First off, no aspersion cast toward Barry Goldwater in this post.
I think that the cultural conservative movement that has built up around Sarah Palin will fail. It might energize the Republican base enough in 2010 to gain some seats, but if Palin runs for President, she's going to loose to a much better organized and competent incumbent, if she would even make it out of the primary.
That said a more eloquent and sophisticated (yes, I'm describing Huckabee in those terms... I know... I know) purveyor and popularizer of Palin-ism could make it in 2016.
Its like the dynamic between Goldwater and Reagan. Goldwater re-oriented his party greatly--into the party of small government, states rights (and all the horror that can entail), and militant anti-communism, and he got creamed in the general election.
From the eviscerated bones of Goldwater's platform and party Reagan communicated these same ideas in a more popularized form.