Washington Babylon — February 11, 2010, 11:21 am

David Broder Loves Sarah Palin…And Dan Quayle

“The snows that obliterated Washington in the past week interfered with many scheduled meetings, but they did not prevent the delivery of one important political message: Take Sarah Palin seriously,” David Broder writes today in the Washington Post. This was just the start of a Valentine’s Day card to Palin, who Broder described as “a politician who knows who she is and how to sell herself, even with notes on her palm,” and a woman with “a pitch-perfect recital of the populist message that has worked in campaigns past.”

Meanwhile, the Post has a major story on a new poll which finds that 55 percent of Americans have unfavorable views of Palin versus 37 percent that hold favorable views — a new low in the newspaper’s polling:

There is a growing sense that the former Alaska governor is not qualified to serve as president, with more than seven in 10 Americans now saying she is unqualified, up from 60 percent in a November survey. Even among Republicans, a majority now say Palin lacks the qualifications necessary for the White House.

Palin has lost ground among conservative Republicans, who would be crucial to her hopes if she seeks the party’s presidential nomination in 2012. Forty-five percent of conservatives now consider her as qualified for the presidency, down sharply from 66 percent who said so last fall.

Then again, this is the same David Broder who back in the 1990s foresaw the emergence of the Dan Quayle presidency. Broder even co-authored a book with Bob Woodward — “The Man Who Would be President: Dan Quayle” — which attempted to curry favor with Quayle in anticipation of his expected triumph in the 1996 election. The book’s highpoint: The chapter on Quayle’s obsession with golfing, which the authors described as his means of achieving psychic balance. “I have seen him in the dark of night, jump out of his car and walk right to the putting green and start putting,” a Quayle aide told broder and Woodward. “The imposition of discipline. Or absolute order. What matters. And that’s not just relaxation. That’s his version of oriental shadow boxing.’”

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I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

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