I realize that a lot of readers are, or were, enthralled by the candidacy of Sarah Palin, but her resignation and probable removal from the potential Republican presidential hopefuls is probably a good thing for the party.

I was initially impressed with her presence, poise and he willingness to take action in her state- but it became quickly clear that a short stint as governor of Alaska was far short of the organizational and political savvy and experience needed to qualify for the highest office. Perhaps if she served in the Senate and expanded her experience for a decade beyond her state and our national borders she could be a contender. She spoke well but showed little depth beyond the talking points. Without a sound understanding of her beliefs, and having them tested beyond her state, she stands to easily get sidetracked when the gloves come off in a national debate on issues when every pundit is gunning for you. Katy Couric and David Letterman would seem like child’s play.

She may not be getting a fair shake in the press, but who does? This is an adult game and the big league. She even acknowledged in one of her more salient speeches that we must take the game as it is and not complain about the rules.

The party’s success depends on the middle third without strong party affiliation, and the ability to attract them is the key. Sure a lot of Republican loyalists love her but those votes are a given even if they should not be taken for granted.

The party needs a candidate who can communicate well, across party lines; is clear and decisive; shows depth and competence as well as popular appeal; and has a strong grasp of the principles and issues. Personally I think the party should return to a consistent focus on individual rights, and that includes putting religion back in the church where it belongs.

The party needs to reaffirm the commitment to freedom and capitalism, but with enough depth to understand their limits. Capitalism requires adult supervision. Ideology must be seasoned with reality.

The demise of Sanford and Palin should serve to start clearing the deck for a leader to emerge; and perhaps it is a name that is new to us. But the danger in either party is that the hard core committed pick a candidate that so appeals to their political tastes, but neglects to appeal to that middle third that must be persuaded. It seems clear that the radical changes being imposed on us are starting to crumble Obama and his party’s support from that essential non partisan middle third. The GOP only needs to offer something better.

That should be easy.