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The first major candidate visit of the 2012 presidential season is about to take place in South Carolina … home to the hard-hitting “First in the South” presidential primary contest that has accurately predicted the GOP presidential nominee in every election since 1980.

Former Alaska governor and GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, frequently rumored as a possible 2012 candidate, will visit Columbia, S.C. this week to sign copies of her new book America by Heart. Palin’s trip – her first to the Palmetto state since she endorsed S.C. Gov.-elect Nikki Haley back in May – will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Friday at the Books-A-Million store located in the Village at Sandhill, an outdoor mall in Northeast Columbia.

The new reality TV star‘s book tour is also taking her to Iowa, another critical early voting state.

Palin’s visit comes as many within her own party are beginning to question her qualifications – and her ability to win in 2012.

For example, cable television host (and former Republican Congressman) Joe Scarborough blasted Palin this week, saying that her resume “makes the political biography of Barack Obama look more like Winston Churchill’s.”


“Republicans have a problem,” Scarborough wrote in a column published Tuesday in The Politico. “The most-talked-about figure in the GOP is a reality show star who cannot be elected. And yet the same leaders who fret that Sarah Palin could devastate their party in 2012 are too scared to say in public what they all complain about in private.”

Scarborough’s “cannot be elected” comment is in reference to a recent poll that showed Palin trailing U.S. President Barack Obama in a hypothetical 2012 match-up.

As with all of the other 2012 aspirants, we are keeping an open mind with regard to Palin’s candidacy.

Unlike Mitt Romney (who has previously supported socialized medicine plans), Mike Huckabee (who we view as suspect on fiscal issues) or Newt Gingrich (who betrayed the last “Republican Revolution”), Palin is a comparatively blank slate. All we really know about her is that she quit her job as governor to begin the process of positioning herself for a presidential bid.

Anyway, should Palin choose to run we certainly hope she will promote sound, specific fiscal policy with the same enthusiasm that she promotes herself … although we’ve been substantially less than impressed with Palin after the initial allure of her groundbreaking vice-presidential candidacy wore off.