: Why the media loves Palin?

Politico writes: "For the media, Palin is great at the box office. Among modern American political figures, she is second only to Barack Obama in generating clicks (for Web sites like this one) and ratings (for the cable news networks hungering around the clock for fresh material.) For Palin, she gets the exposure she needs to maintain her public profile and stir up chatter about a potential presidential candidacy -- both of which help her continue to rake in millions of dollars in speaking fees. She also gets a villain, with which to further energize her supporters…"

More: "The problem is that this relationship -- what in Hollywood they call 'Frenemies'--treats Palin as if she were the central figure in the politics of 2012. No realistic appraisal of Palin's current strengths and weaknesses or the history of Republican politics suggests this is necessarily true. A new poll out Thursday should make we in the media take a look in the mirror and ask: Should we really be giving so much attention to somebody who faces so many hurdles to becoming president or even the GOP nominee in 2012?"

If she runs, however, National Journal's Ron Brownstein says she might have pull with "beer-track" voters. "One lesson from Nashville is that if Palin ever takes the leap from celebrity to presidential candidate, the populist guns that conservatives have aimed against Democrats for decades could be loudly brandished inside the Republican tent."

Meanwhile, McCain leapt to Palin's defense for scrawling notes on the palm of her hand. "I guess it's OK to use a teleprompter but not OK to write something on your hand," McCain said during an appearance on Fox News.

Remember, McCain is in a potentially tough primary battle with conservative former congressman J.D. Hayworth. McCain is no Tea Party favorite, but Palin will seek to give him a boost when she campaigns for her former presidential running mate next month.