I’m not sure that this is the worst we’ve seen from Politico, but it’s right up there with Politico’s Cheapest Shot Yet from August 2011.

From Maggie Haberman at Politico covering CPAC, Sarah Palin’s next act: Candidate or ‘Kardashian’?

Politico Palin next act

In January 2009, Sarah Palin had the world on a string. A potential Republican presidential field-clearer for the presidency, every sentence she uttered was news. A Fox News contract awaited her. So did book deals.

Four years later, Palin is without a clear option for elected office — or a clear sense she has an interest in any position of real public influence. She never took an active, leadership role in the tea party movement, beyond showing up at a scattered handful of events and talking it up on television. For many Americans, her name is now primarily a punchline and if she is envisioning a comeback, it may simply be too late.

It’s hard for Politico to fathom, but maybe candidate or Kardashian are not the only options.

In the 2012 cycle, Palin picked wisely.  She backed Deb Fischer, leading a Daily Beast writer to declare, Sarah Palin’s Latest Triumph? Deb Fischer Wins Nebraska GOP Primary.  She also backed Ted Cruz, attending rallies for him and leading him to thank her profusely:

As you know, I am not the first or the only candidate to benefit from Governor Palin and SarahPAC’s courageous support for conservatism. Senators Deb Fischer, Jeff Flake, Tim Scott, Marco Rubio, Kelly Ayotte, Rand Paul, and other common-sense conservatives are proof that Americans are ready to return to our nation’s founding principles.

Palin also tried to prevent the disaster which became Todd Akin by strongly supporting Sarah Steelman in the primary.

As has become typical in Politico attacks masquerading as news analysis, eventually Habermann gets to the facts showing Palin’s political prowess in 2010 and 2012, but only after a smear headline and introductory paragraphs intended to marginalize her and create a caricature.

Ben Shapiro said the other day he wanted to “smack” Politico.  They deserve it, metaphorically speaking, as the latest hit job on Palin demonstrates.