"True, she seems to know very little about international affairs, but expertise in this area is no guarantee of wise leadership."

While I see Mr. Podhoretz's point, I don't really find that a comforting reason to support Sarah Palin in any quest for the presidency.

His defense of Palin leaves me unconvinced.  Even if Sarah Palin agrees with me on the substance of an issue, I'm concerned, at least at this point, about her ability to lead and to govern.

Podhoretz says he would prefer her in office to Barack Obama.  I must say that I would prefer someone with what may be her policy stances (they're rarely nuanced or even fully clear, usually buried somewhat unintelligibly under a storm of personality controversy), but without her excessive drama.

In a way, when I'm looking for a potential president these days, I'm searching for someone who 1) is within an acceptable range of possibilities based on how the individual would handle power compared to past occupants of the position and the powers of the position, and 2) does the person align with me when it comes to policy and principle?

Most candidates fit the first range - they're not perfect, but they have a baseline seriousness, competence, and loyalty that assures me, to some extent, that they won't act in a manner that will actually destroy the country.  I may not agree with them - I may even vehemently disagree with them - but I know that their approaches are not so out of line with what I'd expect that I could tolerate them should they win office.  Barack Obama, even post-health care passage, still barely falls within this category (one more act of fiscal recklessness, and I'll likely reconsider).  He certainly doesn't fit the second qualification.

With Sarah Palin, it's hard for me to rest assured that she actually fits within the first category.  I still don't feel comfortable with her wielding power.  From what I've seen over the past year and a half, even if I agree with her on the policy and principle (something commenter Tim S has aptly suggested at various points), I'm concerned she may be too erratic, vindictive, uninformed, inarticulate, or petty to lead effectively and predictably.  I may change my mind in this regard, but at present, I'm not sure I'm confident about trusting Sarah Palin if she's forced to go with her gut in a critical situation.