But just because she says stupid things doesn't mean she's totally stupid. Certainly though, it shows a specific kind of stupidity. Palin also is apparently not much of a policy wonk. In the book Game Change (a book that relies extensively on anonymous sources), it is reported that the McCain team needed to teach Palin basic facts about World War II and other elementary information.
So, perhaps Palin isn't the smartest candidate running for the 2012 Republican nomination. She does have a unique ability to connect with a certain kind of person. That kind of person will be voting in the Republican primary. She no doubt has charisma. Many voters would want to have a beer with her. For those reasons, she is a serious candidate for the nomination, should she decide to run.
Here's the problem for her. She came onto the scene as a divisive vice presidential candidate. People have strong feelings about her. She has name recognition. Yet, she is not doing better or worse than anybody else in early polling. She would need to wow the electorate in the primary in order to win the nomination.
The Republican voters will appreciate the way she goes after Obama. Many will swoon after she gives a speech. But questions about her knowledge, experience, and her propensity to commit gaffes will hamper her chances. If she had a big lead, I could see her potentially holding on. But I don't see her breaking away from the pack.