Back in the 60s and beyond, political losers were still the party front runners next time up. But, that's all changed. Gore lost to Bush, and he was politically done. Kerry lost to Bush, and he was politically done. Forever. No second chances.
Yet, Palin, if anything, has become a bigger leader in the Republican party since her loss. Why is that? Is it because since McCain's name was ahead of hers on the ticket, that "she" didn't really lose?
Or are the rules changing?