Everyone’s already made fun of this from National Review editor Rich Lowry, so I’ll quote it then try to make a slightly non-mocking point:
I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, “Hey, I think she just winked at me.” And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can’t be learned; it’s either something you have or you don’t, and man, she’s got it.
Now the simple fact of the matter is that Palin is an unpopular figure. There’s no sense arguing about this. Likewise, the polls show unambiguously that most people who watched her debate performance were unimpressed. And yet among male conservative pundits, this sort of gushing praise was extremely common. But before this loose talk of a Palin 2012 campaign takes off, people need to realize that her appeal seems grounded in the psychosexual hang-ups of conservative men. Her hyper-unpopularity with women makes her an unpopular figure overall, and talk of her mesmerizing qualities doesn’t change that.