After losing his bid for the governorship of California in 1962, Richard Nixon told the world we wouldn't have him to kick around anymore. 6 years later, he was elected president. Granted, the refusal of LBJ to run for another term and the Chicago Democratic convention riots made Nixon's ascent that much easier, but you get the idea.
All through the mid-1970's, Ronald Reagan's presidential aspirations were considered a joke. No one, it was said, as extremely right-wing as The Gipper could ever get into the White House without buying a tour ticket. I mean, look at how badly Barry Goldwater got trounced by LBJ in '64. Anyway, thanks in no small part to the Ayatollah Khomeini, on November 4th, 1980 then-president Jimmy Carter became a lame duck, and the eighties - AIDS, yuppies, Iran-Contra, Michael Jackson and all - began in earnest.
Between the highly-questionable circumstances surrounding the 2000 election, the most frontal assault on civil liberties seen since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the worst economic trashing of America since the 1920's, everyone expected George W. Bush to be a one-term wonder. Except that for some reason, perhaps a few bugs in those newfangled electronic voting machines, he got re-elected in 2004.
Sarah Palin is a presidential candidate for the 16th Century. Under her administration we could expect fornicators to be publicly flogged (with the best spectator seats going to the biggest campaign contributors), and intensive drilling in Genesis and Leviticus to replace all of those heretical math and science courses in our public schools. Now, most of us are probably thinking that as ignorant, regressive and dangerous as the rabble-rouser Sarah Palin is, there's no way she could be elected, though to our credit those of us who wished to live in the 21st Century saw to it that her running mate, John McCain ended up giving the concession speech in November, 2008. But deep in our hearts, most of us know that she still has a shot at becoming president. Those of us whose brains aren't owned by Fox News strongly suspect that she's probably attempting a Nixonesque comeback. Why else would she intentionally resign from office halfway through her first term when she probably could have been a 10-term governor without breaking a sweat? Granted, Alaska isn't California and her program was rather strikingly repudiated by voters last fall. All it would take is for health care reform to fail (that's one of the things swept Republicans into congress in 1994) or for the economic policies of the Obama administration to fail, as dittoheads across America are hoping for between doses of OxyContin. Even if President Obama gets to serve out two terms as Bill Clinton did, he's outta there by 2016. If the Dems don't have a suitable opponent to face her down, we could all be living in Alaska, so to speak, by the following year, with officially-sanctioned ignorance blanketing this country like an ice-fog, and McChurches becoming the new town halls as many of them now are.
Remember, eternal vigilance, blah blah, yada, yada.