Good news for Americans worried about a Sarah Palin presidency come 2012—or worse, a Palin-Beck ticket: New York Times reporter Kate Zernike, author of Boiling Mad:Inside Tea Party America, says that her reporting doesn’t bear out concerns that the controversial ex-governor of Alaska could hold the highest office in the land, even with so-called “Tea Party support”:

I think people tend to equate Sarah Palin and the Tea Party. One of the most fascinating things to me, and this has been backed up by polls and by focus groups and by interviews that I’ve done is that people in the Tea Party like Sarah Palin, they think she’s amusing, they want to go hear her to speak, and when she gives a speech they’re on their chairs cheering and some of them are saying “Run Sarah Run”, but the majority of them are like other Americans. The numbers were very similar to polls of other Americans.  They don’t think she’s qualified to be President. And they don’t think that she, a lot of them don’t think she should run for President. They don’t think she’ll stand up against President Obama very well. 

So they like someone else like maybe a Mitt Romney who is someone who doesn’t come off as authentic to them, but he’s a businessman so he could fight on the economic issues, he looks presidential—very tall and thin and handsome. 

-Cord Jefferson is a staff writer at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.