Here are a few examples of what we may face in the next 10 years: a profound and prolonged American crash, with the admission of bankruptcy and the spread of deep social unrest; one or more American cities getting hit with weapons of mass destruction from an unknown source; faint glimmers of actual secessionist movements as Americans for various reasons and in various areas decide the burdens and assumptions of the federal government are no longer attractive or legitimate.
If these are the potential threats perceived by the elites, then I can see why Obama was considered a good candidate to lead us and Palin is dismissed.
1) American crash and deep social unrest -- Obama has the loyalty of Acorn and other lower class organizers, so he is positioned to ckeep social unrest under control. Palin has the loyalty of the white working class, but that not where the unrest will come from.
2) Attacks by weapons of mass destruction from an unknown source -- the unknown source could be North Korea, but also a Muslim country or rogue Muslim group. Obama has some Muslim credentials that the elites would hope he could use. Palin is a sort of charismatic/ evangelical Christian that may be least able to assuage Muslim concerns.
3) Secessionist movements -- Palin's husband seems to have belonged to a party in Alaska with secessionist ideas.