The Nation's Chris Hayes makes an interesting catch:
Remember when Pat Buchanan ran a number of hard-right, fringe
campaigns for president in the late 1980s, 1990s and 2000? Well, guess
who was supporting him. From an AP report in 1999: "Pat Buchanan brought his conservative message of a
smaller government and an America First foreign policy to Fairbanks and
Wasilla on Friday as he continued a campaign swing through Alaska.
Buchanan's strong message championing states rights resonated with the
roughly 85 people gathered for an Interior Republican luncheon in
Fairbanks. … Among those sporting Buchanan buttons were Wasilla Mayor
Sarah Palin and state Sen. Jerry Ward, R-Anchorage."
In fact, a very committed Buchananite I talked to today was thrilled by
the choice, saying as soon as I mentioned it: "It's great for the base.
I'm pretty sure she's a Buchananite!"
Now, to be fair, Buchanan "won" Alaska (actually, he won their straw poll, the state's main test of support then) in 1996, so his support there didn't just come from the fringe. (Bush won it in 2000, despite being spurned by Sarah Palin.) But he won the state in '96 essentially because he was the candidate who showed up there the most. Palin's Buchanan love doesn't suggest she's got the most independent mind of her political generation.