The media have had great fun in ridiculing Sarah Palin for saying that Paul Revere’s great ride was to warn the British about those pesky colonists rather than to rally patriots in colonial Massachusetts.

“The Americans are Coming! The Americans are Coming!” headed a piece by Jill Burcum in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Palin’s Flub is Ammo” ran a Boston Herald item by Jessica Fargen.

It’s Palin who may get the last laugh.

The half-term Alaska governor told Chris Wallace of Fox News yesterday that she didn’t mess up her history.
“Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already here. That, hey, you’re not going to succeed. You’re not going to take American arms. You are not going to beat our own well-armed persons, individuals, private militia that we have. He did warn the British.”

Going a bit overboard, Palin added:
He warned the British that they weren’t gonna be taking away our arms by ringing those bells, and makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”

Sarah had it partly right, according to Andrew Malcolm, political columnist at the Los Angeles Times. He wrote today that Revere did warn the British after he was captured. Revere “did indeed defiantly warn them of the awakened militia awaiting their arrival ahead and of the American Revolution’s inevitable victory.” Palin just had the horse part wrong. The warning came from a horseless Revere.

Palin’s critics say her Fox News spin was a poor effort at damage control, a bid to portray Revere as a supporter of the future Second Amendment right to bear arms. That may be a stretch, but there is no use in underestimating Palin.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean told The Hill on June 3 that Palin could win a race against President Obama. “I think she could win. She wouldn’t be my first choice I were a Republican but I think she could win.”

Dean, however, doubts that Palin is going to get the Repubican nomination. He warns Democrats not to make the same mistake that Republicans made in underestimating Bill Clinton.

We know how that turned out.