[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/02/12/mann.obama.republicans/t1larg.palin.tea.party.cnn.jpg caption="John Avlon says Sarah Palin's reliance on notes on her palm has validated centrists' doubts" width=300 height=169]
She was caught red-handed. The surreal scene of Sarah Palin referring to notes written on her palm during a Q&A session after her speech at the National Tea Party convention has validated skeptics even as it's been dismissed by her supporters.
This disconnect is a real problem for Palin and the Republican Party. Palin's presidential hopes are already confronting the fact that she is the most polarizing figure in American politics.
She is queen of the conservative populists, and to her supporters she can do wrong. She is despised by Democrats. But - and here's the biggest hurdle - she is disliked and distrusted by Independents and centrists.
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