I will offer a short and compact analysis of the Palin factor.
Frankly, I think the McCain brought her onto the ticket....because they wanted to lose. McCain was going to be denied almost one third of the Republican public because of negativity over his pretender status. He felt this would pump the ticket up slightly....but still ensure a loss in the end.
As for Palin? She's a one-dimensional political figure and probably supported by fifty percent of the Republican public at best. For independents? She might be able to get half of their votes because she says stuff that a far-right conservative would like to hear. She could easily be a senator or a governor....but beyond that....I fail to see a massive number of American voting for her.
The book sales? Shocking for the media....that a first-run book by her would go this well. Does it help? I'm guessing it's like an introduction and maybe she earns some points from the book. But beyond that....she's not the five-star savior of the Republican party.
Face it....the smartest and most capable guy out there is Mitt Romney....who can't be elected because he's a member of a "cult" (a ridiculous statement by Republicans and media folks but they truly can't support a LDS guy). So you are left with players like Huck, Palin, and a couple of 3-star governor types to run in 2012.
So Palin is it....and the question is....how much do people really dislike Obama....not how much folks like Palin.